Ivy League Students Have Ivy League Holidays

Question: what separates students at Top 20 universities from students at Top 20-40 universities? Is it test scores? Well, yes – partly. The average SAT score for schools ranked around 35-45 is about 1900. The average at Princeton is approximately 2250. If you want to study at an elite US school, you should definitely be preparing for the SATs in your Sr. I year. But you didn’t think that was going to be my answer, did you?

The biggest difference between Top 20 students and everyone else is simply what they do in their free time. You’d be surprised how many 2400 SAT scorers get rejected from top schools, and how many are attending schools ranked 40-60. Why? Because a lot of times, that’s the only positive aspect of a student’s application – their test scores. If you’re one of those students, I guarantee you’re going to get a big “BORING” written across the front of your application file. That’s why “free-time projects” are such an important part of the Dotson Method, & in developing your Student Brand.

What are those other kids doing though? Well one big-time difference is that while you’re relaxing away at the KTV over your summer or winter vacation, they’re attending a prestigious camp that challenges them intellectually and gives them an advantage when applying to the host university.

Guess whose summer school is the most famous? You got it – Harvard. Students as young as Sr. I can spend the summer taking Harvard classes, living in Harvard dorms, and mixing with some of the brightest (and richest) young minds in the world. Not only does that give them a leg up on the competition when applying to Harvard, it also gives them a plethora of good experiences to write about in their essays.

Check out Harvard’s website to learn more about their camp, or Google around to learn about other camps at Stanford, Boston University, Columbia, Michigan and many others. Many are designed specifically for students who want to study Math, Science, Creative Writing and other fields, so they give a definite advantage to students with big dreams in their specialty field.

Another option is to attend a college application bootcamp, like those offered in Harvard Square every summer by America’s most elite college counselors, Michele Hernandez and Mimi Doe. Application bootcamp attendants get accepted to their top-choice college 99% of the time! You can’t beat those odds. Even better – attend a Dotson Method bootcamp in Shenzhen & join the piles of our students who get accepted to elite colleges every year.

Just remember that if you want to be the best, you’ve got to do what the best do. And that’s everything you possibly can! Find something you love doing, studying, reading or practicing and do it, do it, do it. Whether it’s calligraphy or badminton, a student who devotes their holiday to the pursuit of excellence in anything is going to have better chances of admission than a kid who watches DVDs all summer. What will you be doing next summer?

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