The Best Way to Get into An Ivy League School! The Essential Guide
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The Best Way to Get into An Ivy League School! The Essential Guide

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 13 Oct 2022

Having a seat blocked in an Ivy League university almost seems like a fantasy. Who actually receives the much-desired acceptance letter? You're in luck if you've always wanted to attend one of the Ivies but lack the necessary test-taking skills, GPA, number of extracurricular activities, and outstanding essay. Ivy League admissions do not follow a standard procedure. The essential prerequisites, what you must send, and six strategies to make your Ivy League application stand out from the competition are covered in this article.

The Ivy League: What Is It?

Surprisingly, academic excellence had nothing to do with the founding of the Ivy League. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 created the Ivy League in 1954 as a collegiate athletic conference.

The eight Northeastern universities that make up the Ivy League are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.

Today, the Ivy League is the "most diverse intercollegiate conference in the country," hosting more than 8,000 student-athletes each year. The term "Ivy League" now refers to a selective, elite educational institution committed to intellectual success, although in the past it was used to describe collegiate athletic excellence.

How difficult is it to enroll in an Ivy League university?

Ivy League colleges are famously difficult to get into, and things have gotten increasingly harder in recent years. Despite having admittance rates as low as 3.19%, Harvard and Princeton remain at the top of the list. All eight Ivies had some of the lowest acceptance rates ever for the Class of 2026. With the help of our Ivy League consultants, you can determine your chances of acceptance!

Will submitting early increase your chances of being accepted?

The Ivies appear to be much more feasible when comparing the acceptance rate figures between regular decisions and early decisions. Although there is no concrete evidence that applying in the early choice round will significantly boost your chances of getting into an Ivy, expressing an early interest in particular schools will undoubtedly be beneficial.

Applying early is one of the only ways to make Ivy League universities feel exceptional, and they want to feel special. Apply early if you are certain you want to attend an Ivy League school, but remember that early decision applications are legally binding.

The acceptance rate for the 2026 Ivy League class

Ivies

Regular Acceptance Rate

Early Acceptance Rate

Harvard

3.19%

7.9%

Columbia

3.37%

10.31%

Princeton

~4%

~16%

U Penn

4.4%

15.6%

Yale

4.46%

10.9%

Brown

5%

14.6%

Dartmouth

6.2%

20.38%

Cornell

~8%

~20%

 Which Ivy League is the simplest to get into?

While it is controversial which Ivy League is the easiest to get into, the quickest approach to determine this is to compare acceptance rates of Ivy League Schools. With the greatest admission rates for the class of 2026, Cornell and Dartmouth are the simplest Ivy League institutions to get into.

Important Ivy League Application Elements

First, keep in mind that admissions committees seek out applicants who are committed to academic success. Unquestionably, having strong test results and a high GPA can support your application and demonstrate that you can handle the demanding coursework at a prestigious university.

Ivy League colleges want applicants who have demonstrated kindness, passion, and civic engagement. These efforts might range from taking on a leadership position in a school group to regularly watching your neighbor's kids to giving up your free time to topics you are passionate about.

You'll undoubtedly make a fantastic impression in your application if you can show that you're eager to interact and participate in the school's culture through clubs, events, or anything else.

The following are essential elements of your Ivy League application:

  • Grade Requirements for Ivy League Schools
  • Test Scores Required for Admission to Ivy League Schools
  • College application essays
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Letter of Recommendations
  1. Grade Requirements for Ivy League Schools

The majority of applicants to Ivy League schools have outstanding grades, as was previously said. Although it will be more difficult and unlikely, it is still feasible for students with ordinary grades to be accepted.

To be clear, when referring to Ivy Leagues, we mean GPAs that lie in the range of 3.3 and 3.7, which are still considered to be good on most other admissions scales. In the end, a student with a 2.8 GPA might not be able to do anything to gain admission to an Ivy League school (except being the child of a dean). If your grades meet this Ivy League standard for average, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of being admitted:

  • Attend each and every class - It may seem obvious, but maintaining a perfect attendance record lowers your likelihood of missing crucial exams, due dates, and assignments.
  • Become more adept at managing your time - Your grades will surely suffer if you consistently miss deadlines or submit tasks after they are due. Use a calendar, set alarms, or just make a to-do list of everything you need to do. Your life can become less hectic if you can look forward to the coming week and schedule where you need to be and what you need to do.
  • Utilize the tools provided by the school – Although school resources are available for usage, it can be simple to overlook them. Is there a homework help club, a writing workshop, or a library at your school? Utilizing these tools can improve your grades and teach you practical advice for the future.
  • Develop a solid study routine – No one ever gains from cramming. Short study sessions spread out over a long period of time will help you remember the material better than the dreaded cram session. Over time, you should be actively engaging in the material you are learning.
  • Avoid overextending yourself - Spreading yourself too thin won't help you achieve, despite the fact that you're trying your best to pursue your interests and prepare for college. If you participate in several extracurricular activities, consider what you want to do with your free time and what motivates you. Keep in mind that it's acceptable to refuse requests and take breaks; your body and mind will appreciate it!

All things considered, the best approach for you to be viewed as a qualified Ivy League applicant is to have good grades from a demanding course load. Even then, you'll need to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your deserving admission to an Ivy League school.

Ivy League School Average GPA

Ivies

Average GPA

Princeton University

3.9

University of Pennsylvania

3.93

Cornell University

4.04

Dartmouth College

4.06

Brown University

4.08

Harvard University

4.1

Columbia University

4.16

Yale University

4.19

 

  1. Test Scores Required for Admission to Ivy League Schools

What SAT/ACT scores are required for admission to Ivy League universities?

Good SAT or ACT scores show the admissions committee that you are academically capable, similar to how a high GPA does. Examining its class profiles is a great approach to see if your score is in the neighborhood of where you need it to be for your application to an Ivy League institution. The typical test scores of all accepted students are frequently given by schools.

Take into account that the middle 50% of SAT Verbal and Math scores for students attending Ivy League schools fall between 650 and 800 and 680 and 800, respectively. For students accepted to Ivy League schools, the middle 50% range of ACT scores is between 30 and 35. In general, it's in your best interest to do well on either of these exams.

However, they don't matter as much as you may believe. Ivy League applicants score quite well on tests, yet the majority are far from ideal. Only 300–500 SAT test takers achieve a score of 1600.

Ivy League Schools' Median SAT/ACT Scores

University

Avg Composite SAT Score

Avg Composite ACT Score

Cornell University

1480

32-35

Brown University

1485

33-35

University of Pennsylvania

1500

33-35

Dartmouth College

1500

32-35

Columbia University

1505

33-35

Princeton University

1505

33-35

Yale University

1515

33-35

Harvard University

1520

33-35

 

  1. College application essays

The college admissions process depends heavily on college application essays since they help to humanize the applicant. Without them, applications would be two-dimensional lists of activities, test results, and GPAs.

Ivy League admissions committees gain insight into your personality and what makes you interesting through their college essays. It's an opportunity for them to discuss and demonstrate how you developed into experts in your particular extracurricular sectors. In this way, college essays connect the many parts of your application, creating a thorough picture that distinguishes you from other candidates.

You want to showcase your very finest talents in your college essays—those that will make you succeed as an Ivy League student. These include your particular "it factors," which you have cultivated through your extracurricular activities, as well as your intellectual curiosity, passion, creativity, initiative, and leadership.

The quality of your college essay will demonstrate how engaging and memorable you are. The admissions director will get a call from the application reader saying, "We HAVE to consider this student!"

 

  1. Extracurricular Activities

A strong extracurricular program is essential if you want to attend an Ivy League school. Ivy Leagues prohibit participating in numerous extracurricular activities and do not seek applicants with a long list of involvements. They prefer that you spend a lot of time and effort learning a subject thoroughly and that you use this knowledge to help your school prepare you for a job that will change the world.

Let's examine how you can become an expert in the extracurricular activity of your choice in more detail. You should concentrate on identifying your interests early on in high school by trying a few various things until one stands out. Reading books or blogs, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube series, volunteering, trying out school activities, or doing the independent study are a few ways kids can discover possible hobbies. When interest starts to develop into a passion, you are prepared to go further.

Although it's definitely a possibility, becoming exceptional in a given sector doesn't necessitate that you win national championships in your areas of interest. However, because of the intense competition in some extracurricular activities, this tactic becomes unnecessarily risky. You should use unconventional techniques to delve deeper into your interests than to strive to be the greatest in the country.

It's acceptable to draw inspiration from other great kids when coming up with possible activities to engage yourself in. However, parents should support their children in choosing their own path.

  1. Letter of Recommendations

Although you don't have much control over this aspect of your application, it doesn't lessen its importance for your success. Strong recommendation letters give the admissions committee a new perspective on you and a more complete picture of your character, initiative, and academic aptitude.

As part of your application, Ivy League institutions frequently request letters of recommendation from two teachers and one counselor. You should make a sensible choice regarding the person you select to conduct your teacher evaluations even though you might not have many options for your counselor’s referral.

Typically, you'll need two teacher recommendations from two separate subjects, such as Physics, Psychology, Mathematics, History, English, or a foreign language. You should ask teachers who are familiar with you well; consider the people with whom you interact the most outside of the classroom. The more your teacher knows you, the more probable it is that they will write in their letter numerous flattering things about you.

The benefit of stellar recommendations is that they attest to all the admirable qualities and extracurricular pursuits you mentioned in your application. You will have a lot higher chance of being admitted than another applicant who submits unimpressive letters if the admissions committee gets the feeling that you are a pleasure to have in class, hardworking and studious, and take the initiative.

Final Reflections

Ivy League universities are known for their academic prowess and for producing creative minds that have a beneficial impact on the world. You are better able to choose a school that will complement your interests and passions now that you have a general understanding of each Ivy League school.

You may take practical steps to make sure your application is in the best possible shape when it's time to submit it by using the details in this thorough guide concerning GPA, test results, extracurricular activities, and LORs.

Be careful to personalise and organise your essays so that the admissions committee will be enthralled by your story. Go ahead and submit an application to the Ivy League school of your choice if you are confident about yourself and your application!

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