ivy league admissions

What Do Ivy League Colleges Look For? An Interview with Elizabeth Heaton

Brad Baldridge recently interviewed College Coach expert Elizabeth Heaton for his podcast Taming the High Cost of College.

Beth and Brad spoke in depth about what it takes to be admitted to highly selective schools like those in the Ivy League, covering everything from admissions officers’ qualitative to quantitative expectations. As a former admission officer at the University of Pennsylvania, Beth shared her insider perspective, clarifying what really sets a student apart in these ultra-competitive pools. In particular, Beth introduced the strengths “pleasantly lopsided” students bring to their applications through a “distinguishing excellence.” As Beth stated, the goal of a highly selective admissions office “is to put together the most interesting and diverse class that they can…Diversity extends to geography, socio-economic level, interests, experiences, and activities. That’s where what you’re doing outside of the classroom really comes into play.”

If you’re interested in learning more from Beth about applying to highly selective schools, listen to the entire podcast. And don’t forget to subscribe to our own podcast Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, for more insight from Beth and all of our guest hosts!


Written by Abigail Anderson
Abigail Anderson is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Abigail received her bachelor’s in sociology from Colby College. Prior to joining College Coach, Abigail worked as a senior admissions officer at Reed College and Emma Willard School. Visit our website to learn more about Abigail Anderson.