HI, THERE! I’M ELIZABETH DANKOSKI,
Founder of The Dream School Project.
Tell me something. When you think about your college years, what do you envision?
Maybe something like this?
Mind-blowing classes with phenomenal professors. Hands-on experience, maybe even cutting-edge research opportunities, even as a freshman. Opportunities to travel around the world to places you’ve glimpsed at in National Geographic. Late night, game-changing conversations with your roommates.
Yeah, college is going to be an amazing experience.
The tricky part? Getting IN. Am I right?
All the late nights you stay up trying to get straight A’s. All those Saturday mornings you have to waste (seriously!) trying to get perfect SAT or ACT scores. All the busy activities you enroll in, hoping the colleges will deign to be impressed.
Man, it’s exhausting, isn’t it? And stressful!
Want to know something? You can break those old “perfection” rules.
You can and you should.
I’ve been working with amazing students just like you for the last 15 years, helping them get into incredible schools like Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Yale, Caltech, Dartmouth, and many, many others.
And you know what I’ve found?
You radically boost your chances of acceptance when you kick that old “perfection” formula to the wayside and instead focus on what YOU love.
Listen, you are FAR more than a bunch of numbers.
If you want to get into your top choice school, you need to show the world who you really are: a unique individual with your own astounding fusion of talents and interests and dreams that only YOU will ever bring to this world.
The world has plenty of honor role students. It has plenty of kids who can score a 2400 on the SAT. It has plenty of varsity sports athletes and student council presidents and science team captains.
WHAT THE WORLD DESPERATELY NEEDS IS YOUR VISION, YOUR EXPERTISE & YOUR PASSION.
No matter which college you’re dreaming of, your only job is to abandon the old, worn out path of trying to dazzle with grades and test scores — and instead, to cultivate your own unique brilliance.
This is your mission: to find out what you love. To discover what makes your brain light up with so many ideas you can’t write them down fast enough. To notice what makes you leap from your chair with fiery intensity and shout your joy to the world.
Charge yourself to get off the beaten path and into the wilds of your own creative spark so you can discover the place where, in Frederick Buechner’s words,
YOUR DEEP GLADNESS AND THE WORLD’S
DEEP HUNGER MEET
I promise you this: if you develop a mastery in a unique arena that makes you light up a like a firefly and sparks a radiance in others around you, you will radically improve your chances of getting into your dream school.
If you set out to create your own exhilarating path, you will create a blueprint for life. Because you’ll come to understand that it’s not where you go to school that ultimately matters. It’s what you create from within yourself.
You’ll still approach your studies with a deep sense of respect and a bottomless curiosity. You’ll still put in your best effort. (And you’ll still have to spend way too many Saturday mornings filling in bubbles.)
But the difference is that you’re going to approach your studies knowing you are CHOOSING your path, not following blindly what everyone else is doing.
SO, ARE YOU READY TO LEAP
INTO THE WILDS OF YOUR OWN CREATIVE SPARK?
Want to know where all this fiery energy and passion for my students has come from?
For the past 15 years, I’ve worked as a private college consultant, helping students get into incredible schools: Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Yale, Caltech, Dartmouth, and many, many others.
But along the way, I started witnessing incredible amounts of stress in my students during the admissions process. Even worse, many of these straight A, top SAT score, busy students were getting waitlisted at their top choice schools.
It took me some time to figure out that they were following an outdated formula, the one that told them they had to have perfect grades and test scores and a ton of extracurriculars. But after many, many hours of reading, I finally figured out what was missing: to ditch the perfection in favor of passion. And when I started helping students focus on exactly that, the acceptance letters came flying in even faster.
Today, my mission is to create a sea change in the way we prepare students for college. I created The Dream School Project as an antidote to all of the anxiety and stress around the admissions process. And I am always plotting and planning how I can provide even more support to high achieving students, for they are the leaders of the next generation. You can find my articles in the Huffington Post, where I provide a voice of inspiration and sanity amidst all the hype and fear of the admissions process.
Thank you for all your help, especially in writing college essays. I went from having no idea what to write about to becoming more passionate in my essays. You helped breathe life into my writing and I’m sure that it was my college essay that helped to distinguish me from the other applicants. You knew exactly what colleges want to look at and helped me find a topic I didn’t even know I can be passionate about. Thank you so much for not only being a great teacher but also a great friend.”
— Rosy, accepted to Amherst College
First and foremost, I was accepted by Harvard! Thank you so much for all of your help with that sensitive waitlist letter. Your openness, enthusiasm, and optimism was absolutely what I needed at a time with such limited chances. Apparently it all paid off and I will be attending Harvard University after taking a gap year!
— Larry, accepted to Harvard University
“I’d just like to say thanks again for tutoring me in the SATs and editing my college essays. More importantly, I witnessed the trademarks of a great teacher, one who not only teaches but also befriends. You were someone who not only corrected but also explained, deepening my understanding on the subject at hand. Thanks to you, I will be attending Duke next fall.”
— Kevin, accepted to Duke University