The exceptional story of Ivy League colleges
- Brown University
- Columbia University
- Cornell University
- Dartmouth University
- Harvard University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Princeton University
- Yale University
Today, the Ivy League is less synonymous with sports than its academic rigor, professional achievement and exclusivity.
Nearly 30,000 exceptionally qualified students applied for 2,131 places in the Harvard University undergraduate class of 2013. That’s an acceptance rate of 7.32 percent. At Princeton University, 21,964 applicants fought for 2,181 spots. In total, the eight colleges in the so-called Ivy League collected more than 200,000 applications from the nation’s (and the world’s) top-performing high school students — and only sent acceptance letters to 11.9 percent of them [source:Hernandez College Consulting]
While all of the Ivy League schools insist that their admissions processes are about more than grade point averages, SAT scores and class rank, you won’t get your foot in the door without some impressive numbers.
If you want a quick assessment of how your numbers stack up with other applicants, try the Academic Index Calculator on the College Confidential website. The Academic Index (AI) is a ranking from one to nine that’s used by Ivy League schools to determine the academic eligibility of athletes. It uses a standard formula that combines SAT I and SAT II scores with class rank and GPA to arrive at a single number. Applicants with an AI of eight or nine get into the Ivies at a much higher rate [source: College Confidential]
If your AI tops out at a five or six, don’t give up hope. While numbers are important, the Ivy League admissions process evaluates your potential from every possible angle. Keep reading to learn about Ivy League admissions beyond the numbers
Finally, is an Ivy League school right for you? If so, which one? That’s a question only you will be able to answer. Factors to consider are the differences among Ivy League members (some are located in large cities, and some in small towns; some have religious affiliations, and some do not). A more important factor is what you want to get out of your college education. Although Ivy League schools generally deserve their good reputations, some of their programs are stronger than others. If you’re interested in engineering, for example, you probably want to look beyond the eight universities listed below. Only a few Ivy League schools have top-rated engineering programs – and (like any school of engineering) they are stronger in some areas of engineering education than others.
A degree from an Ivy League school will always draw attention to your resume, and you’ll have entry to a valuable alumni network. You’ll also receive instruction and mentoring that can help position you for competitive graduate programs and prestigious awards like the Rhodes Scholarships. The Rhodes Scholarship application is available each year in early July. The annual application deadline is 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Standard Time on the first Wednesday of October according to their official website.
But Ivy League educations come at a price – both in the tuition you might pay, and in anxiety over the schools’ highly competitive admissions. If an Ivy League university is the right choice for you, you’ll be happy to endure the application process. But even in that case, you will probably be more comfortable with having made that decision if you first go through the process of considering other options as well.