How to Get Into the Ivy League from a Small School with a 1390

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that's gonna be your finish on the

channel not really this is your first

appearance on my channel did you start

this one with this box yeah oh no no no

you're not you're in the DC vlog yes

now she were in Mira's video yeah hey

guys what's going on it's your boy back

at it again with another minecraft video

and today we're gonna be talking about

the high V leader so today I'm here with

my friend Nash so now could you give the

viewers a little background about

yourself I'm a high school senior and

I've gone to lore jerk through middle

school on high school for seven years

and I are the second and third person

respectively at our school to be

accepted into the Ivy League and I am

going to be attending Cornell in the

fall what made you oh I'm gonna be

majoring in urban and regional studies

in the College of Architecture and

planning alright so some background on

why we're doing this today is because

Nash and I come from a pretty small

school our whole high school has less

than 300 students and our agreed has 64

yeah we are the biggest graduating class

so far and our school is how old are we

15 16 are we 16 minutes where do we

celebrate 10 Rosen that was sixth grade

was the 10 year so so 16 yeah that's


so basically Nash and I are older than

our school yeah and so our school is

very small and we don't really have much

precedent for sending kids to Ivy League

schools as Nash said earlier we are the

second and third to ever get into an Ivy

League school the first one was three

years ago so I've had some dm's from

people asking me about how they can get

into Ivy League schools and I think it

would be good to have a different

perspective from my own because

Nash I think while we have many

similarities we also differ in a lot of

ways yes very

all right now can you talk more about

why you chose to apply to Cornell well

it was kind of arbitrary at first

because it's the only Ivy League school

with a like City Planning program at

undergraduate level and there are that

many schools in America with them I

basically apply to all the American

schools that have that undergraduate and

Cornell was my only reach so I kind of

applied to it on a whim I did not think

I was going to get into Cornell and yeah

and then I just it was arbitrary

initially but now it's my choice

mm-hmm and then you got a likely that

are from them I got a likely letter from

them to be to Friday so I officially

found out before portrait that's true I

also got wait-listed from Cornell so

yeah I took a spot that you know alright

and then can you talk about why you

chose that major uh so growing up I

always had a fascination with geography

so I wrote my college essay about this

um and that's like one way to make

yourself stand out especially if you're

applying from a small school is having

like a quirky college essay so I wrote

mine about cars to do and basically how

it influenced my my interest in

geography growing up and you know it was

originally just like kind of a hobby

like reading maps and stuff like that

but I realized that like the best way to

interact with it and like a practical

like career setting is through City

Planning so that's how I decided like

101 study at undergraduate I feel like a

lot of people were asking about whether

or not you should start clubs in your

comment section oh you want to talk I've

met has he do that yeah I started I

started a school I'm only one club just

kind of like out of interest because I

like I didn't know what I was doing but

I just got like 30 or 40 people together

who said they'd do it and I think it

really helped my application a lot

because if you can say that you started

a club and that you had the leadership

role in that club it kind of it makes it

so you don't have to jump over the

hurdle of like working your way up

through something that might be

established at your school already and

it can really like match your

interesting quality you and it's really

close to what I want to do in terms of a

geography and Social Sciences whereas

the only other clubs we had were things

like theater and sports and stuff like

that and I mean I

that but it wasn't cool the one that I

wanted to do so having like those

applicable extra colors one way you can

do that where you might not have the

opportunities at a small school or even

at a larger school is on creating your

own Club so naturally we want to do how

did you go about starting your own Club

basically so if you're at a school as

small as that or as we know the

administration for pretty well so just

that's the point where I had enough

people who said they would do it

so I know that I would be able to make

it successful so I just basically

emailed the Borah school I just told

them like I want to start a club what do

I have to do and they basically just

told me like if I could find someone to

supervise it then I could do it so I

thought she was willing to supervise

once that was it simple they might have

like some more formal processes like now

there's a Google Form at our school but

I just might be more complicated if

you're at a larger school so it kind of

depends on that you use your

interpersonal skills to build up

interest so you basically have to like

appeal it's like what some a lot so for

a lot of them a negotiation aspect of it

is more than like the actual like

substance stuff like sex so you're able

to bring together a lot of people who

are very interested in it and then you

kind of have to take advantage for your

first couple of meetings to make sure

that they're they're interesting to the

people who are like coming from the

outside and making sure that you're able

to like to keep them interested in the

actual topic because you're gonna have

to get to the substance eventually and

also just making sure that you have a

staff member that's really committed to

it and he's really flexible if you need

supervision like that was a big part for

me because eventually you're gonna have

people who really enjoy it and you're

gonna be able to make it last just kind

of a whether or not you can like get the

the logistics figured out yeah we were

going to try to attend a couple summits

in April like nothing crazy because this

is our second year and it's still pretty

small but we were gonna see if we can

get like a group like ten or twelve

people to attend a summit and like that

was like our ultimate goal and obviously

I didn't work out because of this whole

situation but um but yeah I mean it was

nothing crazy and that's like that's the

thing that you can't expect it to become

the biggest club in the school right off

the bat they just kind of have to work

and finally the core group people who

are interested in it and it's going to

last for a while a lot of people that

became most engaged with it are

sophomores and

freshmen we're gonna we're gonna keep it

going and - this is this is like one of

the juiciest questions I had how would

you say that the fact that we went to

the school that we did how do you think

that has impacted you in terms of your

college applications your education and

your general I think for us because it

was so small and because we had like so

much more ambition than like what was

kind of what we were able to accomplish

with like what was there they made us a

lot more entrepreneurial and like it

gave us like a better sense of

initiative that we would have had if we

had like a larger school or everything

was already there for us cuz I because

you never want us like extra class

outside okay like for extra online

classes - you're basically like you're

you're doing that to yourself like I

only took classes at our school and I'm

like one dual enrollment classes really

easy so I feel like I kind of heard my


work ethic but also like I feel like

that doesn't matter as much as long as

you're like able to advocate for

yourself really well so like what

schools like the like elite like high

schools like Exeter and Andover

you have like not only like a larger

like student body but you also have a

lot of other resources and then since

you have to take like tests to get into

those schools it's a lot more

competitive you know you also have a lot

more resources I was thinking that since

we went to the school that we did we had

to be self-starters in a lot of regards

yeah and so what you were talking about

coming from a small school and being

like complacent what do you think that

would also apply to like more

competitive schools they have all the

resources already there for them so if

they wanted to do like start a club or

go somewhere they'd already have the

resources to be able to do that but for

us especially like when we went to

History Bowl and stuff we had to do a

lot of that work ourselves I think that

you can kind of make like it works both

ways so with that one you you can either

really take advantage of the resources

or you can get complacent with the

defect that you have them because there

are private schools in the u.s. like

private high schools that are better

than like public colleges in terms like

the resources they offer or potentially

even the academic rigor that they have

so you can get too used to that to the

point where you don't appreciate it

anymore but I think that a lot of

students from those private schools

still succeed because they actually do

have that kind of like intrinsic

motivation mm-hmm

that that is able it's like to push them

regardless of like how much they're

given they never get complacent about

what they have it's also like and so

they're still able to make the most of

it even though they have a lot of it

also I think having a place where like I

was able to take advantage of the fact

that it was like it was like kind of a

low threshold for like being a

self-starter and like taking initiative

and being looks like focused on like

what I was interested in helped me a lot

in terms of like building my application

but also just like making sure that I'm

like able to stay passionate about what

I'm passionate about

mm-hmm so it's like being a big fish in

a small pond versus being a small

efficient of it yeah which is a which

has like been scientifically proven to

be better for you mm-hmm so like so you

think the fact that we went to a small

school was good for us that was good for

us yes and that's like another things

you to consider like if you're

considering going to reach school I

probably would not choose Cornell if it

wasn't for the fact that like the

college that I'm going into is like tiny

like there's like 20 25 people in in my

major yeah um so if you're like going

into like I don't know like if you're

going to like engineering it the biggest

public school in the country and that

was like a reach goal for you that might

not be a good idea because if you're not

like up for it being like the little

fish in the big pond could like have a

serious detrimental effect to you it's

like there's there's like a science

slick go into a safety school and then

that actually pays off for you later on

you know making a cause choice is very

important considering those things but

all the programs I was gonna the other

programs I was considering were we're

massive so I'm happy to take the

smallest one interest Avenue most

competitors mm-hmm

so out of all the schools that you got

into you chose Cornell because of the

small class sizes yeah just like the

small size of the program like it's

really it's really personal like I just

got off like a Zune call with the head

of the head of like the entire program

that I'm doing and like you know he's

someone that you just like he just gets

to know it's not it's not really a

question it's yeah so it's super

personal and

and looky so it is it is a much smaller

pod inside of a bigger pond see with

some it's a more complex thing about

Cornell is like you you're in your your

small like your small school if you're

in like if you're in architecture or

host hotel or ILR or something like that

you're in like a really small school but

you're in a big university so it kind of

balances that you out but that's like

specifically a Cornell thing what advice

would you have for people who are trying

to decide between colleges depending on

your financial situation that should be

the first priority but also make sure

that the program is set up well for you

so I was actually considering colleges

in Europe who just do three or four

years like straight like what you apply

to your program and you can't transfer

out of it you can't change your major or

anything like that because like your

curriculum is set up from the point that

you get there and I think that'd be good

for me but Cornell as a liberal arts

standpoint is also good for me in the

sense that I have like choice as to like

what I'm doing outside of my major so I

can get super concentrated in that but

also focus on like things outside of

planning that like apply to it and I can

get very nice and do that because I'm

not like restrained very much like what

I choose for my classes outside of my

major I think that you should talk about

how you manipulated the curriculum high

school what do you mean is I think

that's one interesting way like how you

like you exhaust the math curriculum

faster getting learner school how you

like started taking extra all my classes

and going through that because I think

that for me like I'm very lucky I was

able we're gonna Cornell with the class

sample that I did because class

selection at small schools especially

it's hindered a lot so like being able

to to like make sure that you have like

a rigorous curriculum in high school as

actively make your application stronger

is really morning so at our school

there's kind of like a core curriculum

that most people follow from you I don't

think the level of rigor was nothing

that I couldn't handle so basically what

I did was that I skipped class levels in

a couple of classes like we have an

integrated math curriculum and we also

have an integrated English curriculum do

you go through math one two and three

and then you also go through English 9

10 and 11 but what I did was I skipped

English 10 and went straight to AP

English and then I skipped math 3 and

went to straight to AP calc

and so what that allowed me to do was

that in senior year I didn't have any

classes left to take in the school

related to those subjects so what I was

able to do was like double up on science

classes two years and then also gave me

a lot of room to take dual enrollment

classes if you go to a smaller school

where the curriculum is a lot more

limited than you would have it much

bigger schools something that you could

do is try to create your own kind of

accelerated path because I think that

when colleges see your transcripts and

see that you were always pushing

yourself even past what the traditional

limits for your curriculum work I think

that goes a long way to show that you're

like we talked about that you're a

self-starter and you're able to handle a

really high level of rigor um the one

thing I did outside of like just our

regular core curriculum was I took the

AP Human Geography test which isn't a

class that's offered at really any

school in Massachusetts from what I

could find and basically like I just

still studied for it and took the test

and that's a really good way if you're

like looking for something that your

school doesn't offer you can try to take

the AP test and self-study for

throughout the year and if you just get

like one of the twelve dollar books that

prepares you like basically me in check

let me just need to have like the

application for it yeah and I also so I

did that and then I I mean so I got I

got a five in it for himself studying

that was the only five I got you after

that I basically I found it to be very

easy like I didn't have like a super

rigorous study schedule basically from

that I decided like I had some friends

who I thought would be able to do do

that as well so I decided to tutor them

and I kind of set that up as a project

to kind of enhance my my um my

application basically being like I can

see like tutor an AP level you know at

class cuz I know it's working well so

that's another really good way to show

it off and kind of manifest as much from

that test it's like hood did you talk

about it that in like your activity

section or anywhere yeah yeah I think

about that in my activity section I

wrote a couple of my supplements not my

Cornell supplement but I wrote a couple

of them about how I've been tutoring for

that yeah so that's another thing even

if your school curriculum is limited to

what you want to study there are still

ways for you to show your interest like

Nash where he took

Human Geography even though

was in a class and he scored really well

on the test and then now he's teaching

other students to also take that test

and he's also a teaching assistant for

AP US history yeah even if there aren't

the class so that you want to take

there's still ways for you to push

yourself in certain subjects and show to

colleges that you're really interested

in that which is what they want to see

yeah and that's really how you make your

application stand out is by really

clarifying your interest so like Warrick

he applied to linguistics and he wrote

his essay about how his his experience

over the summer in Korea like changed

him and really turned his interest

towards linguistics and how that how

that really applies to like what do you

want to do so especially if you're

applying it's like a specific program at

a college and not like just brought the

ins in the school being able to display

leave have that passion throughout high


now that's something that you're gonna

be really motivated for when you get so

that college is gonna be super important

it's gonna help you a lot in your

application and like just being able to

build around that and be able to like

manifest as much as I could link so we

have like our two-year program for a

push at our school which is unique and

then I'm also a TA for a push this year

so like I've been a push for three

straight years now so I manifested the

most out of that class you know I took

the AP Human Geography test now my tutor

it I manifested the most out of that

class and I really show that like when

there's an opportunity in social studies

and humanities and stuff like that and

it's physically in geography that if I

have you any opportunity at all I'm

gonna make the most out of it and I

think that really showed through in my

application and that's why I was able to

get into every school I applied to

except for UMass Amherst and like but

that's the thing too with highly ranked

schools is like when you get to that

point like admissions kind of like

becomes almost random and that's why I

like you shouldn't get super concerned

with your grades because they're not

really differentiating between like a

1570 in the 1600 they're differentiating

between like what you showing your

personality extra critters it's like if

you reach the threshold of having like

good enough grades and test scores like

and you know that you're gonna be on

that track like really focused on

building up your extracurriculars an

essay and then once you get there like

even more trickly he had a really good

application and he you know he got

wait-listed at Cornell that he got into

Brown which has a lower acceptance rate

but I think that I think yeah that um

that once you get to that level you just

like that's why I like they talk about

like the like college counselors will

talk about like the pyramid where you

apply to a lot of safety schools a

couple of target schools and like one or

two reach schools but

you can kind of flip that pyramid where

you apply to a lot of reach schools so

that you might have the chance of

getting into a couple of them and then

you actually have a choice there which

is like what a my biggest regrets I wish

I applied that had some more reach

schools because I think that I would

have potentially had a better

opportunity and more choices but I'm so

really glad with Cornell it's just I you

know there would have been a chance I

didn't get in I wouldn't have had the

opportunity to go to such a good school

I also think it's like a mistake that a

lot of people make that they just chased

after numbers like taking the most

advanced classes that you can and trying

to get the highest test scores that they

can and it's like not necessarily at all

like you talked about after you pass a

certain threshold they're assessing you

more on you're like subjective qualities

and that goes into more like you being

able to show your interest which you did

through your classes and your activities

and since you were like super focused on

that particular subject I think that's

what college is like really picked up on

so Nash what do you think is the thing

that got you into Cornell I don't know I

got I think it literally like it is just

the entire application like when people

talk about holistic review like it is

like holistic review so like I think

like every tiny little aspect like help

build it up so they saw like held

well-rounded I was with him that lets

burn area of interest and I think that's

what stood out yeah ultimately I think

it was it was just kind of like how much

I was able to really show like my

passions know like specific area of


well Nash thank you for your time I

really appreciate you coming on having

me alright guys so that's gonna do it

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that's all for today folks so I'll see

you next time bye