Applying to Ivy League Schools as an Asian Student

[fa icon="calendar"] 1/30/18 4:00 PM / by Natalie Thompson

Everyone knows that getting admitted to an Ivy League school isn’t easy. Unless you have an inside track on Ivy League schools, it may seem that you should get in if you are qualified and have a good application. student.jpeg
 
That assumption doesn’t take into account how many students apply to the top schools and what things admissions counselors are looking for. Though a college admissions counseling service like Empowerly can help you address your specific situation, this blog post will attempt to give some guidance. If you are an Asian student, either living in the US or in Asia (such as China, India, or South Korea), and you want to attend an Ivy League school, here is some need to know information.
 
Ivy League schools are competitive
When you apply to an Ivy League school, you are one of many applicants. Admissions officers are looking for students with a unique profile, academic rigor, and consistent performance. As an Asian applicant you are competing against a large pool of well educated and accomplished Asian students. In addition, many schools want to have ethnic diversity so balance Asian student population at about 20% of the total student population.
 
If there are more Asian students who apply to Ivy League schools than African Americans or Hispanics for example, then your pool has more competition in it. Many college advisors suggest emphasizing your ability to do well in college and de-emphasize the fact that you are Asian.
Grades are important, but not everything
 
Many Asian students do very well in school. Grades and test scores tend to be higher than other segments of the population. But having high grades does not prove you will do well in a competitive academic environment.
 
Strong extracurricular activities, a good application essay, and proof you have taken difficult classes are important in showing you can do well at the college level. You can build the impression you have strength using grade transcripts, test scores, and clear explanations of extracurricular activities that show a well rounded student. Empowerly, a college admissions counseling service, can help you build a strong profile.
 
Meet the requirements
Asian students, like American students, must have a complete college application with proof of grades and test scores including the ACT or SAT. Most schools also require you show English proficiency through taking the TOEFL or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
If you don’t have easy to read transcripts, be sure to provide proof of your overall high school performance. Once you have been accepted to a school, and if you still live in Asia, you will need to obtain a student visa to study in the US. Make sure to meet all the requirements to study in the United States to make your dream a reality.
 
Go above and beyond with your extracurricular activities
Because Asian school systems emphasize study and academic excellence, there is often less time for sports, the arts, or volunteering. But these activities show you are able to do well in school and have well rounded interests.
 
You must develop a hobby or interest by your sophomore or junior year to use for your college application. You can read more about building your extracurricular story here.
 
About the lawsuit hype
In the past year, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against universities citing unfair admissions processes in regards to Asian students. Many of these lawsuits identify race as the reason for denied admission rather than understanding a fuller picture of the university’s process in selecting the best students.
 
Universities may factor in the applicant’s relation to an alumni or ability to donate money rather than race. Don’t feel that you can’t apply based on your ethnicity but understand it is a multi-factor process. Click here for college admissions help!

Topics: International Students

Natalie Thompson

Written by Natalie Thompson

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