The Ivy Coach Daily

August 27, 2013

Entrepreneurs and College Admission

If they do it right, entrepreneurs can differentiate themselves from other applicants in highly selective college admissions.

Entrepreneurs can differentiate themselves from the pack in highly selective college admissions. If you’re a high school student who happens to be an entrepreneur, it’s important to share your entrepreneurial story as you apply for college admission. College admissions counselors love the stories of entrepreneurs. Who doesn’t? Everyone — even if they don’t acknowledge this — in some way wishes that they were a successful entrepreneur so if you’ve tried to be an entrepreneur (even if you haven’t yet found any success), share the story in your college admissions essay. Share the story on your activity sheet. Maybe even your teachers and guidance counselor can write about your entrepreneurial efforts in their letters of recommendation on your behalf. Now that would be great. And — don’t forget — you have the opportunity to shape what goes into those letters of recommendation!

If you’re a high school student who sells office supplies or bike accessories or even your own cooking, tell that story on your application. But only do so if this is truly a serious commitment of yours. If your business takes up an hour or so of your week, don’t share this story as college admissions counselors only care about that which is important to you. And if you’re only spending an hour a week on it, it’s clearly not that important to you. No matter what you might write in your college admissions essays.

Maybe you’ve pursued getting venture capital. Maybe your business has gone through rounds of VC investing. Now wouldn’t that be cool! Maybe your business has been written up in the press or maybe even you’ve appeared on ABC’s hit series “Shark Tank.” If Mark Cuban has invested in your business, that’s a pretty amazing thing to write about in your college admissions essays. It’s extremely impressive! Many of our students at Ivy Coach have been entrepreneurs over the years and it’s quite fun when they share their stories about their businesses on their college application. It’s different. It’s refreshing. It’s not another Key Club story. Oy vey.

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