It is common knowledge that Ivy League schools are quite difficult to gain entry. They are not just the most prestigious colleges in the nation; they are also often ranked among the best schools in the world. This reputation puts them at the top of many college applicants’ wishlists as they apply for undergraduate programs.
The Ivy League colleges include Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
While it’s common knowledge that these schools are very exclusive, many people do not exactly know how hard it is to earn a spot. Hence, we’ve brought you the research thatclearly shows the acceptance rates and stats in Ivy League colleges.
What Are the Ivy League University Acceptance Rates
During our research, we identified seven Ivy League colleges whose verifiable admissions data for 2021 was publicly available. We found that the average college acceptance rate is about 5.7 %. Compare this to the 57.5% average acceptance rate across all other national universities, and you can tell that it’s indeed extremely hard to get into Ivy League colleges. But there are steps you can take to improve your chances, and we’ll discuss them later in this article. Before then, here’s a detailed table showing the Ivy League acceptance rates and stats for the 2026 set.
Ivy League Schools Acceptance Rates (%)
- Harvard: 3.19%
- Princeton: ~4%
- Columbia: 3.73%
- Yale: 4.46%
- Brown: 5%
- Pennsylvania: 4.4%
- Dartmouth: 6.2%
- Cornell: ~8%
How to Improve Your Chances of Admission into Ivy League Schools
Getting into an Ivy League school may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. There are quite a number of factors that college admission officers consider when determining your readiness for these competitive schools. A clear understanding of some of these factors can help to boost your chances. Other tips that can help you include:
1. Earn stellar grades in high school
One of the first steps towards gaining admission into an Ivy League college is to study hard and earn the academic qualifications for it. All Ivy League schools require applicants to have excellent grades and top-notch test scores to qualify for admission. So, the journey to an Ivy League school starts when you enter high school. You want to register for and pass all required tests on time.
2. Pay attention to the essays
Your essay is an essential aspect of your application process. Ivy League hopefuls usually see it as an opportunity to stand out positively by delivering a well-rounded and eloquent application essay that covers a fascinating topic.
What’s more, it’s the applicant’s chance to use their own voice. A great essay makes the admission committee fall in love with you from the start. Successful candidates can usually come up with strong reasons why they should be admitted into an Ivy League school.
3. Distinguish Yourself
As mentioned earlier, hundreds of thousands of people apply for Ivy League colleges every year. Most times, these are the best students from top schools around the country. So it’s not just enough to have good grades. You want to also stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this is to look for something you’ve accomplished that sets you apart. If you’ve participated in a community project before, write it. Belong to a sports team? Write it. Anything can give you an edge at this point, so don’t underrate any information you feel like sharing.
Getting into an Ivy League school is difficult. The road is usually tough, and the competition is fierce. But how hard is it? Refer to the statistics above to see the annual rate of students that make it into Ivy League colleges. This article also contains useful tips to help you beat the competition.
For help crafting the strongest college application you can, consider working with an independent college counseling group like Empowerly. We’re here to help you reach for the stars.