Application advice from a member of an Ivy League admission committee

Application Advice from a Member of an Ivy League Admission Committee

Elisabeth O’Connell, Senior Associate Director of the admission office at the University of Pennsylvania, held an information session at Lauriston Girls School on the evening of September 11, 2019, and gave applicants a lot of pertinent advice from the perspective of the admission committee. Here are five most important takeaways Elite Admission Consulting summarized.


1. Applicants are advised to be themselves

Elisabeth O’Connell has repeatedly stressed the desire to see the applicant’s real situation. She hoped that applicants can show their true interests, growth experiences, enthusiasm and their stories in their application materials. It is absolutely not advisable to blindly follow the success stories to prepare your own materials and develop yourself from the expectations of others.


2. Applicants are advised to make good use of school resources

Elisabeth O’Connell has repeatedly expressed her trust in the materials provided by schools and she very much hopes that applicants will be able to make full use of the resources of the school to learn and to conduct extracurricular activities. The prestigious schools rely to a large extent on the school’s recommendation letter to evaluate applications.


3. Why you do is more important than what you do

To stand out in the competition, applicants put on an increasing number of activities on their applications. Therefore, the admission officers are not that easily to be impressed by the abundance of activities. Instead, they are more willing to find and see the motives embodied in the application materials. The admission committee also wants to see the growth of students in each activity.


4. Students are not advised to blindly trust the information on the Internet, nor should they advise students to hand over their applications to an admissions consultant

Admission consulting is now a huge market. The information on the Internet is very mixed and confusing. Elisabeth O’Connell said that she regretted seeing many applicants start blindly and applying random information on themselves. Some students and parents hand over their entire applications to consultants, but the application materials are often very made-up. Admission officers are very experience. Once such an application is found, a rejection decision will definitely be made.


5. Prepare as soon as possible

Elisabeth O’Connell and the consultant from Education USA made it clear that applying for US universities in Australia is not an easy task due to huge differences in two academic environments and application processes. It is hence recommended that high school students begin to conceive and consider whether they really want to apply to American universities as soon as possible and prepare for this.


Summary of Elite Admission Consulting

Elisabeth O’Connell’s views are highly consistent with many principles of Elite Admission Consulting. Our services start from applicants themselves; first discover, then develop, and finally present applicants’ individual characteristics. We do not sell a variety of activities for students to participate in, but develop according to the interests of each student. Throughout the long-term preparation process, we emphasize the development of applicants’ abilities. We have repeatedly stressed that being admitted to these prestigious schools is only the first step, and owning the ability to survive and excel is a more important.