How to Get Into & Pay for College


Can I get into an Ivy League school with a 3.8 GPA?

QUESTION: What do you think my chances are of getting into an Ivy League school? I am 3.85 GPA kid who has done lots of community service and extracurriculars and taken lots of AP classes. Also, how long does my personal statement have to be? Signed, Triohno

Dear Triohno: The length of your personal statement should be determined by the guidelines in each application. It is usually between 500 to 1000 words. You need to stay roughly within the guidelines but going over or under the word count by 50 words or so is not a problem. Don't submit a ten page essay when the college only asks for two pages.

Would it really make a difference to you if we said your chances were 20%, 30% or 40% to get into an Ivy League? You should know that there is no such thing as a 100% chance of acceptance. We believe that as long as you have a chance of getting in you owe it to yourself to craft the strongest application you can and give it a shot.

Once you are a senior there is not much you can do about your GPA. What we stress both in our books and on this site is that you need to focus on everything else that will tip the scales in your favor. These include the essay, your teacher recommendations, how you present your extra-curricular activities and the interview. Focus on what you can improve and learn all the strategies you can and you will raise your chances of getting into an Ivy or any college.


Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.

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