Ivy League Scholarships

Ivy League scholarships are myths. For years, we’ve rolled our eyes when parents brag about how their child received a full scholarship to Princeton. Or a full scholarship to Brown, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, Penn, Columbia, or Cornell. The fact is, the eight Ivy League colleges don’t offer “scholarships.” If by scholarship, these folks mean financial aid, then the answer is yes — Ivy League colleges all offer financial aid. But scholarship implies merit. If these parents knew that Ivy League colleges don’t offer scholarships but only financial aid, would they still be as boastful?

Ivy League Scholarships, Scholarships at Ivy League Colleges, Ivy League University Scholarships

When in line at a grocery store (or anywhere else for that matter), don’t tell people you got a full ride to an Ivy League college. There’s no such thing unless by full ride you mean full financial aid (photo credit: Joseph Barillari).

It’s one of the differentiating factors of the Ivy League for athletes in particular. Ivy League athletes don’t receive scholarships. They’re recruited, yes. But they don’t pay lower tuition costs because they happen to be recruited athletes. There are no athletic scholarships in the Ivy League and it’s one of the pivotal reasons why Ivy League schools often cannot compete with their Division I peers. But, at times, they can compete. At times, the underdog has its day. Jeremy Lin is a Harvard grad. Historically, Princeton has staged remarkable runs in the NCAA Tournament. In spite of not receiving athletic scholarships, Ivy League athletes make a habit of proving they belong at the top of their sport.

So if you’re a mom in the grocery store wearing a Princeton sweatshirt, bragging to the lady behind you in line how your son just received a “full ride” to Princeton, think twice. The lady in the grocery store might know that Princeton does not offer full rides…unless of course by “full ride” you mean full financial aid! If that’s what you’re bragging about, then go right ahead! Like Bill O’Reilly, we just want to keep people honest!

Check out this post on Ivy League Tuition Costs.


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  • Noel Mcdonald says:

    I would love to get an Ivy Scholarship.

    • Dean Dean says:

      This is literally an article about how there is no such thing as an Ivy (League) scholarship, so maybe you will be the first — Good Luck!

  • Keren says:

    What exactly does financial aid mean ?

  • Ahad Bin Malhar says:

    My name is ahad bin Malhar
    I am from class 9th and I want to study in the abroad but my family haven’t sufficient money that’s why I need scholarship so I can study abroad and I will show my skills please help me to get this scholarship
    Thank you

    • Apple says:

      Pleas read the article. It is specifically about how there are no merit scholarships to any of the top schools, (this includes the Ivies, non-Ivies, and top ranked liberal arts colleges).

      • Narcissa Smith-Harris says:

        In fact NO it does not apply to non-Ivies. Lots of top non-ivies provide merit scholarships. However, most of the Ivies have such large endowments that the “need based” scholarships reach fairly far in, and some even cover international students. So A. Malhar, apply and fill out the forms. And you may. very well be covered.

    • Subham Das says:

      Suppose i get a financial aid during admission process , so would i continue
      to recieve it for the entire course lets say for 4 years? Or is it only for the first year .

      • Narcissa Smith-Harris says:

        You have to re-apply every year but as a rule if your finances don’t change (for the better) you’ll get similar amounts.

  • Jacob Quimby says:

    Wow, Great school, I’m in 7th grade and I hope to get into Princeton!

    • Hoot says:


      While in Junior High, make up a list of your top three, middle three and bottom three choices for college. Do this AFTER you have read one (or more) of the many reference books available (at the library, for purchase online). It will provide every last detail about colleges: Size of campus, student population, location, entrance requirements, percent of acceptance for applicants, student housing, etc. You will have every detail you need to compile your list of colleges.

      While in high school:

      1) Study hard/get good grades, preferably in honors or IB classes; they’re worth more to your gpa.
      2) Have a passion that you excel at/perform great in, such as a sport, band, instrument, or academic subject club (Physics Phreaks for example).
      3) Do volunteer work where you help others: tutoring, raising money, giving your time.
      4) In your college applications you’ll be required to write an essay based on some life experience. Choose subject matter that is impactful and based on something that has rocked your world/changed your life and shows that you’ve acquired a different life philosophy because of it.

      Good luck!

  • Davison says:

    So what you people are telling us is that there is no way an underprivileged person can get into the ivy league…because you don’t offer scholarships in other words you don’t give a hoot about broke people with big dreams because if someone is all the way from a third world country then how are they even supposed to know how to get enrolled in your programs…and even if someone was given financial aid I think it only applies to the people in the states because I ain’t never heard of a financial aid from the ivy league …so just tell some of us if there is any other way we can get into those universities and acquire quality education without money

    • Ivy Coach says:

      Contrary to your assertion, every single Ivy League school offers financial aid. It seems you’ve confused scholarships with financial aid. If you’re a qualifying low-income student, your education at any Ivy League would be fully covered if you earned admission — as many low-income students do. Your argument is not grounded in facts.

  • Naima Ali says:

    How do get qualified for admission?

  • Roney says:

    I am a grade 10 student and it has been a childhood of mine to study in an ivy league can someone assist me to get financial aid. My parents’ can’t pay for my study in the USA. I will be very grateful if someone can help me.
    thank you

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