At IvyZen we mentor students from good to great by helping them excel in one big area rather than being spread out and well-balanced. We also know that excelling in one area is more productive and opens the door to greater opportunities than being a jack-of-all-trades.

All too often high school students hope they will shine if they can show they are good at everything. Being well-rounded is great – but this approach can also take our bright young stars away from concentrating on the gifts, skills and passion that makes them truly stand out.

During our 14 years in business, we have helped more than 75% of our students gain admission to their first choice college and over 80% of our students gain admission to the Top 20 schools. Don’t take it from us – get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Read our success stories below.

 How to Create a Creative Writing Theme for Your College Application: A Columbia Success Story

How to Create a Creative Writing Theme for Your College Application: A Columbia Success Story

post ikmage for single
* indicates required
The Story   Charles came to us a gifted student who was doing well at school. Starting his 10th grade at an academically rigorous boarding school, Charles was a good student with a 3.7 GPA (unweighted) and working towards strong SAT scores. Activity-wise he was... read more
How to Create a Political Activism Theme: A Columbia, UPenn, Brown, UChicago Success Story

How to Create a Political Activism Theme: A Columbia, UPenn, Brown, UChicago Success Story

post ikmage for single
* indicates required
post ikmage for single
* indicates required
Brian is a student that is hard not to love. He’s very well spoken, confident, and knowledgeable about many political issues.When he told me that he was both Model United Nations and student council president at his school, I wasn’t surprised; he had a polish to him... read more
How to Create a Number Theory Theme: A Caltech Success Story

How to Create a Number Theory Theme: A Caltech Success Story

post ikmage for single
* indicates required
I met Matthew through a referral from a previous student’s mother, and from the first time I met him, I knew that he was a math guy. In my initial consultation with him, I noticed how each of his answers were calculated and rational, and judging by his appearance, he... read more
How to Create a Computational Biology Theme: A Stanford, Caltech Success Story

How to Create a Computational Biology Theme: A Stanford, Caltech Success Story

post ikmage for single
* indicates required
The Story Richard was a biology super star at his school. He was the top student in the Biology Olympiad since the 9th grade at his school and recently qualified as a USABO finalist. He had attended a Catholic boarding school on the East Coast since the 6th grade and... read more
How to Create a Research Leader Theme: A Stanford Success Story

How to Create a Research Leader Theme: A Stanford Success Story

post ikmage for single
* indicates required
I reluctantly took the meeting with David’s mom. While many consultants try to take 20-30 students a year, I focus on taking 8-9 of the very best students I can find. Students whom I can help and that will work hard towards goals we both develop. I was already at my... read more
Why being Well-Balanced is a Negative Approach: A University of Pennsylvania Success Story

Why being Well-Balanced is a Negative Approach: A University of Pennsylvania Success Story

post ikmage for single
* indicates required
Theme vs. Well-Balanced Many consultants, high school teachers, counselors and parents think that because happiness in life requires a well-balanced approach, so success in college admissions does as well. Not so. This philosophy has been around for a long time but... read more