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What the Class of 2028 Tells Us About Changing College Application Trends

It's been another record-breaking year for My Ivy Education students! With acceptances to all 8 Ivies, Stanford, Caltech, and so many more, we've been helping our seniors navigate delightful yet agonizing choices: commit to Stanford or Harvard? Columbia or Yale? Princeton or Dartmouth? In getting the full picture of our students' incredibly high acceptance rates now that results are back and matriculation is set to begin, we're excited to share our insights. What's stayed the same? What's changed? What are colleges like the Ivy League and Stanford looking for, anyway?

'Well-Rounded' vs. 'Spiky'

It's been common wisdom in the college counseling world for years now that colleges don't want well-rounded students - they want a well-rounded class full of 'spiky' students, i.e. students who specialize in one specific area. However, with our students' acceptances to Harvard, Stanford, Caltech, and other schools like these with admission rates hovering around a shockingly low 3%, we've noticed a trend: purely having one spike is no longer enough. Now, students with two or three spikes in different areas are catching these schools' attention. Great news for students with multiple passions, who may not be 100% certain yet what major or career they want to pursue!

The 'Combined Spike'

However, that still doesn't mean the pendulum has swung 360 degrees back to well-roundedness. Rather, it means the stakes have gotten even higher. These colleges now want to see students who are at the top of their game in more than one academic or extracurricular field, and that means national or international achievement and recognition. Plus, it's essential to showcase how those multiple spikes still combine to create one clear narrative, a phenomenon we're calling the 'combined spike.' How to do that, you may ask? Book a session with our elite consultants - we specialize in helping you discover your passions, then using your essays and applications to weave them together into a coherent theme that top colleges can't resist.

Telling Your Story

This year has proven it's more essential than ever to have essays that catch your admissions reader's attention and won't let them look away. We've been particularly grateful for our team's internationally award-winning creative writing backgrounds and accolades, which help us help you find your voice and run with it. With the average admissions reader spending 60 seconds - if that - on each essay, hooking them and keeping them hooked is nonnegotiable. This year, our students' essay topics ran the gamut from discussing Kafka to Crocs. (Both got into Harvard and a slew of other Ivies and top universities.) We helped our students produce work that pushes the boundaries of what a college application essay looks like, and that produced wildly successful results. Going into the 2024-25 college application season, we can't wait to see what literary masterpieces our brainstorming, drafting, and editing sessions with students will produce. No matter what, we know they'll be stellar.


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