Reddit recently hosted an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, that featured former Cornell admissions officer Nelson Ureña answering questions about the admissions process at the Ivy League school.
Ureña, now a cofounder of college-mentor application company Mentorverse, provided unique advice for how to make your application stand out and win acceptance to an Ivy.
Here’s the inside scoop Ureña provided (emphasis added):
Most of all, what connects most with admissions officers is demonstrated passion in one or two areas. Whether those things are academic, intellectual or social you need to be able to convey passion through your involvement in these activities.
The advice that I often give students is “don’t just follow your passions, turn them into assets.” What I mean by this is you should look for ways to create tangible evidence of your passion in specific activities. Awards, projects, narratives, photos, portfolios, letters of recommendations, transcripts etc. are examples of tangible assets which you could add value to your application.
To give an example I remember reading an application from a student applying to the Meteorology program at Cornell. This student had built a weather station in his house and was reporting the weather to a local news channel. This student very brilliantly turned his passion into an asset.
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