Entrepreneurship can be a great way to set yourself apart in the highly selective college admissions process. If done the right way. If you ran a lemonade stand as an eight year-old, it’s probably best that you leave that off your activity sheet to Ivy League colleges. If you ran a paper route from ages seven to eleven, probably best that you leave that off, too. But if you have started a real, bonafide business, well, then that’s something!
But we’re not talking about a template website where it’s clearly up on the Internet in the hope it’ll impress admissions officers at highly selective colleges. We’re talking about a real business — one that actually has the potential to make money. Now that would be quite impressive for a high schooler to have done…assuming this high schooler has put a number of hours into the business and the business isn’t really an attempted front to get into a top college. Because admissions officers can see right through that!
You know what else they can see right through? When a college applicant has a business that resembles his or her parent’s business just a wee bit too closely. We see that all of the time! Do you really think you’d be able to pull that off? If a student’s father sells computers and suddenly the kid has a passion for selling computers, it’s kind of obvious that’s the parent’s website and business — not the kid’s. This isn’t rocket science!
If you love entrepreneurship, start a business. But don’t fake it. Do it for real. Invest your time, your brainpower, and your energy and you might come away with something genuinely impressive!
And, while you’re here, we always love to highlight the entrepreneurial success stories of Ivy Leaguers.