Six Secrets To Multiple Ivy League Acceptances: Secret #2

Welcome back to our blog post series Six Secrets to Multiple Ivy League Acceptances!

If you missed Secret #1, you can read it here

Today we’ll be discussing the second secret of multiple Ivy League grad school acceptances, and we hope you’re just as excited as we are. If you’re wondering what mountain climbing has to do with your graduate school applications no worries, I promise it will all make sense soon enough.

Ready for Secret #2? Here it is:

Aiming high can make it easier to apply, and to get in.

Now which way do we climb a mountain? That’s right, up! Cheesy, we know, but we think it’s helpful imagery.

We have found that there are two reasons why high-potential high-achieving applicants don’t plan to apply to the very best schools:

1.They believe they are not worthy of going to an excellent school.


2. They think they are worth an outstanding education, but they fear that if they do apply, they won’t get in.

Let’s address both of these problems at the same time.

You are not going to get into Harvard or any other Ivy League or elite graduate school of your dreams because of your GMAT, GRE, or LSAT score.

You are also not going to get in because of where you went to college.

This is because what you are selling to an Ivy League admissions committee is the total lifetime value of the accomplishments you will achieve once you have that elite education.

Aiming high and confidently applying to a top grad school with an outstanding application, regardless of your GPA and test scores, actually reassures the admissions committee that you see yourself as and know that you are are one of the best of the best. Otherwise, why would you even waste your time applying?

We’ll let you in on a little secret.

Schools that are at the very top of the rankings such as Harvard, Wharton, Princeton, Stanford, and Columbia have the flexibility every application season to take on a few wildcard entries. Schools who are in the middle of the rankings who are desperately trying to claw their way up and maintain their prestige do not have that flexibility.

So what does this mean for you? It means that sometimes if you are a nontraditional, wildcard, dreamer applicant, you might have a better chance at getting into a top school such as Harvard Business School or Harvard Kennedy School, than a school that needs to vigilantly protect their precarious ranking.  

Once you start focusing your energy on top tier schools, you are going to be more motivated to persist through the application process, because you won’t be working tirelessly to get into a school you aren’t even excited about. You are going to give yourself the best chance of getting into a school that is truly worth the investment of time, money, and energy for the next 2-3 years.

If you’re a wildcard applicant that is aiming too low with all of your target schools, you’ll still be competing with the brightest and the best, but you will be easily out-shined by their perfect GMAT scores and high GPAs. There will be less motivation for the schools to admit you, because you’re going to drag down their rankings. You will actually see worse results than if you had used the six secrets and aimed for higher schools.

We’ll tell you a story to demonstrate what we mean. We once had an incredible Indian American client who came to us in a panic because it was time for her to apply to business school. Let’s call her Sara. She had a sister who had attended Booth, and her family was expecting her to follow in her sister’s footsteps and attend a prestigious school as well.

Although Sara was extremely smart, she had a low GMAT score of 650 and was worried about her chances of getting into the top MBA programs. We encouraged her to use the secret of aiming high with the belief that she is one of the best of the best, and she was admitted to NYU with a full scholarship for her first year and was also admitted into Harvard Business School—even with her score of 650 GMAT score. Incredible, right?

Every other company Sara had reached out to had discouraged her from even applying as an Indian American with a 650 GMAT and we were able to help her get into her dream school of HBS as well as NYU with a full scholarship for her first year.

So here’s what we recommend for you: Apply to 3-4 match schools. Match schools are schools that you would be excited to go to, and to which your profile matches up with or exceeds the profile of admitted students. For all the other schools to which you apply, aim high and use the six secrets we’re teaching you right now to submit an outstanding application that makes you their wonderful wildcard admit.

Be sure to come back next week to learn the third secret to multiple Ivy League grad school acceptances.

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