A Complete Guide to Get into Ivy League Schools


Have you always wished to join an Ivy League school but lacked sufficient grades? Well, guess what? You don’t have to be the ideal applicant. Most high school students have no idea how to get into the renowned Ivy League. Most people believe that great test scores, excellent grades, dozens of extracurriculars, and a stand-out essay are required to receive the coveted acceptance letter. Fortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for Ivy League admissions, so you have some flexibility and a variety of options for making your application stand out.


What are Ivy League Schools?

What are Ivy League Schools?

The eight Ivy League schools are considered the most elite colleges in the United States.  Let’s see the below mentioned list of Ivy League Colleges:

Seven of the eight schools existed prior to George Washington’s presidency, though the term “Ivy League” was not coined until 1954 when the NCAA athletic conference for Division I was formed.

Ivy League schools are considered “the most sought-after institutions of higher learning in the country and around the world” because of their academics, social prestige, and ultra-selective admissions process.



What is the Best Ivy League School?

Because all eight Ivy League schools are world-class institutions, ranking them is a difficult task. Most university ranking publishers use various factors to rank universities. The averaged rankings of all eight schools across the US News Best National Universities, US News Best Colleges, and QS World rankings for 2022 were used to identify the best Ivy League are given in the below-mentioned table.

These rankings differ depending on the program or subject. Rather than simply choosing the greatest Ivy League, you should figure out which Ivy League is perfect for you.


Ivies Crimson Ranking US News National US News Global QS World Ranking
Harvard 1 2 1 3
Princeton 2 1 16 12
Columbia 3 2 6 19
Yale 4 5 12 17
Penn 5 8 13 16
Cornell 6 17 22 18
Brown 7 14 119 60
Dartmouth 8 13 247 203


Which is the Easiest Ivy League to get into?

What is the Easiest Ivy League to get into?

While it’s debatable which Ivy League is the easiest to get into, comparing Ivy League acceptance rates is the most straightforward approach to determine this. Cornell, Dartmouth, and U Penn are the easiest Ivy League schools to get into, according to the table below, with the greatest acceptance rates for the class of 2025.

Ivies Class of 2025 Acceptance Rate Class of 2026 Acceptance Rate
Cornell ~8.52% ~8%
Dartmouth 6.17% 6.2%
Penn 5.68% 4.4%
Brown 5.40% 5%
Yale 4.62% 4.46%
Columbia 3.66% 3.73%
Princeton 3.98% ~4%
Harvard 3.43% 3.19%

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Will Applying Early Boost Your Chances?

Will Applying Early Boost Your Chances of Getting into an Ivy League School?

In the below-mentioned table, let’s compare the early decision/early action (ED/EA) acceptance rates with the regular acceptance rate in the table above.

While looking at the acceptance rates for regular and early applications, these universities appear to be significantly more attainable. While there is no proof that applying early will greatly boost your chances of getting into an Ivy (statistics are frequently skewed due to recruited athletes), expressing interest in specific universities early on will undoubtedly benefit you.

The Ivy League universities want to feel special and applying early is one of the only ways to make them feel special. They may lose interest in you if you will make them wait for too long.

Apply early if you are confident you want to attend an Ivy League, but keep in mind that early decision applications are binding.

Ivies ED Acceptance Rate ’24 ED Acceptance Rate ’25
Cornell ED 22.6% Not released
Dartmouth ED 26.4% 21.25%
Penn ED 19.7% 15%
Brown ED 17.5% 15.97%
Yale SCEA 13.8% 10.54%
Columbia ED 15.05% 10.10%
Princeton SCEA ~15.8% N/A
Harvard SCEA 13.9% 7.41%

6 Ways to Make Your Application stand out for the Ivy League School

6 Ways to Make Your Application stand out for the Ivy League School

The major 6 components of the application of your Ivy League school are the Academic Performance, Test Scores, Letter of Recommendation, Your essay and Extracurricular.

1. Academic Performance

Grades are Still Important

Ivy League schools want you to take AP courses and achieve high grades. It’s almost a requirement for applying. Unless you’ve had a life-altering illness or experience, Ivy League colleges want you to have perfect marks.

Choose your Coursework Carefully

It’s still important to choose courses that will challenge you academically and personally when you take a comprehensive approach to your application. However, keep in mind that if math and science are your strengths, you may not be an excellent English student. It’s preferable to take AP, Honors, or IB courses that highlight and clarify your interests rather than struggling through a subject that reduces your GPA and doesn’t contribute to your overall goal. While grades are important, they do not provide a whole picture of who you are. Don’t get too caught up on grades that you forget about the rest of the things.


2. Test Scores

The SAT scores and the ACT scores matter but not as much as you think. Students who get accepted to Ivy League colleges have excellent exam scores, but they are far from perfect. Only 300-500 students get 1600 on the SAT. Many colleges are also becoming test-optional, which means you can opt out of submitting test results. While avoiding the tests may seem appealing, keep in mind that this implies the remainder of your application must be exceptional.


3. Letter of Recommendation

The letter of recommendation helps build your holistic application by allowing people in your life give their professional and personal opinions about your academic performance, motivation and character. Establish good relationships with teachers, important employees, and leaders of your extracurricular activities if you want to earn positive and convincing references. Create a convincing application by obtaining strong letters of recommendation from third parties and writing an outstanding essay about your particular extracurricular passion.


4. Personal Essay

A well-written essay, more than any other portion of an Ivy League college application, may convey an applicant’s authenticity. Students can explain personal motives, reveal more about their passions, demonstrate leadership abilities, and create trust by writing a personal essay. An Ivy League university uses a personal essay to decide if you’re a suitable fit for their campus community. They want to know that you’re not only concerned about your own objectives, but also capable of advancing the university’s mission.


5. Extracurricular Activities

Strong extracurricular activities are critical if you want to get into Ivy League. Applicants who have participated in dozens of extracurriculars are not what Ivy Leagues are looking for. They discourage getting too involved in many activities and prefer you to dig deeper into a subject, dedicate the right amount of time to it, and ideally use this experience to propel you into a world-changing experience.
It’s fine if your extracurricular activities change later. Demonstrate to them that you’re capable of large things now because what you accomplish now is a solid predictor of what you’ll do later in the future.


6. Networking

The importance of knowing the “right” people should never be underestimated. Ivy Leagues are known for their networking prowess. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you know any students, professors, graduates, or anybody else connected to your dream Ivy League school. They can provide valuable information and resources to assist you in gaining admission to an Ivy League school.


What are the Qualities that Ivy League schools look for in an Applicant?

What are the Qualities that Ivy League schools look for in an Application?

While excellent qualifications aren’t always a bad thing, it’s worth noting that Ivy League universities aren’t seeking ideal students or even people who appear to be great on paper. They’re also not seeking students who are well-rounded. The application pile is brimming with kids who take part in everything but shine in none of them.

While excellent qualifications aren’t always a bad thing, it’s worth noting that Ivy League universities aren’t seeking ideal students or even people who appear to be great on paper. They’re also not seeking students who are well-rounded. The application pile is brimming with kids who take part in everything but shine in none of them.


What are they looking for if not Perfection?

Ivy League schools are looking for individuals who stand out from the crowd and are specialists in their areas of interest. They’re on the lookout for students who have turned their great dreams into even bigger ones. Ivy League colleges seek world-changers who use the resources that are available to them to make a positive impact on society.

World-changers are the ones who make things happen. They are clear about what they want and go after it. They also understand that success does not come easily. Growth is desired by Ivy League schools, even if it means failing before succeeding.

Ivy League schools are also on the lookout for world-changers who can make a great impact on their community. They’re seeking humble leaders who will bring the school honour and respect, as well as individuals who are eager to share their knowledge to assist other students in achieving their goals.


What does it take to Become a World-Changer?

This is the most fun (and straightforward) part of the puzzle. Discovering what you love, learning everything you can about it, and giving it your all is the first step toward becoming a good world-changer.

This doesn’t mean dabbling in a hobby. It essentially takes a hobby, talent, or expertise to the next level and puts it to good use in the world. If you think you have to choose a certain path because it’s what an Ivy League wants to see, you’ve completely missed the point, and your chances of acceptance are drastically reduced.

It’s a lot easier to pursue something you’re already passionate about. Your passion will shine through in your Ivy League application if you’re doing what you’re meant to do.


Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet?

What excites you? What motivates you to continue to wonder, explore, and learn? Begin there. Then take a big breath and dive in. Spending time on your passion is not a need once you’ve discovered it. You’re not doing it to please someone else, to please your parents, to earn a good grade, or to get into the perfect college. You’re doing it for yourself, and you enjoy it. Ivy League schools aren’t searching for students who are involved in a slew of extracurricular activities or have a slew of honors. They’re searching for students that show initiative, commitment, and genuine enthusiasm for their chosen extracurricular activity.


Passions can Change

Don’t be concerned if you decide to explore different interests later on. Ivy Leagues are aware that you are still figuring things out. They want to see that you chose a course, put in the effort, faced and overcame challenges, and ultimately succeeded. They’ll know you’re capable of making a difference in the world if you can show diligence and endurance even when things get tough, no matter what you pick in the end.
Choose something you adore and go all out for it! Your enthusiasm and determination will shine through in your application. If you’re still unclear where to begin, Crimson offers a database of extracurricular opportunities offered by students and mentors all across the world.


With Your Ivy League Application, Take a Holistic Approach

To get into an Ivy League institution, you need more than a profound interest for an extracurricular activity. Thousands of student applicants with flawless SAT scores, excellent GPAs, and multiple AP courses are reviewed by selection committees. You must distinguish yourself from the crowd. Take a holistic approach to your Ivy League application and show them you’re not one-dimensional by stressing your skills throughout. Complement your current and prospective professional aspirations with your grades, test scores, letters of recommendation, and essay.

When you approach your college application holistically, you demonstrate that you are a relatable person who is driven, has faced and overcome problems, and is ready to leave a positive mark on the world.


Don’t Try to Fit into Their Mould

While the Ivy Leagues all have identical entrance requirements, they have different cultures and learning approaches. Many applicants are rejected from Ivy League schools because they try to fit into the university’s mould rather than selecting one that matches their values and ambitions. Do your homework.

Which college excites your interest? Is there a program or lesson that will stretch you and help you grow? What is the campus like? Do you prefer a college in a big metropolis or one in a suburb? Your passion for your dream school (or schools) will shine through if you communicate your answers throughout your application.


GMAT Score for MBA Program in an Ivy League School

Although Ivy League Programs rarely establish minimum test scores, you may expect a high bar. The six ivy league schools that offer a full-time MBA program have an average GMAT score of 696-730.

Want to know how much prepared you are for your GMAT exam?

Find the right Ivy League School for You

Find the right Ivy League School for You

1. Brown University

Brown University is a significant research and educational institution noted for its student-centered approach to education. Students who succeed at Brown have a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and a desire to make a difference in the world. Brown is the country’s only major research university where undergraduates can design their own path of study. Their admissions procedure is comprehensive and contextualised. Self-directed applicants thrive in this atmosphere since they can use Brown’s Open Curriculum to explore a wide range of courses before deciding on an academic emphasis.
To be a competitive applicant, you should spend your high school years both inside and outside the classroom challenging yourself. Applicants that are selected must have a track record of being self-motivated. If you can show that you’re already in charge of your intellectual and creative development, you’ll stand out.


2. Columbia University

At Columbia University, undergraduates begin with a common foundation of coursework that includes literature, philosophy, physics, art, history, and music, as well as capstone courses. Because each session has only 22 students, so students have plenty of opportunities to connect with professors. Engineering and computer science are prominent STEM programs at Columbia. Because Columbia is located near Manhattan, New York, many of the university’s students are interested about politics and participate in political events all around the city. Columbia Institution, known as “the quintessential great urban university,” is also one of the most diverse Ivy League schools, with students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries.

Columbia takes a holistic approach to admissions. They take the time to get to know applicants and choose individuals who they believe will benefit from Columbia’s community and make a significant contribution. Columbia University provides considerable financial help to qualified students.


3. Cornell University

The purpose of Cornell is to discover, conserve, and disseminate knowledge. They accomplish this through producing one-of-a-kind and innovative work that extends beyond the university and into the wider world. Cornell could be the school for you if you’re interested in improving the lives of individuals around you and around the world. They promote public service and outreach in the New York area and abroad. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, supercomputing, and genomics are among Cornell’s world-class interdisciplinary research centers.

Cost cannot be a barrier to success at Cornell as they provide students with a variety of financial help choices. Their admissions procedure is much personalised. This implies they assess the individual as a whole. The student body is made up of a broad group of talented, open-minded, and compassionate people. To see if you’re a good fit for Cornell, research the university’s culture and philosophy.


4. Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is one of the United States’ oldest and most prestigious universities. Dartmouth’s teacher-scholars are experts in their disciplines and passionate about passing on their knowledge. Even first-year students are taught by senior academics. Professors at Dartmouth are among the well-respected educators in the United States. Their quarter approach is ideal for students who want to take advantage of all of the university’s educational opportunities.

Dartmouth believes that applicants should highlight all aspects of their application. If you have a unique skill or passion, make sure to include it in your application.


5. Harvard University

Harvard provides specialised education for both individuals with a passion and those who are still seeking their path, with access to world-renowned research opportunities, thought-provoking courses, and faculty mentors. The House System at Harvard College connects learning and living and provides as a foundation for the undergraduate experience. Each House contains a dining hall, common rooms, and academic, recreational, and cultural amenities for 350-500 persons.

Students who are passionate about learning new things, asking tough questions, and pursuing their hobbies fit in well with Harvard’s community.


6. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is steeped in American history and is located near the heart of Philadelphia. Students are encouraged to participate in activities outside of the classroom, such as discovering the city’s cultural, social, and political life. Award-winning professors lead classes and encourage students to follow their passions, solve issues, and make a difference in the world.

The University of Pennsylvania is interested in learning everything there is to know about you. They want to know about your abilities, problems, and passions, as well as how you aim to make a difference in the world. When you provide them a whole picture, it lets them decide if Penn is a place where you can actively participate and flourish.


7. Princeton University

Princeton is a university that focuses solely on undergraduate education. They have a generous financial aid program that ensures that all accepted students, regardless of financial need, can attend and graduate debt-free. Princeton University looks for bright people from a diverse range of cultural, racial, and economic backgrounds. Princeton encourages students to collaborate and expects them to conduct original, creative research. The university believes that life experiences are just as important as education. They encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities, live lives of service, and pursue personal interests, hobbies, and friendships outside of the classroom.

Princeton is concerned with more than just your grades and test scores. They’re interested to hear your story and learning more about you. Tell them how you plan to use your Princeton opportunities to give back to your community and how Princeton will assist you in changing the world. Remember to write in a style that expresses your personality.


8. Yale University

Yale is a research university and Liberal Arts College that selects students who they believe will maximise their resources and make important contributions to the Yale community. They are looking for pupils that are willing and able to push themselves to new heights.

Pursue your passions and tell them about that. Be true to yourself. Ask recommendations from the teachers who are the most familiar with you. Apply and relax!


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Frequently Asked Questions


Ques.1 Are athletic scholarships available at Ivy League schools?

No, athletic scholarships are not available at Ivy League schools. They do, however, provide considerable financial aid packages. Athletic scholarships are available at several top colleges and universities.

Ques.2 Is Stanford a part of the Ivy League?

Stanford University is not a member of the Ivy League. Because of its selectivity and renown, it is frequently mistaken for an Ivy League school. Stanford, nicknamed the “Harvard of the West,” attracts some of the world’s brightest and most talented students.

Ques.3 Which Ivy League school is the easiest to get into?

Cornell University is the most accessible of the Ivies. It has a 14.1% acceptance rate for 2020. For the same year, this percentage is more than double the 4.5% acceptance rate of Harvard University, the most difficult Ivy League school to get into.

Ques.4 Why is it called the Ivy League?

It is named after a group of long-established universities in the eastern USA with a high academic and social prestige. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia are among them.

Ques.5 How do I get into an Ivy League college?

  • Tips to get into an Ivy League School:
  • Make sure you get decent marks and test results
  • Apply early to avoid being late
  • Create an outstanding personal statement
  • Extracurricular Activities Should Show True Depth
  • Make a well-planned high school curriculum
  • Perform brilliantly in your interview

Ques.6 What GPA do you need for Ivy League?

Average GPA required to get into an Ivy League is 3.71 on a 4.0 scale

Ques.7 What’s the hardest Ivy League to get into?

Harvard is the hardest Ivy League to get into.

Ques.8 What is the easiest Ivy League school to get into?

Cornell University has the highest acceptance rate of all the Ivy League schools, making it the easiest to get into.

Ques.9  What time does Ivy League release decisions?

Ivy Day is when all Ivy League schools release their regular admissions decisions online, generally in late March. Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale are among the eight Ivies that regularly reveal their decisions at the same time. This time fluctuates from year to year, although it usually falls between 5 and 7 p.m. ET.


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