A Singular Hook in Admissions

College Rankings, US News Rankings, College Ranking
Ivy Coach is cited in the “Best Colleges” issue of US News & World Report.

If you happened to check out US News & World Report‘s “Best Colleges” issue published this week, you’ll note Ivy Coach was cited in the edition, referencing the importance of a singular hook for applicants to highly selective colleges. Heck, it’s a point we’ve been making for over a quarter of a century but, well, we’re not done just yet getting the word out. So what exactly did we say? We know you’re at the edge of your seats. Ok, maybe not. But we’ll pretend you are for kicks.

America’s Elite Colleges Seek Singularly Talented Students

As Lindsay Cates writes in a piece for US News & World Report entitled “How Colleges Choose Which Students to Admit,” “One way [elite colleges] identify that passion: They look to see if you’ve taken the initiative to get involved in an interest outside of class. An applicant who claims to love math will stand out if he or she not only has earned good grades in tough courses but also found a way to get involved, say, with math research at a local university, notes Brian Taylor, managing director at Ivy Coach, a college admissions consulting firm…In certain cases in the Ivy League or at Division III schools that don’t give athletic scholarships, skill at a sport may be considered in a similar light as, say, the initiative of the kid who pursued math research. ‘It’s their ‘hook,” says Taylor, so long as it’s demonstrated in the right way.”

We couldn’t agree more with this sentiment if we expressed it ourselves. Oh wait. In any case, have a question about the importance of showcasing a singular talent rather than well-roundedness in highly selective college admissions? Have a question about the importance of the annual US News & World Report rankings? If so, post your question below and we’ll be sure to write back. We look forward to hearing from you!


You are permitted to use www.ivycoach.com (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of Ivy Coach, Inc.


Tags: , , , ,


  • Bev says:

    Why do you give US News ranking so much exposure when in fact it is one of many. Last week the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education was released but you give it no visibility. Meanwhile, Ivy Coach is more than generous in its criticism of US News. What gives?

    • Ivy Coach says:

      We wrote a post about the WSJ college ranking. But the US News ranking is the kingpin of the rankings — in parts of our world, it’s considered The Bible. The US News ranking plays an important role in the college admissions process. To not give it exposure would be to not paint the full picture of the college admissions process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *