The Ivy Coach Daily

June 28, 2014

The Academic Index

Academic Index, AI, Ivy League Academic Index
There is no formula for admission to the Ivy League. But there is an Academic Index.

Are you familiar with the Academic Index? If not and you intend to apply to Ivy League colleges this coming fall, you might want to familiarize yourself with it so that you have a better sense of where you stand. While there is no formula for admission to Ivy League colleges, there is an Academic Index. If you have a great score on the Academic Index, does that mean you’ll get into all of the Ivy League schools? Absolutely not. Does it mean you’ll get into one Ivy League school? Absolutely not. The Ivy League admissions process is a holistic one. The Academic Index is a component — and an important component — but having a great Academic Index by no means assures you of admission.

The Academic Index is a means by which Ivy League admissions officers can measure students from different high schools across the country and around the world against one another. It was initially used for athletic purposes. Athletic recruits to the Ivy League colleges were given Academic Index scores. But it’s now used for all applicants to the Ivies — not just the athletic recruits. The Academic Index factors in test scores, GPA, and where an applicant stands in his or her graduating class. Not factored into the Academic Index are, for instance, the quality of a student’s admissions essays, letters of recommendation, interview, interest, and so much more.

In Ivy League athletics, each team must meet a certain Academic Index. Thus, you’ll find many benchwarmers on the basketball team with much higher Academic Indexes than the starters (though sometimes starters can have high AI’s as well). It’s to balance out the team’s Academic Index. So you know that 5’3 point guard who never plays in spite of his great ball-handling skills? There’s another reason he’s on the team, too.

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