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How to Get Into an Ivy League School | A Step By Step Guide

Are you a prospective student who wants to study in one of the ivy league schools but you don’t know the admission tips of the ivies? Here are the steps on how to get into an Ivy League school.

While a student’s college experience and education are ultimately what they make of it, an Ivy League education will open many opportunities.

It has been pointed out before, “Ivy League” has become associated with overall excellence and social prestige. See Why the Ivy League May Be Overrated.

Admissions to these schools are highly competitive and applicants are expected to catch the attention of admission committees. In other words, a perfect GPA and SAT score alone would not cut it.

The Ivies are concentrated in the Northeastern region of the US, mostly New England. Almost all of them predate the United States Constitution and were founded during the colonial period.

These eight (8) schools include Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, and University of Pennsylvania.

These schools have been integral to the United State’s status as one of the economic, cultural, and political powerhouses of the world. United States presidents and Nobel Prize winners have studied within their halls.

Here Are The Things It Takes to Get Accepted Into the Ivy League

1. Ensure to have good grades and test scores.

If your goal is to enter an Ivy League school, you will need outstanding grades and test scores. According to The National Association for College Admission Counseling, these are the two most important factors for a student trying to get into a highly-selective university. It’s also necessary for them to take extensive courses they can do well in.

Course rigor is important. It gives schools an idea that students are willing to challenge themselves, and if they are succeeding despite those challenges.

Additionally, students who lack scores based on Ivy League standards will not be accepted unless they have another achievement/s that makes them shine.

In order to avoid the “no pile” throughout the Ivies, you will need to reach certain test scores and GPAs. See Black Ivy League.

Just having a high GPA or impressive scores in the SAT, ACT, and other kinds of standardized tests is not enough to get you into an Ivy League institution.

In fact, there are highly-intelligent students with a high SAT scores who still did not get into their dream university.

You need to show that you are not only smart but also special-this helps get those college admissions committee to notice your potential.

2. Endeavor to apply to the schools early.

By applying this way, you significantly increase your chances of getting into one of the Ivy League elite universities.

Take note, however, that you can only apply early decision for one university so choose wisely. Make sure that you only apply in advance if you’re sure about the university you want.

Once you are accepted under early decision (ED), you will have to withdraw from all the other schools you’ve applied to.

You also need to be fully committed to attending that university. Early action (EA) is another option for students-unlike ED, this method of application is not binding. For the class of 2021, Business Insider found that the early action/decision overall acceptance rate went as high as 27.8%.

3. A Unique Personal Statement.

Personal statements play an important role in your journey to the Ivies. You’re likely applying to the Ivy League through the Common Application, so you need a winning statement to set yourself apart from the hundreds of thousands of ambitious and bright individuals.

Your essay is very important-personal statements that are riddled with grammatical errors or that focus on a cliché subject will not land you in the acceptance pile.

Realize that your essay does not have to be about something that’s extraordinary. There’s no need for groundbreaking stories to gain effective focus on your written work.

Simply choose one topic that’s important to you and make sure you create an essay that is both self-reflective and thoughtful.

4. Show True Depth in Your Extracurricular Activities

Hundreds of things could count as extracurricular activities but the reality is, any of them can make your college application stand out if you have shown true passion and depth in that activity.

It’s worth noting that any kind of activity-when approached with enough energy and commitment can become something that’s truly awe-inspiring.

Think of extracurricular activities with regard to depth instead of breadth. For example, imagine a student who joins a school play one year, tries joining the yearbook the next year, becomes part of the tennis club in this third year, and then spends his senior year as part of Academic All-Stars.

Instead of looking like an outstanding student with so many skills, he is going to seem like a dabbler who does not have a solid area of expertise or a clear passion.

While the student has experience in good activities, they do not make for a winning combination if he’s trying to get into an Ivy League college.

On the other hand, consider an applicant who is a member of the school’s symphonic band. Throughout her four years in high school, she has played in the pep band, concert band, and marching band.

This student gives the impression that she loves playing her musical instrument. As a result, college admissions officers are going to think that she can share that level of passion and interest with the campus community.

5. Create a well-thought-out high school curriculum.

Your high school transcript is the most important piece of your Ivy League application. Students generally need to take the most challenging classes available in order to convince the admissions folks that they are geared to take on a wide range of college courses.

Let’s say you have to choose between A) business statistics and B) AP Calculus. Go for option B. If Calculus AB is better than Calculus BC, then go with the more impressive one.

If you are not sure if you should take a foreign language for your senior year, do it-assuming you feel you are capable of succeeding in these courses.

It’s also wise to have a realistic perspective on the academic front. You will not be expected by the Ivies to tackle seven AP courses in your junior year, so don’t sweat it.

Trying hard to do so much will likely backfire and cause you to burn out or worse, have low grades.

Your focus should be on the critical academic areas: language, science, math, and English. Be sure to excel in these areas for a greater chance of landing a spot in the Ivies.

While AP classes like AP Music Theory, AP Statistics, and AP Psychology are okay to take if your school offers them, these subjects do not carry the same weight as core courses like AB Biology and AP Literature.

The Ivies also recognize that some students have access to more academic opportunities than other applicants.

If you study in a rural school with only a few opportunities for academic excellence, then admissions officers at the Ivies will take your situation into consideration.

A letter of recommendation and measures like your ACT and SAT scores will be more important when the admissions office evaluates your preparedness for higher learning.

6. Do well in your interview.

Get ready to be interviewed by an alum of the university to which you are applying. Although the interview is not the most important part of your college application, it has an impact on your being accepted or rejected by the university that you like.

For instance, stumbling to answer questions pertaining to your passion and interests during your student life, as well as your reasons for applying to the university, can damage your college application.

Always be personable and polite when responding to questions. Ivy League interviews are generally friendly exchanges in which your interviewer tries to get to know you better.


With all these guidelines being carried out, your chances of being accepted into ivy league schools will be high. Don’t fail to send your questions to us on this topic using the comment section, we will be there to attend to them.

Last Updated on July 16, 2023 by Admin

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