Ivy League Admissions Separating Myth from Facts

Ivy League admissions. These are confusing, difficult and full of myths. To separate the myths from the facts let’s take a look at several Ivy League myths and address what the real facts are. 

Myth 1. The Ivy League colleges will give a better advantage to children of alumni when they are admitting students.    FACT: Children from financially wealthy parents who could make significant contributions to the school will have a much better advantage than students from alumni parents would could not afford to make a significant contribution to the school. 

Myth 2.  Ivy League colleges reject perfect SAT scores and perfect GPA students to make room for more well-rounded students because they are looking for well-rounded students. They want their campus to be well-rounded.  FACT: While the Ivy League colleges may want a well-rounded student body and may be looking at other things besides grades and test scores, they are VERY conscious of test scores. They make room, approximately 1/3 of the admitted pool, for the celebrities, wealthy donors, alumni children, very talented athletic students, etc. These are the “well-rounded students”. 

Myth 3. Ivy League colleges, as well as other colleges, are looking for well rounded students. FACT: All colleges, including Ivy League colleges, are looking for well-rounded classes but not well-rounded students. They are looking for unique students who are very passionate about a few things and are very intelligent as well. This is what they are looking for, not a well-rounded student who has sampled a bit of everything. They want to see how you will add to their campus and not how you can do a bit of everything.

Myth 4. An Ivy League college admission brochure in the mail means something. FACT: It just doesn’t. Colleges, including Ivy League colleges, send out a lot of admissions brochures to everyone on their mailing list and they get these lists in a variety of ways. It may simply mean your teacher recommended you or you showed interest a few years ago. It doesn’t mean that you are anything special and that the Ivy League colleges are interested in you.

I hope these myths/facts have helped you learn more about Ivy League admissions and college admissions in general. It’s important if you are interested in applying to Ivy League colleges that you understand these myths and see how they affect you. If you are applying, I wish you the best but remember that there are many “new Ivies” that are just as wonderful. Kenyon College is one of these, it’s where I am, and I LOVE it! Find a college because it fits you, not because it’s name is equivalent to success in other people’s minds. Selective colleges in general can help you achieve just as much success as a selective Ivy League college. Good luck!