The article below discusses an elite and rigorous Korean preparatory school that sends many of its graduates to Ivy League universities here in the United States. This story is far from unusual: many elite colleges and graduate schools have an international population topping 30% of their total class size.
With increased global competition for these already-coveted spots at Ivy League schools, what can American students do to stand out? Test scores and grades are clearly important, but are not the answer in and of themselves. As the article notes, the South Korean students are not merely academic “robots” – they have a wide array of interests outside of the classroom.
LifeBound’s Director of Business Strategy, Kelly Carson, is currently completing her MBA summer internship at our offices while enrolled at Harvard Business School. She describes the admission process this way:
“You definitely need to do your best to get great test scores and have an impressive academic record. Unfortunately, as many schools note, these metrics are what can keep you out, rather than what will guarantee you a spot. Once you’ve surpassed a basic level, it’s your job to distinguish yourself from the rest.”
“Use your admissions essays to tell a compelling story about yourself – who you are, what you’re passionate about, and why, specifically, this school is the one for you. If you can tell a story that demonstrates a clear history of leaderhsip and makes the admissions panel connect with you and want to know more about you, you’re head and shoulders above many other applicants.”
As Kelly notes, you need to be in touch with what you are passionate about to tell a compelling story on your admissions essay. As our Gifts and Talents for Teenagers text emphasizes, being in touch with your strengths, weaknesses and passions can make you a compelling candidate – no matter what school you may apply to.
Korean School Preps Students For Ivy League
All Things Considered, July 2, 2009 · With admissions getting more competitive every year, spots at top American colleges are becoming a globally coveted commodity. In Seoul, one elite South Korean prep school has become the envy of many upper-crust U.S. prep schools with its success at getting its students into Ivy League colleges.
The Korean school’s formula is simple: Select the country’s brightest and most ambitious students and work them extremely hard.