Is Speaking Multiple Languages an Ivy League Hook?

Question: hi, I would like to know something for Ivy League schools; would I a be considered as a competitive applicant if I could speak (and write…) in 4 languages, would that make me standout?

While “The Dean” certainly envies your ability to speak four languages, these days it won’t make you a stand-out in Ivy admission offices. There are many students who apply to the most sought-after US colleges and universities who came of age across cultures and can transition fluidly from one tongue to the next. There are also countless stay-at-home students who are language buffs and have thus acquired fluency though classes and self-study.

However, admission committees might be quite interested in the specific languages you speak and how you learned them, if they are uncommon ones. If  you grew up in a diplomatic household or, conversely, as an immigrant or refugee or if you have some other atypical story to tell, this could help you to stand out in a crowd.

But, unlike the (very) old days when “The Dean” was in high school, being a polyglot today is commendable and could serve you well throughout your life, but it usually won’t provide an inside track to an elite college.

¡Buena suerte! Buona fortuna! Sterkte!  Held og lykke! Powodzenia!

(posted 11/8/2016)


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