A Is for Admission: The Insider’s Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges

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  • An important and insightful debunking of the hoaxes that haunt the application process to Harvard, Princeton and other highbrow campuses
  • Best purchased — and re-read — by ambitious parents as early as possible, ideally well before their children start their freshman year
  • A must-read for any and all students with uniqueness or star academic quality, regardless of their socioeconomic background or high school’s rank

Hailed as the Holy Grail of higher education, the Ivy League both entrances and intimidates ambitious students and their equally (if not more) zealous parents and families in the hopes of being admitted into their hallowed auspices. But what exactly describes the process of entering Harvard or Princeton or Yale, besides “you need a high GPA” and “load up on AP classes and exams”?

A is for Admission describes in detail exactly what conspires in Ivies’ admissions offices, and author Dr. Michele Hernandez doesn’t sugarcoat how tough it is to make the grade. But she also writes for, and sympathizes with, the “many bright students from modest backgrounds [who] eliminate themselves prematurely from a selection process in which they definitely have a chance.”

Hernandez clarifies that, above all, Ivy League campuses yearn for students of myriad achievement levels and backgrounds but unified by a certain distinctiveness: they bring a unique gift or inner drive to the application pile that is unmissable in any of their materials. Hernandez walks readers through both developing this special drive and reflecting it in extracurriculars, the personal statement, and other key application components.

This said, reading A is for Admission will make little difference if perused only a few months before applying to Cornell or Columbia. A terrific read, Hernandez’s title must be absorbedĀ in a timely fashion for the best value. This time is as early as possible — even as young as the sixth or seventh grade.