Ivy League Admissions Essays Writing Guide

This article provides a guide on how to write impressive ivy league admissions essays, with several tips on how to make them even better. Use these tips to make your essay more competitive.

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If you are reading this, then the chances are that you’re looking to get admitted into an elite school like Harvard or Yale. However, a quick investigation into these elite schools reveals a worrying pattern. Ivy league schools are increasingly making their admission guidelines tighter as they also lower their acceptance rates. From that, it seems that ivy league admissions essays may be your only life-savers. Still, even these require that you put a lot of thought and effort.

How exactly to accomplish your dream of joining an ivy league school has long eluded many students. Most students usually end up spending their time on the wrong things. This is mainly as a result of the numerous unhelpful, vague advice abound from people who don’t even have any experience of joining such schools themselves.

The one central takeaway that this article will provide is that most students have the wrong view of what elite schools are really looking for. You can now find thousands of ivy league admissions essays online, most of which don’t cut it. And on that note, here’s a detailed overview of everything you must know before you start jotting.

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Factors to Consider When Writing Ivy League Admissions Essays

Arguably, the hardest and most crucial part of a top college application process lies in the application essay. It’s perhaps also the most exciting part of your application process. That’s mainly because it’s your chance to show the admissions boards your personality.

Here are some solid tips and advice that should help you write an impactful admissions essay:

Understand the Prompt

Different ivy league admissions essays all have different prompts and requirements that they expect applicants to meet. Therefore, before you even think about writing, ensure that you analyze the college’s essay prompt thoroughly.

The common application personal statement often requires that you choose from five prompts. Basically, these should form the starting points for your application essay. It’s, therefore, vital that you choose the prompt that appeals the most to you. There are several ivy league essay prompts and angles that you can start off with.

You must also note that most top tier universities revise these prompts each year. So, take a glance at what’s changed, if there’s anything, and what you should focus more on.

As with most admissions and application processes, ivy league admissions essays provide the best chance for you to showcase your talents and strengths. It’s also the perfect opportunity to show your personality, passions, ethics, and willingness to grow. Therefore, you know that there’s a lot at stake here.

Craft A Strong Opening

Impactful ivy league admissions essays always grasp the interest and attention of admissions officers from the onset. College admissions officers have to skim through literary thousands of admissions essays year-round. On that note, it’s extremely crucial that you make your essay stand out immediately. First impressions count a lot in this situation.

ivy league admissions essays

Don’t wait until you get to the body or conclusion section of your application to provide the flesh of your essay. Show your true colors from the opening of your essay. You must ensure that your essay:

  • Starts off with a bang
  • Demands attention
  • Gives the reader no other option but to continue reading and possibly grant you admission

Nobody’s born with powerful copywriting skills. You can, however, learn it and put some of your learned skills to give your admissions essays an edge over the competition. Ensure that each sentence builds on the last and compels the reader to want to continue reading. Good writing is only effective when done line by line.

Make It Deeply Personal

The admissions boards of ivy league schools encounter hundreds of essays from students about short but rewarding experiences. However, the sheer number of such writings makes them clichés in the college admissions community.

You must, therefore, strive to be different. And you can only do that by writing your admissions essay about something that’s deeply personal. You want to make your essay so personal to the point that its reader wouldn’t be able to put anyone else’s name to it. These are the types of essays that get read all the way and likely get approved.

Try, therefore, to avoid writing essays about some short experiences you had. Rather, come up with a topic that you know has profound personal importance in your life. Admissions officers appreciate these essays more.

Don’t Be Too Funny

While it’s okay to maybe drop a line or two of some humor into your essay, it never works all the time. Of course, there are some college essay examples where humor helped students get admitted into ivy league schools. However, the truth is that not everyone is funny. So, your jokes might turn out to be more off-putting than you intended.

True, experimenting with different writing styles is strongly encouraged. But this might not be the best platform to test such waters. The admissions person reading your essay might not appreciate it as much. If possible, try and avoid using humor altogether.

Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

This is perhaps the single biggest pitfall that most students stumble into when writing ivy league admissions essays. Most students fail to evaluate the experiences or stories that they are recounting adequately. You don’t just want to tell a story about the person or event you are writing about here. Ask how and why such an event or person had such an influence or impact on you.

Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

Remember, the more complex the analysis of your own character and how it changed you by experience, the more chance you will have of succeeding.

Display an Authentic, Original Voice

Most applicants tend to write their ivy league admissions essays in a detached style, which often makes the reader feel disconnected from the writer or person being described there. This isn’t always a good way to go about writing your essay.

If you decide to write about a topic that doesn’t matter to you, it’s likely that it also won’t matter to the person who will read it. Writing your essay in a detached style will not make the admissions team fall in love with it. On the other hand, if your essay is more personal and shows the reader that there’s no other candidate like you with the same kind of passion, characteristics, and strengths, your chances of being accepted will increase dramatically.

It’s always best to think of a topic that you can relate to more and can really write about. Don’t be afraid to write even if the topic looks complex. After all, great topics are always complex.

Be Honest

Many admissions teams of ivy league schools have admitted to relating much better with admissions essays that they believe to be truthful.

You don’t just want to write about solid grades and a strong work ethic. These essays go down the pile faster than a lead balloon. Your college essay should portray you as an exciting, innovative, passionate, a deep thinker, and an empathetic person. You want to prove to the admissions team that you are an asset and will add value to campus culture when accepted.

Some of the best college application essay examples don’t even talk about impressive grades or schoolwork. Most of these essays highlight some of the most pivotal moments in the lives of their writers. These are real moments that meant something to the writer, and the reader can relate to them. This is what you need to emulate as well.

Proofread Your Essay

Lastly, and this one goes without saying, ivy league admissions essays are never one-and-one deals. Even the smallest writing piece will require intensive proofreading. Check for grammar and punctuation mistakes you might have missed while typing.

Remember, even just one, simple grammatical or spelling mistake can send your admission essay to the reject pile. Consequently, you cannot just rely on the text processor’s spell check functions. You must also proofread the essay yourself and have someone with grammatical and punctuation prowess investigate it as well.

ivy league admissions essays

When you are done editing, find someone else to read it some more. Remember, even the slightest mistake can cost you an admission slot into your dream ivy league school. However, you want to be careful about who you give your application to proofread. Having too many people offer you advice on how to revise your work may lead to your voice getting lost.

How Can You Get into An Ivy League?

By now, it’s evident that getting accepted into any one of the eight ivy league schools isn’t easy. Some top-tier schools like Harvard have an acceptance rate as low as just 5% in some years. And other elite schools aren’t too far behind. Your admissions essay must, therefore, be more than convincing. You must pour your life into it to even stand a chance of getting accepted.

Here’s what it really takes for students to get into ivy league schools these days:

Work on Your Grades and Test Scores

Anyone that’s looking to get accepted into any one of the ivy league schools must have stellar grades and test scores. The two are perhaps the most important admissions factors that most elite schools look at. Ambitious students always opt for rigorous courses that they can excel in.

Still, grades are a vital factor when it comes to admissions. Test scores are just as important when looking for an open slot into these schools.

Follow Your Passion

Yes, even smart and talented students have lives outside the classroom. It, therefore, doesn’t really matter whether you excel more in athletics, academic clubs, community service, or anything else. Admissions officers always look for students who know what they want and want to go out for it.

Attend A Top-Tier Preparatory High School

Many high schools send most of their students to ivy league schools. As such, schooling in an elite prep school will give you access to several hard classes and access to great admissions counselors. Still, these students compete for admissions against other students who’ve taken the same classes and even added some extracurricular activities on top.

Get Professional Help

Students with sights on elite colleges tend to use admissions consulting firms to have an edge over the competition. The same is also true for students that use reputable online essay help services for their admissions essays. Myhomeworkwriters.com is one such site that has a team of experienced, professional writers ready to start working on your essay.

My Homework Writers has over 100 successful college application essays and examples and a stream of positive customer reviews to accompany it. You can rest assured that your ivy league admissions essays have a higher chance of getting accepted if one of myhomeworkwriters.com’s writers work on it. Trust in the website’s team to deliver the content you need.

ivy league admissions essays

Which Are the Eight Ivy League Schools in America?

Ivy league universities in America started as a group association of highly competitive athletic colleges. These included:

  • Harvard University – Massachusetts
  • Princeton University (New Jersey)
  • Yale University (Connecticut)
  • Columbia University (New York)
  • Dartmouth College (New Hampshire)
  • Brown University (Rhode Island)
  • Cornell University (New York)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania)

As the schools’ athletic teams started attracting more funding and became popular, the performance of their students became more popular. At the same time, their admissions became more demanding and rigorous.

To date, these ivy league schools gained a widespread reputation and renowned for producing high-performing graduates. Most of these schools’ graduates also had promising career futures and social prestige, which made them all the more prestigious.

Joining the eight ivy league schools are M.I.T, Caltech, and Stanford. Technically, these aren’t ivy league schools. But still, they enjoy a similar social status and reputation.


From the excerpt above, it’s no secret that writing ivy league admissions essays isn’t an easy task. There’s a lot more to consider to improve your chances of joining elite schools. Admissions boards and officers check a lot more than your grades and test scores. The points explained above should help improve the chances of your admission essays being accepted. Try, therefore, to incorporate them in your ivy league admissions essays.

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