Have you heard of the Ivy League Academic Index (A.I.) before? If you’re a regular reader of our blog, then you sure have because we discuss the Academic Index quite a bit. Today, “The New York Times” has a terrific expose on this once secret admissions formula that hasn’t been as much of a secret as “The New York Times” lets on for years. In addition to not offering athletic scholarships, the Academic Index is a significant differentiator of Ivy League colleges from other universities in the United States that compete in Division I sports.
So what is the Ivy League Academic Index? It’s a formula for admission to the Ivy League that is used for all applicants – not just athletes (something “The New York Times” article fails to point out). Do Ivy League admissions officers stick hard and true to the formula in each case? Absolutely not! But it’s a means of setting a threshold and comparing applicants through an objective measure. Once this measure is established, subjectivity comes into play with respect to college essays, letters of recommendations, talent and depth of involvement in activities, etc.
One thing that the article does point out that we’ve expressed to our readers before is that each Ivy League athletic team must maintain a certain Academic Index. So, often times, the overall Academic Indexes of the players on the field (or court / pool) differ greatly from the Academic Indexes of the players on the bench. That often isn’t an accident as the players on the bench serve a function in balancing out the team’s overall Academic Index. Funny, huh? So if you thought the smartest guy on the basketball team was the guy who always rode the bench, you might well be onto something!
Do you think it’s impressive that many Ivy League sports teams are ranked very high nationally in spite of not being able to offer athletic scholarships to student-athletes? Let us know your thoughts by posting below!