How to Get Accepted Into Your Dream College: 6 Tips from the Experts

24/01/20226 minute read
How to Get Accepted Into Your Dream College: 6 Tips from the Experts

Do you remember the first time someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? You were probably not much older than five or six. Do you remember what you said? What about the first time you were asked where you wanted to go to college? These simple but important questions ignited your young imagination, leaving you dreaming about your future and what it would take to actually live out your dream.

Now it’s time to make tangible steps towards your dream. Are you determined to get into a specific Ivy League university like Harvard or Yale or maybe an elite school like Stanford or UCLA? If you can only imagine yourself at one school, it’s most likely your ultimate dream school. So, how do you get accepted to your dream college? What does it take?

The academic advisors at Crimson Education have years of experience helping students just like you get into their dream colleges, and most of them also graduated from their dream school. Here are six expert tips on how to get accepted into your dream college.

1. Grades and Test Scores Matter…A Lot!

While most colleges and universities take a “holistic” approach to their application process, they also review applications from thousands of qualified students. They’re looking for students with exceptional credentials. That’s why grades, test scores, and the rigor of your high school courses still matter. If you want to get accepted to your dream college, your grades and test scores should fit in that particular school’s “ideal” range. It’s rare (but not impossible) that a student with below-average grades or test scores gets accepted to a top school.

Top universities are looking for students who are high-achieving, intellectually gifted, and can thrive in their rigorous academic environment. Your unique attributes start making a real difference after you’re placed in the smaller pool with other qualified students.

Wondering how you should prepare for the SAT or ACT to hit your target scores? College Confidential has got what you need to conquer all this with ease. 

2. Work for the Greater Good

Colleges accept students who achieve academic success and help others succeed. They want to see you care about your community and have a strong work ethic. Consider volunteering or participating in a long-term community service project instead of a short-term trip or a sporadic day of service. Alternatively, think about starting your own non-profit or service project. Consistent service-oriented work with tangible and positive outcomes shows that you’re not only capable of having initiative, but you’re also a dedicated person willing to look beyond themselves to better the world around them.

3. Celebrate Your Background

Celebrate your background and the challenges you faced to get to where you are today. Your dream college is looking for students who overcame the impossible with grit, perseverance, and optimism. You have a unique story to tell, and admissions counselors want to hear it.

Admissions teams look for first-generation students who overcame considerable obstacles to be the first in their families to attend college. They also look for international students with distinctive cultural backgrounds who will help contribute to their diverse learning community.

Ready to get started? Book a free consultation with one of our expert admission strategists!

4. Connect Early and Show Interest

It’s one thing to tell a college admissions officer that you’re applying to your dream school and another to show them. If possible, connect with the school, read and respond to emails, attend campus events, and go on college tours. After a visit, make sure to tell them how much you loved visiting and how you can contribute to their campus community. College admissions teams want to know their college is your first choice.

5. Apply Early Action/Early Decision

Another way you can connect early is to apply early. If your dream college has an early action or early decision option, consider submitting your application during that period. Here’s everything you need to know about early action vs. early decision vs. regular decision.

If your dream college doesn’t have this option, consider submitting your application earlier than the deadline. You’ll beat the rush and increase the likelihood your application might get a little more attention.

6. Dream Bigger

There’s nothing wrong with having a few “dream schools.” Why not pick two or even three? Every school has strengths and weaknesses, so it’s fair to say that you may like certain parts of multiple universities. Here’s more information on how many colleges you should apply to.

Choose your top three schools and make a list of everything you like about each one. Maybe you like the architecture and campus of one university but the academic programs of another? If you have three “dream” schools, there’s a much higher chance you’ll get into at least one of them.

3 Quick Tips that will Help you Get Accepted into College

  1. Check, Double Check, and Triple Check: Don’t forget to proofread your application. You’ve worked so hard on every piece of the application, and can’t wait to press send. But, don’t let that hard work get overlooked because of spelling and grammatical errors. Have someone you trust look over your application. Print it out and look at it from a different perspective. It’s worth a few extra moments to ensure everything is spelled correctly.
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Did you know that admissions teams check your social media accounts? It’s one more way they can see the “real you.” Before you send in your application, check all your social media accounts and Google your name. Even if you think it’s funny or harmless, consider deleting anything that might hurt your chances of getting into your dream college.
  3. Don’t give up. If you get a rejection letter, you still have options. Some of the brightest students in the world get rejected from their dream college. If you are waitlisted, make sure the university knows you are still interested in their school. Many students get admitted off of the waitlist.

Final Thoughts

Believe it or not, it’s not all about you. Colleges must fulfill particular requirements and goals with each incoming class. Whether it’s increasing diversity, finding students from each state, accepting a certain percentage of international students, or something as simple as bringing in more revenue, you might be rejected even if you’re the perfect fit. While it’s easier said than done, try not to take it too personally and have a few “dream school” backup options!

If you’re interested in learning first-hand how to get accepted into your top college, pre-order “ACCEPTED! Secrets to Gaining Admission to the World’s Top Universities.” This book is a brutally honest, practical guide on how to get accepted into your dream college written by Crimson Education’s CEO, Jamie Beaton.

Jamie received 25 acceptance letters from top universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Cambridge, Wharton (UPenn), and Duke! He uncovers the spoken and unspoken university admissions strategies that help get students into their dream universities.


Pre-orders are now live in the US, and the book drops on February 23, 2022!