How To Get Into an Ivy League School | What NOBODY Is Saying (2019)

Hey guys, Gmanlyfe here. In this video, I’m going to teach you how
to get into an Ivy League school, or basically any other school that you want to go to. I discovered this crucial information halfway
through sophomore year. And without it, I don’t think I would’ve been
accepted to my dream school, Princeton. Now, if you’re at all like me, you’ve spent
hours on the College Confidential forum, watching YouTube videos like this one, and spamming
your college guidance counselors, teachers, and parents with questions about college admissions
and things like that. I wasted so much time researching this stuff
when I could’ve been reading, hanging out with friends, or catching up on House of Cards. And I don’t want you to make the same mistake. So, I’ve decided to compile all of the most
valuable information that I’ve learned about the college admissions process into this one
video. So if I were you, I would get out a pen and
a piece of paper, because if all goes to plan, you can go back to watching Netflix after
this, instead of going on this “ghost hunt” for the secret formula to Ivy League admissions. Now, let’s get a few things straight. I’m an upper-middle class guy with no legacy
connections, no under-represented minority status, and no compelling life story. I’m not a recruited athlete, and I haven’t
won any national awards. I see a lot of YouTubers who offer advice
on how to get into ivy league schools, but it seems that they often fall into one of
these categories and admission is simply not as easy when you don’t fall into any of those. So, if you’re in the same boat as me, you’re
going to want to keep watching, because I’m going to offer advice that is useful to you
as well. Allow me to explain how I got in. This year, there were 31,056 people who applied
to Princeton. Of those, 12,435 had a perfect GPA, and 13,800
of them had a 1400 or above on the SAT. That means that roughly 45% of Princeton’s
applicant pool was completely qualified to get in. Yet, only 6.1% got the golden ticket. Just an aside here. If you’d like to see how to maintain a really
high GPA without really having to work too hard, head over to my last video, how to get
a 4.0, I’ll link it right here. Ok, back to what I was saying. So, if 45% of people are qualified to get
in, but only 6% do, how do admissions officers determine which 14% of awesome applicants
to let in, and which 86% to reject? I bet I know what you think I’m going to say. “Do as many extracurriculars as you can, sign
up for all of that volunteer work, you know you can do it.” And honestly, I can’t blame you. I’m sure that’s the advice your guidance counselors,
parents, younger sisters, and goldfish have been telling you all this time. You’re told to write for the school newspaper,
pursue an internship at the local animal shelter, and run your school’s bonsai tree planting
club all at once. But guess what? Colleges don’t care how many random activities
you can slap on your application. Confused? Let me explain. When going through their applicant pools,
admissions officers at top colleges don’t really look for well-rounded students; they
look more for a well-rounded class. That means x-many jazz musicians, x-many lacrosse
players, x-many public speakers, you get it. All else equal, the kid with one or two passions
that they’ve dedicated most of their time to will get in 100% of the time over the kid
that does seven random clubs. Don’t panic if you’re one of those students
that’s already doing a bunch of random extracurricular activities just to pad your application. I was doing the same thing as a sophomore–
I mean, it wasn’t even until the spring of my sophomore year that I realized I was doing
this all wrong. Here’s how I changed my ways, and got into
my top choice college. So, during my sophomore year, I was involved
in a bunch of activities. I was involved in theatre, my school’s a capella
group, mock trial, track, *varsity track*, I was volunteering in a soup kitchen, I was
part of China club, and I was studying both Spanish and Chinese. So once I realized that doing a bunch of random
things wasn’t going to help me for college, I wrote down all of my extracurriculars on
a piece of paper and tried to divide them into two distinct passions. The two that I came up with were performance
and study of Chinese culture. Though Mock Trial didn’t really fit under
live performance, I explained it in my college application as another context in which I
could improve my improv skills and my acting skills. Now, this is the most important part. I completely dropped track and I stopped volunteering
at the soup kitchen. I stopped doing these activities because a)
I realized that they were taking up my time when there was other more productive stuff
I could be doing during that time and b) they weren’t really going to get me anywhere in
terms of college because colleges can see right through you padding your application. I dropped track junior year and instead became
more heavily involved in theatre, and I even joined the school’s theater board. Instead of volunteering at the soup kitchen,
I actually started my own community service club at my school, where student musicians
could go out to our local city and perform on the street to raise awareness and funds
for a local charity that promotes music education amongst inner-city kids. I dropped Spanish and focused fully on my
study of Mandarin Chinese. With the help of my Mandarin teacher, I was
able to study abroad in China for a month. I also participated in a bunch of non-native
Chinese speaking competitions simply because I could. Although I didn’t really win any, they were
experiences I could talk about in my essay and I learned a lot about Chinese culture
through that. In the summer after junior year, I got an
internship at a translation and globalization company with a lot of clients in China, and
I was able to talk about that in my essays as well. I hope you’re seeing where I’m going with
this. You have to take an honest look at what you’re
doing and how you’re spending your time, and then cut down certain things, so you’re only
focusing on one or two specific areas. Because I took the time to do that, the admissions
officer who was reading my application didn’t just see a kid with great scores that was
signing up for a bunch of clubs simply to get into x, y, or z school. What they saw was a student who had multiple
interests and was willing to pursue them at a very deep level. Now, your passions don’t have to be the same
as mine, in fact, they shouldn’t be! It’ll be easiest for you if you come up with
one or two things that you actually really do enjoy. And brainstorm extracurricular activities
based on those interests. For example, my younger sister, who is currently
a freshman, is running an Instagram page currently with 40,000 followers. What I told her to do was approach the tech
department at our school and ask if she could help out with running their social media. And they accepted! Also, if she wanted to do some community service,
she could volunteer to advertise local charity events through social media. Literally anything can be a passion– you
just have to be creative. I honestly hope that this video has been helpful
to you. I know that knowing this really determined
a lot of my college decisions. Please keep in mind that I gave you all this
content for free and all I ask is that if you liked the video, hit me with a thumbs
up and subscribe. Also, if you have any specific questions about
your situation, just let me know in the comments, I usually get back to you within 24 hours. Lastly, I did set up a Patreon, so if you
would like to support me financially, any money I get will go right back into the channel
and increasing the production quality of my videos– that would be much appreciated as
well. The link is right below. Best of luck in the college admissions process,
and I’ll see you next week! Bye.


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