53 minutes | Oct 13th 2020

How to get into the best colleges in America, with Shirag Shemmassian

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#52: The competition for admissions to the most elite colleges in America (think Ivy League, US News top 10) is fiercer than ever.That’s because top colleges provide the best academic opportunities. Resources. Career opportunities. Pathways to elite grad schools. Student and alumni communities (where you’ll forge lifelong connections, friendships, potentially even meet your spouse). Not to mention, you’ll have a powerful brand associated with you for life.How can students and parents without special connections distinguish themselves amidst a sea of qualified applicants?This week, I chat again with my friend Shirag Shemmassian, a college admissions expert who has coached thousands of students to successful admission at elite colleges, about the mindsets and accomplishments you really need to win admission to the most elite colleges.We discuss:Biggest myths and misconceptions when it comes to getting into elite collegesWhat elite college admissions committees are looking for, and how to differentiate yourselfWhat level/degree of accomplishment you need to get inWhat students (and parents) can do well ahead of the application year to distinguish themselves, and how far in advance to do itHow lower / middle income / rural / etc students with access to fewer opportunities can still differentiate themselves compellinglyWhy your “message” and the way you deliver it is just as important as your actual accomplishmentsThe mindset students should have when writing their college essaysHow to pick an essay topic and write it compellingly (even if you’re not a great writer)Who should write your recommendation letters, and how to build genuine relationships with recommenders that blossom into great lettersThe qualities that make a stand-out recommendation letterCheck it out here:https://hackyourwealth.com/college-admissionsDid you attend (or send your kid to) an elite college? What do you think principally contributed to your / their admissions success? What would you have done differently if you could do it over? Let me know by leaving a comment when you’re done.NOTE: Apologies in advance we had some audio problems in the second half of the interview, so some parts may sound choppy. However, all key points should still be clear. I’ve also cleaned up the transcript (at the link above) to fill in missing words / phrases, so check that out if you’re struggling to understand any key points.Don't miss an episode, hit that subscribe button...If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes!Apple PodcastsI need your help, please leave a listener review :)If you liked this episode, would you please leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts? It’d mean the world to me and your review also helps others find my podcast, too!Links mentioned in this episode:Shirag's guide to getting into top collegesShirag's successful college essay examplesShirag's tips on writing the common app essayHow to attend any college for free, with Shirag Shemmassian, PhD (HYW039)HYW private Facebook communityIntro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.
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