Case Studies

Priyanka’s Case

Priyanka was denied early admission to Harvard. After reaching out to Ivy Coach for assistance, she gained admission to Stanford.

SITUATION

Priyanka first approached Ivy Coach in mid-December of her senior year after being denied admission to Harvard. She signed up for a PostMortem application review to determine what went wrong, so she didn’t repeat her mistakes in the Regular Decision round. During the session, as strong of an application as Priyanka and her father believed she submitted to Harvard, it was glaringly apparent to Ivy Coach what went wrong.

CHALLENGES

Not-so-subtle brags filled her essays, which rendered her unlikeable. Acronyms also peppered her essays, which were undigestible to anyone who was not an engineer. We had little idea what she was writing about in most of her activities and essays until we asked her for explanations in layperson’s terms. And when she told us, we were wowed. In rural India, she invented a rapid, home-based salivary test to determine if someone had early stages of oral cancer, a leading cause of death in her nearby villages.

HOW IVY COACH HELPED

After the PostMortem in mid-December, Priyanka enlisted Ivy Coach’s assistance in recrafting her applications before Regular Decision deadlines. We helped her tell stories about her engineering ingenuity that didn’t require a Ph.D. in engineering to comprehend. At Ivy Coach, we firmly believe in Thoreau’s mantra: “Simplify, simplify.” The essays also became less about her achievements — which should be reserved for the activities and honors sections — and more about her work and desire to continue to fight oral cancer in rural India.

COLLEGE RESULTS

Priyanka earned admission to Stanford along with several other elite universities. In fact, that year, Stanford’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid gave special shoutouts to a select few students for their exemplary work — la crème de la crème of applicants, you could say. Priyanka received the first such shoutout, which you can watch at the 10:00 minute mark in Stanford’s virtual admitted students event. It’s certainly not the first time one of Ivy Coach’s students received such a shoutout.

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