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This is Michael from Houston, Texas. He attended Rice University.

Biggest Strength
A strong, established history of philanthropy and other extracurricular activities. 

 

Biggest Weakness
Writing essays for college applications.

Extracurriculars:
Various philanthropic activities and rugby.

Competitiveness of Application
81%

GPA (On a 5.0 Scale): 

0

ACT (Out of 36)

0

The Ivy Scholars Difference

We help the student craft essays that gave a behind-the-scenes look at how someone so young could become so accomplished. We further the student’s extracurricular profiles by becoming involved in academic research that complemented his philanthropic activities.

Pro-Tip

Students with complex accomplishments need to explain how they acquired their skills and perspective in their essays. Also, students should balance out their leadership and service experience with academic achievements to show intellectual vitality.

Challenge

Building Michael into a solid writer who could compose top-tier material for college applications.

Michael was not confident in his writing abilities. He struggled to articulate himself and craft compelling rhetoric and did not feel comfortable brainstorming top-tier essays.

Originally, Michael chose to write his personal statement merely detailing his experiences: like a resume but an essay form. The personal statement is a 650-word essay that goes to every university the student applies to; it is the most important essay and the cornerstone of every successful application. This is a common mistake students make because they’re unfamiliar with the admissions process. Students who make this error are rarely admitted to universities because this type of writing only gives admissions officers insight into their accomplishments, not the mindset and abilities that led to those accomplishments. I had a resume that was teaming with impressive philanthropic work getting all the way back to early childhood and continuing throughout high school, but he was having trouble presenting his extraordinary accomplishments in the format his dream school required.

Strategy

Ivy Scholars empowered Michael to focus and improve his writing ability through skillful mentorship and guidance.

The Ivy Scholars Difference

Michael worked with one of our most experienced mentors to hone his writing skills. Over the course of 3 months, Michael was able to develop his rhetorical ability to confidently and effectively convey his story. More importantly, however, he was able to strategically craft and present a compelling narrative to admissions committees. As a result of working with Ivy Scholars, Michael was able to showcase his development as a young leader and philanthropist, then outline how he’d continue to build his leadership skills at university. This displayed his depth of character and reinforced his biggest strength, his philanthropic work.  

Admissions Outcome

Michael was admitted to Rice University, where he is currently studying business.

5/5
Wendy Y.
Parent
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
5/5
Arda E.
Student
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
5/5
Samson S.
Parent
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!