Preparing for College

SATs and ECs for Ivies

Question: What kind of SAT scores would I need to get into an Ivy League

school, and what if my main extracurricular is being a cheerleader? I have a 4.3 GPA, volunteer, and play tennis, but I only got what's equivalent to an 1150 on the PSAT. Help!!!!!

Most Ivy applicants have SAT I scores in the mid-to-high 1400s and above. Their SAT IIs are usually in the high 600s to mid-700s. It's very competitive. However, that's not to say that someone whose application and profile were highly compelling couldn't get in with lower scores. It's not cut and dried with test scores. There are many overall factors to consider.

Your cheerleading alone wouldn't carry much weight unless you were on a team

that had success in national competitions. Volunteer work is good, but it has to be of some substance and not just an hour or two per week. The ECs of Ivy admits are sometimes almost hard to believe in their scope and intensity. The key is to have a few activities in which you are deeply involved and for which you can show genuine personal passion.

Your GPA is excellent, but, again, grades alone are not enough. The key to success in elite admissions is to have not only the qualifications but also the right marketing approach for your profile. That's where knowing how colleges look at applicants comes in handy.