Getting Into the Ivies

Ivy Admission, Ivy League Admission, Getting Into the Ivy League

Getting into the Ivies has become more difficult for American students over the last couple of decades, as an editorial in “The New York Times” points out.

There is a fantastic editorial in “The New York Times” entitled “Getting Into the Ivies” by David Leonhardt that is worthy of discussion. In his piece on getting into the Ivies, Leonhardt writes that getting admitted to Ivy League schools has gotten more difficult since folks in their 40’s and 50’s applied. We at Ivy Coach have always stressed that it’s no harder to get into, say, Harvard this year as opposed to last year in spite of a marginal decline in the admissions rate. As we always say, schools like Harvard encouraging ‘C’ students to apply to lower their admission rate (the more students that apply, the more they can deny) does not make it more difficult for a talented ‘A’ student to gain admission. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t differences in the difficulty of getting into the Ivies over the last couple of decades. There certainly are!

As articulated in Leonhardt’s piece on the Ivies, it has gotten more difficult for American students to get into the Ivies over the years because the Ivies have vastly expanded their footprint overseas. Writes Leonhardt, “Population growth plays a role, but the number of teenagers is not too much higher than it was 30 years ago, when the youngest baby boomers were still applying to college. And while many more Americans attend college than in the past, most of the growth has occurred at colleges with relatively few resources and high dropout rates, which bear little resemblance to the elites. So what else is going on? One overlooked factor is that top colleges are admitting fewer American students than they did a generation ago. Colleges have globalized over that time, deliberately increasing the share of their student bodies that come from overseas and leaving fewer slots for applicants from the United States.”

And let’s not forget that most students matriculating to U.S. colleges who hail from countries not named the United States of America pay full tuition. Admission for these foreign applicants is certainly not need-blind! According to the pice in “The New York Times,” the percentage of American students at Harvard has declined 27% from 1994 to 2012. That statistic is 24% for Yale and Dartmouth, 19% for Brown and Cornell, 18% at Amherst, 17% at Stanford, 14% at Princeton, 9% at Tufts, and 2% at Columbia to give you a few examples at highly selective colleges.

While you’re here, check out our compiled Ivy League Admission Statistics.


You are permitted to use (including the content of the Blog) for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not copy, download, print, or otherwise distribute the content on our site without the prior written consent of Ivy Coach, Inc.

Categories: , ,

Tags: , , , ,


  • James Griffith says:

    Ivy Coach,
    I enjoy reading your articles. However, i think there is a major trend that you are missing in your assessment and commentary regarding Ivies and the paying rates. We have direct evidence of this in our town, Irvine, CA.
    the common trick now for foreign families is to move to the US while the child is about 12-13 so that they spend their high schools years in the US (in our case CA). Thus, many “foreign” students graduate from a US High School, are eligible for “in-state” tuition at the UC’s in our case, and then often times if admitted to an Ivy are given fairly high need based scholarsips.
    It is actually a very smart move by the families as it allows for access to top flight schools (i.e. Cal, UCLA, UC Irvine, etc.) at a much reduce cost – often as a backup if not admitted to an Ivy or Stanford.
    I think if you analyze the admissions data a little deeper, you might confirm the hypothesis.
    Best regards,
    James Griffith

  • Hanna says:

    Do you think a student with dual citizenship, with all schooling completed in the US, is better off applying to Ivy League colleges as an international student?

  • Sarthak Joshi says:

    I am an Indian student. i really, really want to be within Columbia college in New York for under graduation in physics or astronomy. i have 7 and 7.2 cgpa ,evaluated over 10 scale, in 9th and 10th year, and currently in 11th year, preparing for SAT and Subjectives. i have placed my school 3rd within my city in interschool science quiz, and selected for Physics olympiad and Astronomy olympiad, and i guess, i am the best in astronomy in my school. Actually, my school is consider to be best school in my town. and it is even difficult to score marks in my school, consider to be the most difficult one, in my area. Are my gpas are considerable?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *