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“So how do we get into Ivy League schools?”

Setting: FBLA* Conference in Hershey, PA, mid-April
Scene: After my workshop, Finding the College That’s Right for You
Participants: Two high school students and me

Query from students: “So how do we get into Ivy League schools?”
My response: “Well, what does ‘Ivy League schools’ mean to you?  Are you thinking of Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth or one of the other four schools?  While they are all Ivies, and share reputations for academic excellence, they are very different.  Each one has a distinct ‘personality’ and some departments are stronger than others even in these schools. Do you have a clear picture of who you are, and what you are looking for in a college setting; the environments in which you will feel both comfortable and challenged, where you will enjoy the classes and the social life?  Knowing the answering to these questions will help you determine which schools will be the best matches for you.

Honestly,  my answer would be the same for getting in the Ivies, as getting into one of the Big Ten, or the colleges/universities that are at the top of anyone’s list of choices:

Take the most challenging courses  you can while in high school-though doing well in those course is critical. ”

*  Future Business Leaders of America