This is Adam from Houston, Texas. He attended Princeton University.

Biggest Strength
Exceptional extracurricular achievement in dance, strong standardized test scores, and a perfect GPA.

Biggest Weakness
Attended an online high school.


Competitiveness of Application

GPA (On a 4.0 Scale): 


SAT (Out of 1600):


The Ivy Scholars Difference

Creating essays and an applicant profile that showcased Adam’s dedication to exploring intellectual topics he was curious about.


Proving academic readiness for top-tier universities. 

Adam was a highly accomplished ballet student who attended a full-time, intensive dance program. Due to the incredible time requirement of this commitment, he was forced to attend an online high school in the evenings. 

Although Adam had impressive grades – his GPA was 4.0, and he got a 1500/1600 on the SAT – and strong test scores, admissions committees are often skeptical of grades from online high schools. Adam also lacked time to create a comprehensive set of extracurricular activities that would help him stand out as an intellectual and scholar. Although Adam’s transcript proved his capacity for hard work and discipline, his online high school wasn’t very challenging, so his 4.0 GPA didn’t demonstrate intellectual vitality. Intellectual vitality is the term used to describe learning for the love of learning. Intellectual vitality is sought after by many top tier institutions, especially Stanford.


Emphasize intellectual vitality and prove academic ability. 

The Ivy Scholars Difference

Ivy Scholars worked with Adam to craft an application that highlighted not only his dancing achievements but also his penchant for independent learning. In addition to showcasing the intellectual aspects of his dance and choreography work, we worked with Adam to focus on the psychology and philosophy reading he did in his spare time and the college lectures he watched online to sate his curiosity. 

We helped Adam present his best self in three ways: in his personal statement, in his supplemental essays, and in his activities list. 

In his personal statement, we showcased how Adam’s dance experience prepared him to become a student at America’s top universities. Specifically, Adam’s experience as an elite dancer required him to live in dorms and work with a diverse group of peers. This helped admissions officers understand that he would learn from and teach his peers in college – exactly the kind of intellectual vitality that university admissions officers want to promote in their university’s dormitories. 

In his supplementals, we focused on Adam’s diverse intellectual interests, such as philosophy and psychology. These interests led him to explore various subjects on his own for fun. Putting interest into action is a hallmark of a high intellectual vitality rating – one of several ranking criteria – at top universities. Finally, in his activities list, we solidified his discipline and dedication to dance in the context of his independent study. 

Working with Ivy Scholars, Adam was able to overcome the challenges associated with his online high school and prove his readiness for a top-tier university. As a result, Adam was admitted to his first choice school – Princeton – in addition to Stanford, Harvard, and USC.

Admissions Outcome

Admissions outcome: Adam was accepted to his top choice – Princeton. Additionally, he was accepted to Harvard, Stanford, and USC.