SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common App + Supplement)

In 2005, I applied to college and got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. I decided to attend Harvard.

In this guide, I'll show you the entire college application that got me into Harvard—page by page, word for word.

In my complete analysis, I'll take you through my Common Application, Harvard supplemental application, personal statements and essays, extracurricular activities, teachers' letters of recommendation, counselor recommendation, complete high school transcript, and more. I'll also give you in-depth commentary on every part of my application.

To my knowledge, a college application analysis like this has never been done before. This is the application guide I wished I had when I was in high school.

If you're applying to top schools like the Ivy Leagues, you'll see firsthand what a successful application to Harvard and Princeton looks like. You'll learn the strategies I used to build a compelling application. You'll see what items were critical in getting me admitted, and what didn't end up helping much at all.

Reading this guide from beginning to end will be well worth your time—you might completely change your college application strategy as a result.

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We Ask Admissions Officers: What's the #1 Fact You Wish Applicants Knew?

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jan 4, 2020 8:00:00 AM

College Admissions

College admissions can be confusing, with a lot of contradictory information thrown around. It's hard to separate fact from fiction, which is frustrating since the stakes are high and you may not realize you made mistakes until it's far too late.

In this exclusive article, we decided to consult university admissions officers and counselors around the country to break through the noise.

We asked them a simple question: "What's the #1 fact you wish college applicants knew about admissions?" The results might surprise you. 

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How to Prepare for College: 37 Tips to Get Ready

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jan 3, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Other High School, College Admissions

While you might think college preparation only happens during the summer before college, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, you can start preparing for college as early as 9th grade! But what exactly does the process of college preparation entail?

Here, we explain how to prepare for college at every grade level in high school. Specifically, we take a look at what you can do on the academic, financial, and extracurricular fronts, providing you with advice and tips, as well as a helpful preparing-for-college checklist.

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What Colleges Should I Apply To? Making a College List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions

With more than 5,000 colleges to choose from across the country, you might be asking yourself, "What colleges should I apply to?" How do you narrow thousands of schools down to just 10? The best way to streamline your college list is to divide it roughly equally between safety schools, match schools, and reach schools.

This guide will go over exactly what these terms mean and how to choose the best schools for you. Before taking you through the process step by step, though, let's review the research process as a whole.

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The Best Colleges With Low GPA Requirements

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Dec 8, 2019 9:22:00 PM

College Admissions, Coursework/GPA

Do you have a low GPA? Are you wondering what colleges you can get into despite your low GPA?

Out of all the schools in the country, we've compiled a complete list of colleges with low GPA requirements and ranked the best ones. Even if you have a low GPA, that doesn't mean a great education is out of reach for you. Keep reading to figure out what your options are for higher education.

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Does Georgetown Superscore ACT Scores?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 1, 2019 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, College Admissions

Does Georgetown superscore the ACT? Let’s cut to the chase: Georgetown University does not superscore the ACT, despite what you might read from online chat forums. But don’t despair! Even if you had your hopes set on a Georgetown superscore, you can still get into the school of your dreams. 

As it turns out, there’s a lot to know about Georgetown’s admissions process. Once you understand what it takes to get into Georgetown, you can maximize your chances of receiving an acceptance letter! 

In this crash course of all things Georgetown ACT, we’ll talk about:

  • What is superscoring?
  • Georgetown superscore policy & overall admissions requirements
  • General ACT standards
  • Plus, some tips on improving your overall ACT score!

Let’s jump in! 

 

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Does NYU Require the SAT Essay?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, SAT Essay

New York University, or NYU, is a big school with more than 50,000 students and 18 schools and colleges. It’s also pretty tough to get intoonly 16% of students who applied to NYU in 2018 were accepted. 

If NYU is your dream school, don’t lose hope: you can get in as long as you start working toward your goal as soon as possible. Along with focusing on your extracurriculars and grade point average, you’ll want to make sure you’re acing your standardized tests, too! Does NYU require the SAT essay?

But NYU’s testing policy can be a little confusing. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of NYU’s standardized test requirements. Specifically, we’ll take a closer look at whether NYU requires you to submit the SAT essay. 

Let’s get started! 

 

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College Essay Prompts: Complete List, Analysis, and Advice

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Nov 17, 2019 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions, College Essays

When talking about college essays, we tend to focus on the Common Application prompts, and it's true that many students will need to write a Common App essay. However, there are actually quite a few schools, including both public and private universities, that don't use the Common App and instead ask applicants to respond to their own college essay prompts.

Luckily, college essay prompts tend to be pretty similar to each other. In this guide, I'll list all the college essay questions for popular schools in the US (and a few abroad) and then break down the patterns to help you brainstorm topics and plan how to approach multiple essays efficiently. After reading this guide, you'll be able to strategize which essays you'll write for which colleges.

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The Complete List of Colleges That Require Interviews

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 10, 2019 7:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Many colleges ask you to interview with an alum or admissions officer as part of the application process. This article has the full list of schools that require, recommend, or offer interviews, and it will give you some pointers on how to figure out your college's interview policy.

To start off, let's review the point of the college interview. Is your interviewer evaluating you, or is the meeting simply a chance for you to learn more about the school?

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The Best Small Colleges in the United States

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 10, 2019 6:30:00 PM

College Admissions

If you're interested in attending a small college, you may be wondering which schools offer the most rigorous academic experience combined with the best quality of life.

In this article, I'll give you a list of the best small colleges in the nation based on student reviews and academic ratings, as well as some more specific great small college options.

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Complete List of SUNY Schools: How to Pick the One for You

Posted by Justin Berkman | Nov 10, 2019 12:38:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

If you're interested in going to college in New York, you may want to consider a State University of New York school. Unlike The City University of New York (CUNY) colleges, the majority of SUNY schools are outside of New York City, and many of them are in rural areas.

In this article, I'll describe the SUNY system, profile the 4-year SUNY schools, and explain how to decide which SUNY to attend.

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Colleges With Late Application Deadlines: Complete List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 10, 2019 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions

If you’re wondering whether there are any colleges with late application deadlines, you’re in luck! Lots of colleges have application deadlines in February or later, and many more keep rolling admissions open until all their spots have been filled.

Here, we give you a full list of colleges with late application deadlines. But before diving into this list, let’s consider an important question: what exactly is considered a normal deadline?

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What Exactly Is a Target School? How to Find Yours

Posted by Justin Berkman | Nov 10, 2019 12:00:00 AM

College Admissions

If you have researched the college application process, you may have heard about the concept of a "target school." What is a target school or college? Simply put, it's a college that you are likely—but not guaranteed—to be admitted to based on your qualifications.

In this article, I'll define and explain the concept of a target school. Furthermore, I'll discuss how to identify your target colleges and determine how many of these schools you should apply to.

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The 7 Things That Really Look Good on a College Application

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Nov 3, 2019 11:00:00 AM

College Admissions, College Info

What looks good on a college application? It's the question nearly every high school student will ask at some point while applying to college. But is there a clear answer?

Fortunately, the answer is yes! Read on to learn what colleges look for in applicants, what looks really good on a college application, and what kinds of myths there are about good things to put on a college application.

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Complete List: The Smallest Colleges in the United States

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 27, 2019 6:00:00 PM

College Admissions

You might be interested in going to a small college, but just how small is "small," exactly? In general, schools that are considered "small" have fewer than 5,000 students in total. However, quite a few schools are actually at least 10 times smaller than this!

In this article I'll describe the characteristics of small colleges and then provide a list of the smallest colleges in the nation by category. That way you can decide if going to a small school really is the right decision for you.

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