Development Cases and Ivy League Admission

Development Cases, Ivy Development Cases, Ivy League Development

Some applications every year at each Ivy League college are flagged development cases.

When walking around on college tours admiring buildings, it’s easy to think that a whole lot of development cases will be applying for admission to the Ivy League school you’re touring. After all, when you walk by Sandstone Hall, it’s perfectly logical to assume that Mr. and Mrs. Sandstone’s daughter will have better odds of getting into the institution than does your child who has no connection to the university. But one thing we’ve noticed over the years is that folks seem to think there are more development cases at each of the eight Ivy League colleges than there actually are.

There are not hundreds of development cases every year. There are a few flagged on applications. After all, if both you and your husband attended, say, Yale and both give $250 each year, your child is not a development case. That’s nice that you each give $250 each year but that’s not exactly in the ballpark of a development case. Will we be specifying what qualifies as a development case in this post? No – because while we aim to provide our loyal readers with information about the Ivy League and highly selective college admissions process every day, we will not give away our secrets. Why? Because at the end of the day, we’re a business.

Most development cases, as they’re called, have to meet the minimum numbers (standardized test scores and grades) for the highly selective college to which they’re applying. Are there exceptions? Yes. But these are exceptions to the rule, not the rule. Though if there ever is a time for an exception, this is it. Why would a school risk jeopardizing the future donations of major donors? Don’t get us wrong…they will. We’ve seen it! But if the numbers are ballpark and your son or daughter can breathe, he or she has a fighting chance.


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