Call The Ivy Dean Today at (845) 826-5310


How to Create a Successful College Strategy: Application Positioning

Too often, students apply to college without a strategy or any thought to what space—position—they will fill at that college. Recently, I published an article, “The Perfect Position to Get into Top Colleges”, as a guide to finding your “position” and college application strategy.

Any selective college must make decisions regarding who to accept and who to deny. They do this by considering what position a student will fill on their campus, such as enrollment in an academic major, spot on a sports team, participation in a club or program, perspective regarding a given background or experience, or possession of a unique interest or talent. These spots (and many others) are broadly referred to as a college’s diversity, as colleges desire well-rounded classes.

To be successful in the process, a student must consider their Application Positioning—their unique talent, skill, interest, or experience that they will contribute to the college. Then, they should develop a strategy around their Positioning that tells a compelling, captivating story throughout their applications.

One’s Positioning is primarily conveyed in their main college essays, through a creative story that both answers the college essay prompt and alludes to important details regarding the student’s academic and personal development.

Identification of one’s Positioning is not easy. It is an art I developed for The Ivy Dean with many years of college admissions experience, including my time at Harvard and Columbia.

However, my recent article lists important questions and steps that can help you self-identify a strong college strategy!


On paper, I am by no means a perfect student. However, thanks to my Application Positioning, I was able to maximize the strengths that I bring to a college to compensate for other factors. Thanks to The Ivy Dean Team, I will be attending Princeton University, my dream school, in the fall.

Douglas R. – Princeton University

Dee provided excellent advice and guidance throughout the application process. Her overall expertise in admissions, professionalism and warmth made the experience a great one. I was thrilled that I was accepted to several of the most selective colleges in the country and will be attending Stanford in the fall.”

Laurel P. – Stanford University
It's my pleasure to inform you that I've been admitted to my first choice college: the University of Southern California. My dream is becoming reality! I am thrilled to get the chance to belong to the USC and to start a new adventure there. It is also thanks to your great help that I've been accepted, I'm very grateful! Thank you so much for everything.
Sonia G. – From Switzerland
Our son and daughter wanted to go to colleges in the same city but they had different interests and different strengths. She matched them each with their ideal college, one Columbia University and the other NYU, and worked to get them admitted. We couldn't have been more pleased.
Niki and Roger S.
I was a serious student but also wanted a university where I could continue competitive cycling. There weren't many schools that met my needs and fit my personality. From her experience, she was able to hone right in on what became my first choice school. I graduated last year and the entire college experience was awesome.
Colin J.
My parents and I didn't know how helpful it could be to have someone who understood things from the inside working with us. Ms. Blackman was able to identify just what would make me the most attractive candidate to colleges.
Bob M. – Harvard University