Ivy League Academic Index

The Ivy League Academic Index is indeed an Ivy League admission formula. Yes, you read this right. There is a formula for Ivy League admission. For years, the eight member institutions of the Ivy League denied that such a formula existed. They liked to think that it was their little secret. But the secret got out as did the components of the Ivy League Academic Index. Read More >

Among experts in college admissions, it’s now widely known. If you are an Academic 9 (on the 1-9 scale with 9 being the best), does that mean that you’re guaranteed a place at Yale? No. Definitely not. Students with perfect grades and perfect SAT scores are denied all of the time. Does an Academic 9 have a better shot of admission than an Academic 4, all other things being equal? Yes. Of course. But all other things are typically not equal.

A student whose alumna mother is a major donor to the college doesn’t have the same shot of admission to Dartmouth as does a student whose mother is not a major donor much less an alumna. All else being equal. An African American applicant does not have the same shot of admission to Caltech as does a Caucasian applicant. All else being equal. A student whose parents didn’t attend college doesn’t have the same shot as a rich kid from Long Island whose parents are both physicians.

A student who writes a brilliant personal statement that really says who he is and what he’s all about doesn’t have the same shot of admission to MIT as a student who writes a boring essay about winning a math competition. There is very little that is equal in the Ivy League admissions process.

Nonetheless, there is an Ivy League admission formula. It is essentially used as a yardstick by which to compare applicants objectively against each other. The formula was originated for athletes in the Ivy League. Ever wonder why smart basketball players ride the bench? It has to do with keeping the team’s Academic Index within one standard deviation of the mean Academic Index for the university. But the Ivy League Academic Index is now used for all applicants.

Each applicant has a number from 1-9 in their electronic file. The 1-9 scale is the result of a conversion from a 1-240 scale based on factors listed below. And, yes, below you can calculate your own Ivy League Academic Index to objectively gauge where you stand against other applicants in the annual game of Ivy League admission.