Did you know that 96% of Stanford’s college applications aren’t accepted? Many elite schools have single-digit acceptance rates. Maybe that’s not surprising, but did you know that the national average, according to U.S. News, is only 68% acceptance across all colleges?

In earlier podcast episodes, we’ve discussed how money can buy you things, experiences, and impact. For many of us, college is an experience we want to provide to our children and grandchildren.

So in this week’s episode, host Jared Siegel visits with Anna Ivey.

Anna Ivey heads Ivey Consulting and is the co-founder and CEO of Inline, a digital tool that provides real-time, in-browser help for every part of the online college application process. She is also the co-founder and a board member at Service to School, a non-profit that helps transitioning military veterans get into the best colleges and universities possible. Anna is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and the co-author of How to Prepare a Standout College Application.

This week, she joins Jared Siegel on the podcast to discuss the evolving landscape of college admissions, the resources available, and how to position an application to increase its odds of success.

Tune in here, at delapcpa.com/podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts:

Here are a few highlights from Jared’s conversation with Anna Ivey:

  • Anna shares, “To succeed with your college application, you really need to understand what the admissions officer is looking for. Ultimately that’s the only audience that matters in this process.”
  • There are many great colleges, and with some research, students can find one where they can thrive. “One thing students should consider while trying to find the right college is their preferred learning style,” Anna advises.
  • Jared asks Anna to identify some of the things that positively impact your chances of admission. Your GPA is the first thing, she responds, and then how rigorous your classes are. Co-curricular activities and your community involvement are also assessed.
  • Different schools assign different weights to different academic and nonacademic factors during admissions. You can look this up by Googling “[School Name] common data set.” Pick the most recent academic year’s report, and look at row C7 to see what the school you’re applying to considers very important vs. not important at all.
  • “There have not been any dramatic changes in the admissions process because of the pandemic,” Anna claims. “Your test scores no longer have to be a barrier, if for whatever reason you are unable to show a strong test score, but ultimately they were never more important than your high school performance.” SAT and ACT scores add very little value over and above your high school transcripts.
  • Jared asks Anna to unpack the finances of attendance. Oftentimes the listed or “sticker” price of tuition is not what some students end up paying. Anna describes some of the methods that colleges and universities use to financially aid students.
  • While admissions officers can look at what you post online, they do not have time to audit your social media accounts, so silly Tik Tok videos would not jeopardize your attendance. However, offers can be retracted for serious offenses like discriminatory or abusive online behavior.

Resources

Anna Ivey Consulting Blog