Secret Backdoors to the Ivy League

architecture door entrance exit

A secret we learned from a college admissions counselor who charges tens of thousands of dollars is that you should always try to apply to the less popular majors, so you have less competition. Everyone wants to go to Wharten for finance, so apply to Penn for art, and you will have a higher chance of getting in. Our Ivy League Moms Club also have reported the following secret backdoors into Penn:

Penn Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS)—Lower admission standards but you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from Penn

Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) combination degree with Penn —If your child is into fine arts, then the PAFA/Upenn joint degree is perfect. PAFA is a top fine arts college and you go there for three years and apply to Penn to complete your Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree at Upenn. Acceptance into Penn is not guaranteed (they have criteria you need to meet), but it is a way in if you want to major in art. What can you do with a BFA? Lots of careers: Curator of a museum, garllerist, architect, designer, animator, etc.

The Columbia School of General Studies—for students who have been out of school for a year or so, who would like to go back to school

Columbia University School of General Studies (GS) is the only college of its kind created to meet the needs of returning and nontraditional students seeking a rigorous, traditional, Ivy League undergraduate degree full or part time. 

When you join us, you’ll become a fully integrated member of the global Columbia undergraduate community and learn from world-renowned faculty. You’ll be guided by dedicated academic advisors experienced in supporting nontraditional students and have access to extensive research-backed support programs.

Columbia School of General Studies website

The Yale University Whitney Program

The Yale Admissions website states:

Students are eligible to apply to the Eli Whitney Students Program if they do not already hold bachelor’s degrees and:

  • they have taken at least a five-year break from their education at some point in their educational careers
  • Or they will have been out of high school for five or more years by the time of their proposed Yale matriculation. 

The Harvard Extension School 

You can get a certificate at Harvard by taking courses, and then stacking the certificate into a degree if you take enough courses. 

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