Eligibility Criteria for Ivy League Universities

Jun 09, 2021

Ivy League is one of the most prestigious and popular groups of universities. The universities under Ivy League are like paradise for the students who are dreaming to study abroad. 8 universities are collectively called Ivy League and all these are situated in the northeastern part of US.

Moving on to the admission process, it will not be exaggerated to mention these universities are undoubtedly the toughest ones to get in. Students often with close to perfect scores fail to secure a seat for themselves in the Ivy League universities. This should have a clear mention that no trick can help the students to get into Ivy League universities at all - the only way to make their dreams come true to study in these universities is their academics. 

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Name of Ivy League Universities

Among the group of 8 universities in the Ivy League, the most prestigious and renowned universities are included. The following universities are under the Ivy League:

These names are enough to denote the reasons behind higher eligibility criteria. Another thing to mention here is that all these universities hold a very high ranking in the world university rankings like QS and Times Higher Education. The acceptance rate of these universities has remarkably decreased over the years but the number of applications for each intake has an upward graph. So, the reason is quite clear why it is this difficult to get into these universities.

Eligibility Criteria to Study in Ivy League Universities

Eligibility criteria of Ivy League universities depend on the selected universities as well as the selected course. In general, meeting the following requirements will help the candidates a lot.

  • A bachelor degree for master level courses or a 10+2 equivalent degree for bachelor level courses
  • Around 4 GPA
  • SAT (1440 - 1570) or ACT (33 - 35)
  • GRE (155- 170 in quant and verbal) or GMAT or LSAT (173 and higher) or MCAT (36.6 and higher)
  • TOEFL (100 or higher) or IELTS (7.5 or higher)
  • At least 3 LORs
  • A resume (1-2 full page)
  • Professional portfolios
  • Sample of research proposal for Ph. D. and master-level courses

The candidates need to go through the official website of the university they are aiming at to find out the exact score and other important information on admission. Also, it is important to stay updated with the latest guidelines of the university and it is possible only by tracking the official website. 

Ivy League Universities And Their Acceptance Rate

It is already mentioned that Ivy League universities have a remarkably low acceptance rate. Check the list below to understand the exact acceptance rate of these universities: 

  • Harvard University - 4.5%
  • Columbia University - 5.3%
  • Dartmouth College - 7.9%
  • Cornell University - 10.6% 
  • Brown University - 7.1% 
  • Princeton University - 5.8%
  • Yale University - 6.1%
  • University of Pennsylvania - 7.7%

These percentages show the number of applications accepted among the total number of applications. 

Actually, the popularity of these universities is sky kissing, and students from different international locations try to apply here if they meet the score criteria. It's a fact that the applicants of these universities often hold a close to perfect score yet they get rejected.

Acceptance rate

Evaluation Process of Ivy League

Holding only good scores in the qualifying tests is not enough to get selected in these universities. Applicants are scrutinized under the following criteria:

  • Test scores - 15%
  • Grades and coursework - 20%
  • Extracurricular activities - 30%
  • Essays - 25%
  • LORs and interview performance - 10%

For academics and coursework, candidates will need to check their GPA along with SAT or ACT scores. In case the candidate is applying for any specific subject, they have to take SAT subject tests. The average scores are already mentioned above.

For extracurricular activities, the activities will be checked based on the uniqueness and impressive performance of the applicants. These activities are divided into 4 tiers. Candidates should try to meet tiers 1 and 2 to get into Ivy League. 

Essays are checked based on writing style and clarity of theme. On Google, lots of examples are available on essay writing. Applicants are advised to write compelling supplemental essays as well. 

LORs from counselors and teachers are best to submit for admission purposes. Interview score, on the other hand, depends on the smartness, dressing, and communication skills of the candidates.

To sum up, the end decision will be taken by the authorities - the candidates can prepare with excellent test scores and academics. There is no tricky way to slide in Ivy League universities and excellent performance in all 5 areas is the only way to get into these universities. 


Rachita is a content writer with 5+ years of hands-on experience. She is one of those lucky ones who can convert their passion into a full-time profession. Apart from writing, she is a music lover and an amateur guitarist who is always trying for bettering her skills from online lessons. She is a foodie with an intense love for desserts. 

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