Should You Apply to an Ivy League School?

If you dream of attending an Ivy League school, you’re not alone. These eight highly respected private schools are famous for their amazing academic programs, professors, and research facilities and have been the place of study for future Nobel prize winners, presidents, athletes, and other prominent professionals. Located in the northeastern region of the United States, the Ivy League is made up of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale universities. 

Applicants should expect the admissions process to be highly selective, but students who get in will likely have promising career opportunities when they graduate—along with the social status that comes with attending one of these schools.  

How do I get in? 

If you’re a hopeful future attendee of an Ivy League school, you’ll need exceptional academic records, extracurricular activities, and strong personal qualities. Your grades and test scores are important, but you’ll also want to get involved in sports, music, volunteering, internships, or clubs—and take on a leadership role in one of these if it’s available. These will be key during the application process, but it’s important to note that your essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews will also be heavily considered in the selection process. In other words, you need to stand out as a stellar, well-rounded student.  

Start researching your top choices for school to learn about their admission requirements. You can also get a good snapshot of the kind of high school students who get in—from grade point averages and standardized test scores. This can give you a glimpse into what you’ll need to be accepted as a new student.  

Consider your options. 

When your time comes to apply, remember that there are many other top-notch colleges and universities outside of the Ivy League that can provide you with a great education and lead you to an amazing career. According to U.S. News & World Report, the acceptance rate to Ivy League schools in fall 2021 was around 5.7 percent, while the average acceptance rate of all other national universities was around 57.5 percent. This startling statistic shows the reality of how challenging it can be to be accepted to an Ivy League school. So, if attending an Ivy ends up not being your path, don’t be discouraged. Your hard work and dedication to your academics and extracurricular activities will shine through on your application to many other schools—all of which would be lucky to have you as a student.  

For more resources and information on preparing for college, visit the K12 College Prep Center

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