今年，宾西法尼亚大学、康奈尔大学、耶鲁大学、哥伦比亚大学、达特茅斯大学共五所藤校以及斯坦福大学（今年的录取率只有4.69%，甚至比任何藤校都低）都将录取通知书发给了这个女生。她就是来自美国特拉华州一个普通高中的女生Brittany Stinson。能够得到众多名校的青睐，综合素质一定过硬，占重要角色的申请文书也一定功不可没。Brittany Stinson的写作有何独特之处？
Acceptance Rates at Ivy League Business Schools
Getting accepted to an Ivy League program is no easy feat. Admissions are competitive at all six Ivy League business schools. Acceptance rates vary from school to school. Rates can also vary from year to year. For example, in years where applications are trending up, more people are inevitably turned away. In years when fewer applications are submitted…well, a lot of people are still turned away.
Acceptance rates at top business schools, particularly the Ivy League schools, tend to fall somewhere between 10% and 20%. In other words, 80-90% of the people who apply to Ivy League MBA programs are rejected. All of this data is publicly available and can often be found on business school websites. So, if you are curious about your chances, be sure to look for specific acceptance rates at your school of choice.
Perfect vs. Imperfect Ivy League Business School Candidate
There really is no such thing as a perfect Ivy League business school candidate. Different schools look for different things at different times when evaluating applications. Guaranteed acceptance is unlikely no matter what your profile looks like. Besides all other dimensions, a solid interview and a good essay play key part in your acceptance.
Most applicants to graduate school find that soliciting recommendation letters is one of the most stressful aspects of applying to grad school. Determining who to ask is daunting. Which professors know you best? It may be easy to identify faculty to write the first letter or two, but three recommendation letters? Yikes. Even the most prepared applicants wonder how to fill all recommendation letter slots. Once you’ve identified three professors， it’s time to gather the guts to ask them. Remember: They don’t have to say yes.
Asking is Only the Beginning
Remember that your relationship and responsibility to the faculty who write on your behalf does not end with a successful request, submitting documents to aid professors in writing your letters, or even with professors submitting their recommendation letters. You are not done once your application is in. Your next task is to thank those who wrote letters on your behalf and provide them with updates as to your progress in seeking admittance to graduate school.
A Simple Thank You
Few students acknowledge recommendation letters (unless they are late and delaying an application). It is a very simple and small gesture, but it is noticed and appreciated.
Why Thank Profs Who Write Letters on Your Behalf?
Writing a helpful letter takes time and energy. The writer must consider the entry requirements for each graduate program and consider your background and experiences to determine how to write the most effective letter. He or she is not required to write a letter on your behalf and instead is going out of the way to help you.
Send a Simple Thank You Note
Acknowledge your professor’s time by sending a thank you note that expresses your appreciation. An email is a quick way to do this, but consider sending an old-fashioned thank you card. Take a few minutes out of your day to hand write a thank you note to each of the professors who wrote on your behalf.
Self-Serving Reasons for Thank You Note
Given that few students send such notes, yours will stand out. Why do you care? Because the recommendation letter for entry to graduate school is just the first of many letters that you will need over the years. You’ll need letters when you apply to fellowships, some scholarships, and eventually when you apply for jobs after graduation, as well as awards later in your career. Not to mention, you might decide to apply to more schools later on, or even next year. Also note that sometimes admissions committees call faculty who have written letters of recommendation. Make sure that your letter writers continue to view you in a positive light. A thank you note takes two minutes to write but offers many benefits.
Few parts of a college application cause more anxiety than the SAT. Those four hours spent filling in ovals and writing a rushed essay can carry a lot of weight in the college admissions process. If you look through the college profiles and find that your scores are below average for the colleges you hope to attend, don’t panic. The tips below can help you reach your goals.
Depending on when your application deadlines are, you might be able to take the SAT again. If you took the exam in the spring, you can work through an SAT practice book and retake the exam in the fall. A summer SAT prep course is also an option (Kaplan has many convenient online options). Realize that simply retaking the exam without additional preparation isn’t likely to improve your score much. Most colleges will consider only your highest test scores, and with Score Choice, you can submit the scores from your best exam date.
If you didn’t perform well on the SAT, you might do better on the ACT. The exams are quite different — the SAT is an aptitude test meant to measure your reasoning and verbal abilities, while the ACT is an achievement test designed to measure what you’ve learned in school. Nearly all colleges will accept either exam.
Most selective colleges have holistic admissions — they are evaluating all of your strengths and weaknesses, not relying entirely on cold empirical data. If your SAT scores are a little below average for a college, you can still get accepted if the rest of your application shows great promise. All of the following can help compensate for relatively low SAT scores:
Here’s some of the best news on the SAT front: over 800 colleges don’t require test scores. Every year, more and more colleges have come to recognize that the exam privileges privileged students, and that your academic record is a better predictor of college success than SAT scores. Some excellent, highly selective colleges are test-optional.
The hype surrounding college admissions might have you believing that you need a 2300 on the SAT to get into a good college. The reality is quite different. The United States has hundreds of excellent colleges where an average score of about 1500 is perfectly acceptable. Are you below 1500? — Many good colleges are happy to admit students with below average scores. Browse through the options and identify colleges where your test scores seem to be in line with typical applicants.
First of all, be realistic — as our previous article explains, the majority of students never get off the list. Most years less than a third of wait-listed students eventually get accepted. In some cases, especially at elite colleges, no students actually get off the list. You should definitely move forward with a back-up college.
But not all hope is lost, and you can do a few things to improve your chances of getting off a wait list:
Unless the school says not to, contact the admissions office to find out why your application wasn’t accepted. Were your test scores low? Were your extracurricular activities weak? If you are able to identify the reasons your application didn’t make it to the top of the pile, you’ll be better able to address the issue.
Also, try to learn how the wait list is managed. Are students ranked? Where do you fall on the list? Are your chances of getting off the list fair or slim?
Write to the school to reaffirm your sincere interest in attending (and if you aren’t sincerely interested in attending, you shouldn’t put yourself on the wait list to begin with). Your letter should be polite and specific. Show that you have good reasons for wanting to attend — what exactly is it about this college that has made it your top choice? What is it that the college offers that you won’t find elsewhere?
Send along any new and significant information that might make your application stronger. Did you retake the SAT and get higher scores? Did you win a significant award? New academic accomplishments are particularly important.
It’s rarely effective to scrounge around to find alumni who are willing to write letters recommending you. Such letters tend to be shallow and they make you look like you’re grasping. Ask yourself if such letters will really change your credentials. Chances are, they won’t.
Harassing your admissions counselor won’t help your situation. Calling frequently and showing up at the admissions office isn’t going to improve your chances, but it may annoy the extremely busy admissions employees.
If you’re applying to an engineering program, your latest watercolor or limerick probably doesn’t add much to your application (unless it won an award or got published). If you received a new SAT score that’s only 10 points higher than the old one, it’s probably not going to change the school’s decision. And a letter of recommendation from a bighead who doesn’t really know you — that too won’t help.