ivy league essay prompts

Even though the official start to winter isn’t here just yet, it sure feels like it! Snow is falling, and the countdown to the end of the year has begun. That means that regular decision college application deadlines are just around the corner for high school seniors, and college freshmen will soon be returning home for winter break. Last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation spoke to both high school seniors who are working on the applications for some Ivy League colleges, and also explored the transfer process for those returning college freshmen who may be reconsidering their college choice.

Transfer Applications: A Student’s Perspective

In the first segment, guest host Ian Fisher welcomed Bentley College sophomore (and College Coach alum) Brooke Camarda, who shared her own experiences, having recently gone through the transfer application process. Brooke reflected back to this time last year, when she was dealing with the difficult transition to Bentley College. She talked about how she struggled being away from home, adjusting to her new college community, and attending a college that felt quite different than her expectations. She and Ian discussed how the end of the first semester can be a time when students question their college choice, and some, like Brooke, will start to think about transferring. Brooke and Ian talked about all aspects of the transfer process, how staying active and involved at one’s current school can not only help students in the application process, but also, as was the case with Brooke, may also help students to make that final decision—whether to stay or go. Ultimately, Brooke decided to stay at Bentley, but it was the transfer process itself that helped her to become a more engaged student, and the research, involvement, and reflection she did for her transfer applications strengthened her choice to stay and thrive at Bentley. This is a very enlightening segment for any student who may be thinking about the possibility of transferring colleges.

Yale, Dartmouth, and Princeton Essay Advice

For the rest of the show, Ian and College Coach expert, Emily Toffelmire, dived into a robust exploration of the essays for the three Ivy League applications not covered in the last episodeDartmouth, Yale, and Princeton. Ian and Emily provided some excellent advice and guidance on most of the short essays and questions on each of these three applications, helping students with questions about both style and content, discussed when it is appropriate to repurpose essays from other schools, and also provided some strong insight on how to make an impact with the very short (50 word/300 character) questions found on both the Yale and Princeton supplements.  For students who are working on these in-depth applications, this episode is a must-listen!

And make sure to come back next week, for another insightful episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, when Beth Heaton and her guests tackle listener questions on both college admissions and finance.


Written by Julia Jones
Julia Jones is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions consultants. Julia previously worked as a senior admissions officer at Brandeis University and was the director of admissions at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School. Visit our website to learn more about Julia Jones.