In the increasingly competitive world of college entry, everyone needs an edge. Acceptance rates have fallen overall, with the top 100 universities accepting between 5.7% and 33.6% of applicants who apply. The stakes are even higher for students who are determined to go to Ivy League schools, where acceptance rates are rather low relative to the number of applications received, generally under 10%. Our goal with this guide is to give you the information you need to get into the college of your dreams despite these discouraging figures.
This book is designed for both students and parents. For parents, we hope to offer advice that will allow you to guide your children through the college application process. Some of the advice offered within this guide is useful to know long before entering high school, and since many students do not realize until they are juniors or seniors in high school where they want to go to college, or sometimes even if they want to go to college, we opted to include parents in our audience. This way, engaged parents can offer appropriate encouragement at the proper moment. For students, we hope to offer in-depth advice on how to identify your goals and use them to get into the school of your choice. The earlier you realize your educational goals, the better; that way, you can focus your studies and activities in order to meet those goals.
The organizational structure of this book is meant to meet all of these audiences’ needs. The guide opens with the stories of two students, Victor Agbafe and Harold Ekeh, to help you understand their lives, achievements, and methods for success. Both got into all eight of the Ivy League schools—Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University—as well as other top schools, including MIT, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Vanderbilt. Together, they were offered nearly $4 million in scholarship money.
Next, you will find 10 sections of advice on critical areas of college applications preparation: Academics, Volunteer/Extracurricular Activities, Summer, the Pre-Application Process, Test Preparation, Applications, Supplemental Materials: Essays and Résumés, Post-Application, Scholarships, and The Choice. At the beginning of each section, Victor and Harold offer their personal stories and experiences, which are told in such a way that we believe is relatable to other students so that they can realize their own full potential.
Following these reflections, FrogTutoring offers tips and advice to consider when approaching the application process. We have also provided worksheets for students to complete to help identify their goals and organize the process for achieving these goals. Sometimes, these worksheets include guiding questions that help with brainstorming interests and desires. Other times, we provide tables for you to complete to organize your interests and goals and visually map out the process of achieving them. Finally, we have included several appendices that provide additional resources for the various parts of the application process, including sample application essays, websites, other books that can help you prepare for the SAT/ACT, websites that can help you decide which colleges to apply to, and even an organizational chart to help you figure out how much money you need to budget for the application process.
We hope that you enjoy hearing Victor’s and Harold’s stories and that you are inspired by their experiences and diligence. The guidance you will find here should thoroughly prepare you to begin your journey to academic success and personal empowerment. Whether you are a student or a parent, we are here to ease your journey and remove some of the stress of planning for the future. Good luck!