IVY League Acceptance Rates 2022!
The eight Ivy League institutions rank among the most prestigious and competitive universities in the US and around the globe. As a result, the class of 2026 at Ivy League (and similarly exclusive non-Ivy) colleges can be chosen from among tens of thousands of applicants.
But what are the IVY League acceptance rates, and how have they changed over time? We’ll examine Ivy League admissions in this report, both the number of applicants and the number of students who actually enroll.
5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting into an Ivy League School
We’ve examined trends, examined hard data on yields and IVY League acceptance rates over time, and talked about why colleges care about these admissions measures so far.
From the general to the specific, here are five suggestions to help you improve your chances of being accepted into one of the prestigious national colleges we addressed in this post.
Tip 1: In your application, demonstrate your passion.
Your college application should ideally provide a narrative about the type of student you have been (and suggest what kind of student you will be).
Ivy League-caliber colleges strive for diversity among students rather than diversity within each individual student. This means, practically speaking, that rather than demonstrating to prestigious colleges that you can do anything and everything well enough, you should demonstrate to them that you can do a select number of things really well and that you are extremely interested in those things.
Also Read: 60 Widely Used Educational Techniques
Tip 2: Strive for Outstanding High School GPA and High Test Scores
Standardized test results (most commonly SAT/ACT) and GPA are used as filters by universities that frequently get a high volume of applications to determine whether applications are even read.
It is just impractical to go through tens of thousands of applications when the majority of applicants submit their forms in early January and anticipate hearing back in mid- to late-March.
Even Caltech, which receives about 8,400 applications, would need to review more than 110 submissions per day between the application deadline and the notification of accepted students. It makes reasonable that schools utilize test scores and GPAs as filters when you take into account the existence of non-workdays and the fact that admissions officers “need sleep because they’re not undead,”
Yes, it is painful to believe that you are being reduced to a few numbers. However, it also means that you can set your sights on a few distinct signs of success.
Step 3. Take rigorous courses related to your interests
Highly selective colleges give approximately equal weight to your course selection and academic performance.
Not every challenging course at your institution needs to be taken, but you should enroll in the ones that best suit the tone of your application’s narrative.
For instance, if you describe yourself as a math nerd who spends her free time trying to solve p vs np, colleges may not take you seriously if you enroll in the school’s easiest physics and math courses, even if you are enrolled in challenging English or History courses.
M, a high school buddy of mine, is a real-life illustration of this. M took challenging courses in all areas throughout high school, including AP Calculus BC in the junior year. M had an option between taking Film and Media Studies, a non-honors level English class that incorporated film analysis, or AP Statistics, the only other math class that was offered to her in her senior year.
M chose to enroll in the non-honors English class her senior year rather than a math course because she was so incredibly passionate about movies (she’d founded a film club at our school). The fact remains that M didn’t take a math class her senior year…and still got accepted early decision to UPenn. Now, granted, she still was taking AP Spanish, AP Bio, AP Macroeconomics, and AP English Lit, so she was still pursuing advanced coursework in the areas that interested her. She ended up taking the equivalent of two English classes.
We strongly advise reading our blog posts on what and how many APs Ivy League schools demand as well as what high school subjects in general Ivy League schools want to see on students’ transcripts in order to determine what advanced coursework makes sense for you (and what is superfluous).
Tip 4: Focus on Quality Rather Than Quantity in Your Extracurricular Activities
The extracurricular activities that best align with your interests should take priority, just as you should focus your academic rigor on the subjects that most interest you.
In terms of extracurricular pursuits (such as music, sports, volunteer work, and other extracurricular activities), you should prioritize quality over quantity and focus over breadth. Your college application will benefit from demonstrating that you are capable of focus and dedication to excellence in a particular area, even if you decide not to pursue the interests you had in high school in colleges.
Take into account the following two fictitious students. Candidate A participated in math club one year and the math Olympiad at your school the next year. Despite the fact that the student may have otherwise excelled in her math classes, colleges are not likely to find this particularly inspiring.
Consider Candidate B, on the other hand, who spent two years as the captain of her high school’s fencing team (after two years on the team). This student is a stronger candidate than option A even if she decides not to pursue fencing in college since she was prepared to invest the time and effort necessary to continue with it for four years (and took on a leadership role as captain for two of those years).
Tip 5: Make sure your application is flawless in every aspect.
For applications to Ivy League or other top-tier national universities, test scores, GPA, course difficulty, and extracurricular activities are typically the most crucial considerations. Nevertheless, you can still improve your chances by submitting letters of recommendation, application supplements, or portfolios that stand out.
A compelling personal statement that reveals information not included elsewhere in your application, a strong letter of recommendation from a teacher who has watched you develop as a learner, or an impressive portfolio of work (whether oil paintings or web apps) give schools more information about whether or not they should accept you.
This admissions officer is in a state of “body shock” at how secure your web applications are. He might also be astounded by your ability to levitate your computer. In any case, impressive!
IVY League Acceptance Rates: 2014–2021
Before we continue, it should be noted that admissions rates at Ivy League (and other top-tier) schools have historically not been a perfect predictor of future rates. Students might decide they don’t want to apply to any schools with frat scenes, which would cause Ivy League admissions rates to rise, or Cornell might decide it wants to reduce its class numbers, which would lead its admissions rates to abruptly fall.
Even so, to obtain a general notion of what to anticipate for 2019 admissions season, it’s still useful to look at Ivy League admissions trends over the past few years.
The graph below shows how, with the exception of 2018, the number of applications to each institution has climbed at a rate that is roughly in line with the decline in acceptance rates.
Looking at this graph, it is obvious that for the majority of schools, the number of applicants has been gradually rising, which has led to a decline in acceptance rates.
Additionally, it is rather obvious from the data from the previous eight years that institutions not at all accepting fewer and fewer students each year is what is causing the decline in acceptance rates. Most Ivy-level schools have consistent or even rising class sizes over time, as the graph of acceptance rates above demonstrated.
Pay close attention to the dotted lines’ flatness, which represents the average number of students admitted to Ivy League schools overall and in particular through 2018. Every other school on the graph, save Yale, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, and Cornell, admitted roughly the same amount of students over the course of five years.
IVY League Acceptance Rates: 2018–2020
A recent development is that the 2019/2020 admission cycle’s admittance rates were somewhat higher than those for the 2018/2019 entrance cycle. The reason for this disparity, which was often less than a half percentage point, was that colleges frequently received thousands fewer applications than they did in 2018–19. For those worried that Ivy Leagues would continue to get more and more competitive each year, this is welcome news. 2018/2019 appeared to have an abnormally high number of students applying to colleges, therefore it made reasonable that each Ivy League institution would experience its most competitive year during that time.
The number of high school students in 2019/2020 seems to be slightly lower, which resulted in less applications to schools, making admissions to those schools a little bit simpler.
As a result of the minor difference, whether Harvard accepts 4.7% or 5% of applicants in a given year is unlikely to have any bearing on your prospects of admission. Don’t let attempting to predict how many high school kids there will be the year you apply drive you crazy.
It is evident that there isn’t much change in the number of applications and admitted students Ivy League colleges accept each year when examining not only historical Ivy League college acceptance rates but also raw applicant and admitted student numbers.
Ivy League institutions are becoming increasingly selective in part due to the growing number of applicants. The yield for each institution, or the percentage of approved students who choose to enroll in college, is the last piece of the puzzle to be discussed.
IVY League Acceptance Rates: 2020-2022
Every aspect of life was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including college admissions. Many pupils who would have started college in the Fall of 2020 choose to postpone their enrollment for a year. There were various reasons for this, including the desire to save money, the desire to be close to home during a pandemic, and the belief that distant learning did not provide a fair return on investment.
In the Spring of 2020, numerous institutions, including Ivy Leagues, were forced to sift through their waitlists as a result, and IVY League acceptance rates increased marginally.
The biggest change in college acceptance rates to date took place during the 2021–2022 admissions cycle. More students than ever before applied to several colleges, including elite universities and Ivy League colleges. These colleges were getting thousands more applications than they had ever seen; this wasn’t a slight uptick. For instance, Harvard got 40,248 applications for the 2019–2020 academic year. They received 57,786 in 2020–2021.
That is a significant rise! This pattern persisted in all Ivy League institutions. There are a number of possible explanations for this rise, including students who had put off attending college now applying and the elimination of SAT/ACT requirements at almost all institutions, which may have persuaded applicants that they might have a chance at a school that would otherwise be out of their price range.
The number of applications skyrocketed, while the number of students accepted at each school stayed around the same. Since many institutions were holding spaces for students who had deferred last year, enrollment actually decreased slightly in many of them.
What effect did this have? Many prestigious institutions saw their lowest-ever acceptance rates. Harvard’s admission rate decreased from 5.0% to 4.0% between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, Yale’s decreased from 6.5% to 4.6%, and Columbia’s increased from 6.3% all the way down to 3.9%, to name a few. Ivy League acceptance rates decreased on average from 7.3% to 5.7%.
These changes are significantly larger than the 0.2% or so annual fluctuations that we typically witness. This meant that, regrettably, the class of 2020–2021 was the most competitive to date for admission to an Ivy League school or other prestigious institution.
The majority of this tendency persisted in 2021–2022. Top institutions’ acceptance rates either remained largely stable or declined much worse. The lowest acceptance rate we’ve ever seen from an institution that releases its acceptance rate is 3.2% at Harvard. The majority of schools are still test-optional, and many of these prestigious colleges continue to get large numbers of applications—some even breaking previous records—from students.
Enrollment of Ivy League Undergraduates
There are two key considerations in the Ivy League admissions process for colleges. IVY League acceptance rates are one component of admissions to prestigious national colleges that we already covered (which depend on the number of applicants and number of students admitted).
The perception of a school’s selectivity increases with lower admission rates (which leads to schools being higher-ranked, which leads to more people knowing about those schools and applying to them, which leads to lower admission rates…and so on).
Ivy-level colleges primarily consider yield, or how many of the admitted students enroll, in addition to acceptance rates.
Schools seek a high yield because it shows that students are sincere in their desire to join their institutions. Higher rankings for more enticing colleges encourage more high achievers to apply, which gives the schools more applicants to choose from.
IVY League acceptance rates are also influenced by yield. Schools can nearly precisely predict how many students they need to admit to achieve the desired class size based on years of admissions data. Waitlists are necessary because schools still need to fill their incoming freshman class if more applicants decline admission than anticipated. This is the difference between knowing almost exactly how many students will enroll and knowing the exact amount.
Generally speaking, IVY League acceptance rates increase as yield decreases. This typically occurs because institutions with lower yields must accept more students (i.e., have higher acceptance rates) because a smaller proportion of those admitted will actually enroll.
What effect does this have on the Ivy League Plus admissions process, then? While the yield rates of Ivy League institutions vary quite a bit, the IVY League acceptance rates don’t vary all that much (from Harvard’s 3.2% to Cornell’s 8.7%).
Contrary to the very narrow range of Ivy League Plus acceptance rates, Ivy League Plus institutions’ yield rates range from the lowest, at 45.5% for Caltech, to the highest yield rate, at 97.1% for Stanford.
In other words, Stanford had more than twice as many first-year students enrolling than Caltech in Fall 2021, proportional to the number of applicants.
It makes natural that there would be a difference in yield rate between the two institutions given that Stanford’s admittance rate is a few percentage points lower than Caltech’s (and given that Stanford has a liberal arts undergraduate program while Caltech is an engineering school).
Even for institutions with comparable acceptance rates and academic foci, there are still some very astonishing differences in school yield rates. For instance, the yield for MIT (4.1% admitted) was 86.7%, whereas the yield for Caltech (6.7% admitted) was 45.5%.
However, how many students choose to enroll after being admitted is significantly more influenced by the views of the admitted students than acceptance rate, which is largely under the school’s control. Yield can be impacted by elements that are directly related to enrollment, like financial assistance packages, or elements that seem unrelated, such a public expose of a school’s harmful social climate.
Most prestigious colleges (including all of the ones mentioned in this article) have some sort of early admissions policy (whether it be early decision, restrictive early action, or just plain ol’ early action) in order to increase the predictability of their yields.
FAQs on Ivy League Schools
Is attending an Ivy League School Worthwhile?
In professions like banking, law, and business consulting, having an Ivy League background might help you stand out from the competition. Top international corporations frequently hire directly from Ivies since they understand that they attract some of the best and brightest students.
Ivy League Colleges Cost a lot of Money?
An Ivy League education typically costs little more than $56745 in the US. But the benefits you get from the institutions surpass the expenses. To lessen your financial burden, you can also apply for different financial aids at these institutions.
What is the hallmark of the Ivy Leagues?
The most sought-after colleges and universities in the nation and the world are those in the Ivy League. These eight private colleges in the Northeastern United States are renowned for their rigorous admissions standards, academic brilliance, and good employment prospects for graduates.
What is the most crucial factor for an Ivy League institution?
Make sure you achieve high exam and grade results.
These are the two most crucial elements, according to The National Association for College Admission Counseling, for a student attempting to enroll in a highly selective university. Additionally, students must enroll in challenging classes that they can excel in.
You might be wondering what kind of test scores you need to get in after looking at the prestigious IVY League acceptance rates. You are aware of how these schools compare in terms of yield and acceptance, but what about other factors like graduation rates and student satisfaction? We have provided the answers in our previous article, read here – Easiest Ivy League Schools to get into in 2022
We really do hope you find this article on IVY League acceptance rates helpful.
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