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Growing Ivy
The Pensiero Press 2021
Number of Pages: 98

Growing Ivy

The value of exceptional higher education can be powerful, tangible and transformational. With the admission stakes set so high at elite schools, some overzealous parents went as far as committing criminal acts to secure their kids a spot in prestigious institutions. In Growing Ivy, John M. Morganelli Jr., former Director of Admissions at Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences helps bright high school students and their families navigate the admissions process for roughly 80 highly selective colleges and universities. Morganelli does that by providing meaningful insight into the difference between students who are qualified to attend Ivy League or Ivy-like universities and those who are actually admitted. He also predicts seismic changes in the way colleges operate and the prices they charge post-pandemic, and suggests ways to reform the U.S. educational system. Morganelli is one of the only independent admissions consultants in the United States who has been an undergraduate Ivy League Admissions Director. His decade of experience reviewing tens of thousands of college-admissions applications at some of the nation’s most selective institutions makes him uniquely qualified to help families crack the code on elite college admissions. When promising young minds aim for the stars on higher education, he explains that they reap lifelong dividends.


John M. Morganelli Jr. has held several key positions in the college-admissions field prior to becoming the only independent admissions consultant in the United States who has served as an undergraduate Ivy League Admissions Director. He was Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions for the College of Arts & Sciences at Cornell University, which is one of only eight Ivy League schools across the nation; Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Lehigh University, one of the top national research universities; and served in Assistant Director, Senior Assistant and Associate Director roles at Moravian College, America’s sixth-oldest institution. Morganelli earned a Bachelor of Arts at Villanova University and Master of Education at Lehigh University. Under his leadership at Cornell, the College of Arts & Sciences achieved its most statistically successful enrollment cycle ever for two consecutive years. While at Lehigh, he helped the school achieve both a lower admittance rate and higher SAT scores, a rare accomplishment in higher education.