IvyWise Resources

IvyWise Class of 2015: Student Success

This year our team of expert counselors worked with one of the largest senior classes in IvyWise history. It was a successful college application season, with 92% of IvyWise students gaining acceptance to one or more of their top three choice colleges. The schools to which IvyWise students gained admission included all eight Ivy League universities, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, and MIT, to name a few. In total, IvyWise students were accepted to over 260 colleges this year!

Once again, overall admission rates at some of the country’s top universities saw slight dips, with Stanford University admitting a record low 5.05% of applicants for the class of 2019. With the help of our team of expert counselors, our seniors were able to secure acceptances to some of the most selective colleges in the U.S.

The class of 2015 experienced great success with the Ivy League and other highly selective colleges, with admission rates for our students up to eight times higher than the school’s overall admission rate. Here are some acceptance rates from this year’s class:

One great story from this year’s class comes from one of our pro bono students, Brian, who gained admission to four Ivy League colleges! Brian joins a small subset of students in the country who received multiple Ivy League offers of admission — including a group of students who were accepted to all eight.

We caught up with Brian to get this thoughts on receiving multiple Ivy League acceptances, how he’s deciding which college to attend, and how IvyWise helped him accomplish his goals.

Q: Why did you choose to apply to four Ivy League colleges?
Brian: I chose to apply to these four colleges for several reasons. First, I felt that these colleges would give some of the best financial aid in the nation. Graduating with little financial burden was one of the highest priorities of my family and me. Second, I also liked the interdisciplinary approach that these schools emphasize for their undergraduates. I liked how you do not have to declare your major until sophomore year or enter a specific college (i.e college of engineering or college of business) as a freshman. Third, these schools are reputed to be strong in so many different areas. I personally am undecided and have interest in many different subjects. I wanted to attend a school that I could explore different concentrations, and then whichever I choose, I would know that it would be strong.

Q: What was your first thought after learning you were accepted to Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Princeton?
Brian: After getting accepted, I experienced pure joy and did more dancing and celebrating than thinking! But after the dust settled, my first thought was about the American Dream. I thought about how blessed and lucky I am to have had a great education and to continue it at any one of these great universities. I thought about how my parents, who immigrated to America about three decades ago without higher education or the opportunities I have had, had to work so very hard to put food on the table, so that I could worry more about my studies and not need to worry about an empty stomach. I realized I was more than just a great scholar, rather I have transitioned into adulthood as a responsible young man with integrity and a strong character that came from humble beginnings and that has received so much help along the way.

Q: What are you considering as you make your final decision about where to attend?
Brian: Fortunately the financial packages are for the most part similar and very generous. So I am looking at the school that will bring me the most happiness. I read about Tal Ben-Shahar’s model for happiness, in which he posits that humans need to find a balance of living in the present and living for the future. In other words, we cannot focus too much on the present or it may resemble hedonism, and we cannot focus too much on the future, otherwise it may resemble a rat race. So I am searching for a college that can harmonize the present and the future well. I want to be able to enjoy my four years in college very much, and at the same time get prepared for life beyond university.

Q: Tell us about your experience with IvyWise. Why did you choose IvyWise to help you with your college counseling?
Brian: My experience with IvyWise has been nothing but wonderful. The entire process was very personal and I felt like my counselor and the whole IvyWise team truly cared about me as a person. They were also very dedicated in helping me find my best-fit school and pushed me toward success. That being said, I strongly appreciated when my counselor was very frank about my weaknesses or my risks. I believe that it is that veracity that is the most constructive. I chose IvyWise for multiple reasons. Judging from articles I read written by IvyWise staff and reading about their programs, I concluded that IvyWise has one of the best services available for perfecting a college application. Furthermore, IvyWise was one of the only few counseling services that offered a Pro Bono service to socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Together, those attracted me to choose IvyWise and I have absolutely no regrets.

Q: What was your experience with college counseling before working with IvyWise?
Brian: My experience with my high school’s college counselor had also been very pleasant. My school is relatively small, so I was able to meet up with the counselor frequently and practice for important parts of the application, like interviews. However, my counselor at IvyWise was able to provide individualized care that was just logistically impossible for my high school’s college counselor. This included immediate back and forth feedback on parts of my application, even when it got very late into the night. All in all, both my high school’s and IvyWise’s counselor were great and very qualified. It was very helpful to have varying opinions from multiple people supporting you.

Q: What aspect of counseling do you think helped you the most?
Brian: I think that the feedback on the essays was the most helpful part of the counseling. My counselor, having been an admission officer, was very familiar with strengths and weaknesses of college essays. Furthermore, my essays received feedback and tips from other members of the IvyWise team. Through all of their help I felt that I improved the most in the essays aspect.

Want to know more about how IvyWise can help you reach your admission goals? Contact us today for information on our team of expert counselors, our long-term and short-term counseling programs, tutoring, and more!


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