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help getting into ivy league schools


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I have attempted talking to the counselor appointed to me at school several times. But trying to explain to her that I started college a year ago with maybe a solid 5th grade education and have come this far so fast and want more then associates, doesn't seem to compute with her. I do understand why she feels my goals are unrealistic and I have no desire to pour my heart out to her and try to explain why I am 28 with these types of aspirations. But I will give a brief summary that withholds the gory details so maybe you can understand my position.


For starters, all fields of science have always been my true passion and interest. I have always been able to figure out how things work given the time to explore it, be it mechanic or organic. Existence alone for as long as I can remember has always fascinated me. When I was 16 I struggled tremendously with high school for various reasons. Of course in hindsight I can clearly say I had no business being in high school with the little to no educational foundation I had. Eventually I was convinced that I would never be able to do the math required, or even create a stable enough lifestyle for myself to study the sciences beyond a hobby. It truly felt as though the very purpose of my existence was out of reach. Needles to say I dropped out of school and wound up getting into some trouble.


After getting my GED I attempted to go to community college a few times over the years. But was just incapable of consistency. I was also to proud/ashamed of my educational level to ask for help when I needed it. Anyway, I eventually learned after years and years of immense struggle. That I have sever ADHD and finally broke down and started taking medication to help get some balance. Since then I have spent the past few years trying to make up for lost time. Year one was spent trying to educate myself enough to just make it in college while setting up a life that would enable me to be successful. I am now attending community college working on an associates in science and have a 4.0 so far. The work /learning aspect of it has always been easy for me. But the first few semesters I admittedly struggled terribly with communicating/expressing the knowledge I had learned. Apparently it is not uncommon to have these difficulties with ADHD.


I am 28 now and aside from class work I do my own studying using open course material. Mainly math sprinkled with other topics I would say I feel less confident with. Or just topics I have an interest expanding in to the best of my current ability. I am still weaker in math then I would care to admit. But I work on it continuously and have learned almost more in the past year on my own then most do in a lifetime(But I still have some work to do in this area). I have literally dedicated my life to this goal. I have lost all my friends or lost interest in them. All I care about is being with people who share the same passion and enthusiasm as I do about dissecting and learning about everything.


What I am looking for is advice/guidance to getting into the top tier schools, if possible with a scholarship. Also a short list of topics I should study/know before applying to them. Or even information/topics that would make my time in these schools a little easier. I know the odds are currently against me. But the why I look at is weren't they against me well I raced to the egg and every day since.

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The Ivy Leauge schools I have had experience with will not generally accept applications for mature age students. There are a couple of non-traditional entry schemes for older students, however:


Yale - http://admissions.yale.edu/eli-whitney

Brown - http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Dean_of_the_College/advising/rue.php


And there's degrees through the Harvard Extension School: http://www.extension.harvard.edu/

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  • 2 months later...

I recall reading of a 30-something woman who got into the University of Chicago, but I believe that was related to either medicine or law... Furthermore, Uni. of Chi. will crush people, and I've read that it is well-known for its grade deflation.


Age becomes more of an issue once an individual reaches his or her mid-30s, as institutions will become very discriminate. Although I do not think an individual who is 28 years old can enter into an Ivy League education, I believe such an individual can network into an Ivy League research group. With such networking, the individual can eventually network and gain enough socio-economic status to become part of the Ivy League network, which is a fair experience with employment. And this does happen to people who work with the right people and network with the right people, despite the research maybe not being so desirable, it gives the individual a foot in the door to further network and join other groups with time, and it shows that an individual is capable of an Ivy League work ethic. An education at an Ivy League is not so fabulous as becoming part of a lab at an ivy League or doctoral student, whereby grants for research are more available.


As such, I would suggest to the original poster that he or she focus as well as he or she can on grades, networking, and being serious about his or her passions without contempt for asking for guidance, advice, and further knowledge to reach his or her goals.


I was big on the idea of Ivy Leagues as an undergraduate at a community college. However, what I had come to learn is that you need to work your way up. In other words, when you put out applications for a university, find a university that is high-ranked and will accept you. From there, go to a higher-ranked graduate school (hopefully, it has your research interests).


It's about moving up the ladder. At first it's slow, but then it picks up.


There was this one educational statistics database somewhere on the University of Chicago website that told what your future prospects were as a community college student at a particular age, if I remember correctly. It may be around in my old posts... I can't find it... but...


If I understand your situation, you're more likely to stop at a master's degree because of who you are, and then find employment. Otherwise, hard work and ambition goes a long way.

Edited by Genecks
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CharonY's question is typical, but I think the reply I have replied fits the norm for people who are interested in Ivy. If it's prestige you want, then Ivy is what you'll be seeking. Again, I think there have been arguments on this website that people say prestige schools are more likely to get grants for research; but that is a post-bachelors things.


Also, it would appear that the Uni. of Chicago educational thing is either gone, misplaced, not easily found, or integrated into some new organization.


I did find this, however: http://nces.ed.gov/

Edited by Genecks
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