4: Establish yourself as "unique"
One advantage I had when applying was that I was a West Virginian. In my class of 2,000, there were only two of us. My background helped me stand out, and you probably have similar idiosyncrasies; maybe you dabbled in bull-riding for a time, or played bagpipes on the latest Weezer record, or built a to-scale model of Hogwarts in your backyard using only popsicle sticks. Whatever that quality is, play it up in your application. Ivies love to know that you're going to bring something different and special to their community, because, let's be honest, they've probably already got a dozen future Noble laureates.