Author Archives: Neil Assur

Getting Into All Eight Ivy League Schools!

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This time of year, most students would be thrilled to gain acceptance into their top-choice schools.  Kwasi Enin, from Long Island, as many may have heard, gained acceptance into every single school he applied, including all eight Ivy League schools!  This extraordinary feat is even more impressive in light of the steep decline in acceptance rates among these institutions in recent years.

Some would call Mr. Enin very lucky, and it would certainly be imprudent to discount the role of good-fortune in the college admissions process.  However, it would be equally unwise to dismiss this feat as pure luck.  In fact, if we were to consider college admissions as a random process, the chances of admission into every Ivy League School would be just 0.00000026%!

Clearly, Mr. Enin had an application that stood out to college admissions officers everywhere.  What exactly made him so coveted by the nation’s most prestigious schools?  Let’s take a look.

1)      Academics:

Colleges and Universities want to know that they will be admitting the “best and brightest,” who stand a good chance of succeeding in an academically rigorous environment.  Accordingly, admissions counselors always look first and foremost at grades in school.  Mr. Enin worked hard throughout high-school, and maintained a strong GPA, ranking 11th in his class of 647.  In addition, school look for students who strive to challenge themselves in school (to the extent possible). Mr. Enin will have completed 11 A.P. classes by the time he graduates!

2)     SAT Score:

An SAT score is, for better or worse, a crucial part of the college admissions process.  A good score can validate your grades and confirm to admissions officers that you have the “intellectual horsepower” to succeed in an academic environment.  Luckily, the SAT can be “beaten” with strong preparation and a good understanding of the test (something Reach-Higher specializes in!).  Mr. Enin was fortunate enough to receive a 2250/2400 on his SAT.

3)     Extracurricular Activities:

Many schools like well-rounded individuals who will not only contribute academically, but also socially and ethically as well.  Therefore, admissions officers look for a breadth of activities and interests.  Leadership is also an important component. Not surprisingly, Mr. Enin happens to be a musician who sings in the school’s a capella group and volunteers at Stony Brook University Hospital’s radiology department.

4)     The Application:

Many view the application as a formality; it is not!  In fact, some would call this the most important part.  The application essay has to be insightful, interesting, and representative of the candidate.  Many times, it is the only “direct” contact an admissions officer has with the student, meaning it’s the only chance they have to get to know their prospective students.  Having a great story, vision, and set of goals is crucial.  See Mr. Enin’s essay here.

Getting into the college of your dreams can be a tedious process, and rarely will it work out as spectacularly as it did with Mr. Enin.  However, with the right preparation, guidance, and effort, it is possible to put yourself in a position to achieve success.

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Getting Started with your Resume…it can sometimes be the toughest part!

The resume is absolutely crucial to the success of any job seeker, especially given the competitive state of today’s economy. For most candidates, the resume is the only thing that most recruiting directors and hiring managers will see that represents them; the qualifications and potential fit of these candidates all boil down to a piece, or perhaps a few pieces, of paper. As a job seeker, if you are to “stand out,” and have any shot of advancing your candidacy, you will need a compelling, well-constructed, and professionally crafted resume.

Reach-Higher has the skills to show you how.

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Getting Started

Sometimes the hardest part of any initiative is getting started, especially if its something as important as a resume. Many times this is due to a lack of structure or guidance. Most individuals that are new to the job market aren’t sure where to begin, and most potential job seekers with an outdated resume never know what to keep on the resume and what needs to go.

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What does “Reach-Higher” symbolize to me?

Inside my former dorm, at the University of Pennsylvania, is emblazoned a powerful proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a young freshman college student witnessing this grand tribute to the value of community for the first time, I was more puzzled than awed. College, at times, can be a blur, and taking time to ponder the role of community in defining character can be difficult. It wasn’t until my graduation day, as I made a final return to the dorm, that it struck me just how influential this mantra had been in defining my college experience.

Situated in the heart of West-Philadelphia, my collegiate experience was marked by service as much as it was marked by academia. Throughout my four years I tutored and mentored young elementary and high school students. My Fridays were remembered not for the parties I attended, but for the memorable opportunities I had to volunteer at Lea Elementary School. During my final year of college, I opened an SAT tutoring branch in my hometown of Stamford, CT, and tutored several students for free. Almost unwittingly, the philosophy of community and character reinforcing each other had manifested itself in my college experience.

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