By Perri Ormont Blumberg | March 29, 2023 11:59am
Whether you’re itching to become a Columbia Lion or Yale Bulldog (or for your kid to), you may have heard of mumblings of “Ivy Day” as of late in these parts.
You may recall eagerly checking the mailbox during your senior year in high school to see if you were accepted to one or more of your top colleges. For the elite waiting to hear back from prestigious Ivy League schools, the preparation began long before many of us were even thinking about school.
These days, the nail-biting remains the same, though the big reveal now takes place in cyberspace, and all on March 30, aka “Ivy Day.”
It’s no surprise that given the fierce competition, families start preparing early in the tri-state area.
“While starting on the college admissions process over a decade in advance may sound excessive, parents are right to be concerned about the stakes of admissions to Ivy League schools. Over the last decade, these elite universities have become more competitive than ever before,” said Christopher Rim, Founder and CEO of Command Education, based in the West Village in New York City, pointing to the fact that for the Class of 2026, Harvard received 61,221 applicants, 3.2% of which were accepted and Columbia received 60,377 applicants, 3.73% of which were accepted.
“There are going to be a lot of stressed-out teens and families as Ivy League applicants frantically hit refresh on their portals to see their results,” said Laurie Kopp Weingarten, president and co-founder of One-Stop College Counseling, based in Marlboro, New Jersey, and offering college consultant services nationwide specializing in students applying to the most selective colleges in the country.
(Worth noting: Ivy Day only occurs in the spring with the Regular Decision release; In the fall, each of the Ivies release their early results on a day of their choice, with no coordination among the group, said Kopp Weingarten.)
“There will be lots of happy tears and screams, but many more expressions of dismay, and sometimes, even anger,” she said, conceding that the odds are not in a student’s favor. “The competition is tough; there aren’t enough beds in the Ivy League to take all of these high-achieving students,” continued Kopp Weingarten. “And if a student isn’t admitted into an Ivy under the Early Decision (Cornell, Penn, Brown, Dartmouth, and Columbia) or the Restricted/Single Choice Early Action plan (Harvard, Princeton, and Yale), the odds are low, in the single digits.”
In fact, as Kopp Weingarten shared in an example below, for the classes of 2025 and 2026, the chances of getting accepted into the esteemed Ivies are about as likely as walking into Levain Bakery without a line:
- Brown (class of 2026): 15% Early Decision; 4% Regular Decision
- Columbia (class of 2025): 12% Early Decision; 3% Regular Decision
- Cornell (class of 2026): 19% Early Decision; 5% Regular Decision
- Dartmouth (class of 2026): 20% accepted Early Decision; 5% Regular Decision
- Harvard (class of 2026): 8% Restricted Early Action; 2% Regular Decision
- Penn (class of 2025): 15% Early Decision, 4% Regular Decision
- Princeton (class of 2025): 4% total
- Yale (class of 2026): 11% Single Choice Early Action; 3% Regular Decision
(Note: In the media, colleges report total admission rates, not Regular Decision admission rates, which are even lower.)
But wait, there’s more.
“When you speak with admission officers, they’ll share with you that up to 80% of the applicants to these colleges are highly qualified, meaning competition is incredibly fierce,” Dr. Robert Kohen, PhD, an independent educational consultant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, who holds a Certificate in College Admissions and Career Planning from UC Berkeley, a Ph.D. from Harvard and a B.A. from Columbia.
That means that even if you or your child or loved one had the chops to get accepted into the selective eight, the admissions team may still pass you over in favor of someone else. “Truly exceptional students who do everything right in the admissions process still have no guarantee of acceptance, given these numbers and each institution’s focus on its own set of priorities for any given year,” said Kohen.
“With such steep competition, Ivy League admissions are no longer about whether a student is valedictorian of their class or received a perfect SAT score — elite schools are looking for students with singular focus and demonstrable passions,” Rim added.
And going to Trinity or Chapin isn’t your surefire ticket to the Ivies, either. “While some families assume that the rigor and prestige of a private school will all but guarantee admissions to a top-tier college or university, this is not the case — even prestigious private schools largely lack the resources to help students develop their admissions profile in the focused way that appeals to Ivy League and other top-tier schools,” said Rim. “Many parents find that despite paying the steep price for private school, they require the assistance of private college admissions consultants who are able to devote individualized attention to their student’s needs and goals.”
(Speaking of which, 100% of students working with Rim’s company who applied Early Action to Harvard during the last admissions cycle were admitted, as reported in The Post.)
Whether you win, lose, or waitlist, here’s how to play the game come March 30.
What to do if you’re accepted
Congrats, kid. Let your parents book that celebratory dinner reservation at Mory’s or head up to Morningside Heights for a tipple at 1020.
“You are now a member of a select group of students from across the globe. Take a minute, or a day, to let this victory soak in,” said LeeAnne Jackson Rogers, owner and college admissions coach of Life Design with LeeAnne in Dallas, Texas. “But then it’s time to get to work! If you were in this group, you were likely accepted to multiple top-tier universities,” she said, noting that you have until May 1 to commit, so you should prioritize visiting the campus in person or speaking to an alum who can tell you about their experience. “And don’t forget to consider any scholarships you may have been offered from other schools. Ivies are elite and come with a price tag that reflects their status,” added Jackson Rogers.
Kohen echoed this sentiment, adding that “students should attend an admitted students’ day, trying to spend the night and sit in on a class of interest,” he said. “They should speak with existing students, especially those in their intended major.”
Kopp Weingarten has one more piece of hard-won wisdom for accepted students on Ivy Day: She reminds students that there are many more disappointed teens than happy teens coming out of the occasion. “It’s nice to not brag or go overboard with your celebrations for the students who are dealing with the rejection.” she said.
What to do if you’re waitlisted
Fall into this camp? You’re a rare breed. “Waitlist admit rates tend to be low and can vary by year,” said Kohen.
“One of the best things a waitlisted applicant can do is write and send a letter of continued interest, which is a brief note addressed to the college’s admissions committee updating the school on a student’s progress since their application was submitted,” Rim explains.
“Students should include important academic updates such as positive changes in their GPA, academic awards and honors, or independent academic projects — whether research, online courses, or academic internships.” But, as Rim stated, these letters should not be generic: “letters of continued interest should be memorable, unique, and quirky to make the student stand out from the hundreds of other applicants who were waitlisted.”
You “might even consider revisiting the school to express their interest in enrolling in person if it’s their first choice,” Kohen adds. On the emotional front, Kohen urges students to reconcile themselves to the fact that an acceptance is very unlikely and turn their focus to colleges that have accepted them.
Along those lines, Jackson Rogers said that with the number of students who are applying to more top schools due to the continuation of test-optional policies, there will be students who do get off the waitlist, although not many.
“First, prioritize your list of where you were accepted and narrow down your top waitlist school,” she said, elaborating that you will have to submit a deposit for your second choice, which is likely non-refundable, however, you can remain on the waitlist for your dream Ivy. Like Kohen, Jackson Rogers advocates sending a letter of continued interest.
Additionally, she commented that you should update the school with details of what you have accomplished since submitting your application. “An updated transcript with higher grades won’t hurt, either. This is also why college counselors tell you senior grades matter,” she said. “You’ll need to move forward with plans for your admitted school but know that you might need to pivot if you are offered a spot off the waitlist after each Ivy receives their enrollments and can determine if they have any open spots.”
Bottom line: “It’s not healthy to sit around hoping to get off a waiting list!” said Kopp Weingarten. That’s why she says to go get excited about a college where you were admitted and treat yourself to a t-shirt or sweatshirt from that school instead.
What to do if you’re rejected
Maybe we should have started here first, since the reality is that the vast majority of aspiring Lions, Tigers and Bears don’t get into an Ivy League school.
Since Kopp Weingarten and her team focuses on Ivy League and other highly selective admissions, they try to let students know early on if they have zero chance at admission to colleges at that level. “For example, a straight B student should not be applying to Dartmouth, even if they took all Honors/AP classes and have a perfect SAT or ACT score,” she said of setting expectations early in the process. (Always helpful, in all aspects of life, folks.)
“But if a student who truly seemed qualified is rejected, part of growing up is learning to deal with disappointments and set-backs,” said Kopp Weingarten, stressing that a college decision does not and should not define you. “So if a student is rejected, they can wallow for a day or two, then take the attitude of, ‘It’s the school’s loss; I’m going to love the colleges that loved me back.’ They should enjoy choosing among the choices they have, and dive head-first into the college they select,” she continued. “Most students we work with love their colleges, but if it doesn’t work out, they can always try to transfer.”
Students should also focus on composing themselves in this scenario for the sake of their friends and siblings. Seeing your rejection letters might help them pave their own college applications’ path. “For younger students who may be witnessing older siblings or friends receive rejections, the experience should instill the value of a balanced college list. While rejections are always disappointing, a balanced college list ensures that an applicant has an ample amount of other solid options that align with their skills and interests,” said Rim. “Having desirable secondary options can eliminate some of the stress of receiving a rejection from a student’s top school.”
You can also take solace in embracing Jackson Rogers’ attitude: “Remember, there’s always grad school, and you can apply to seek redemption in another three years.”
Quips aside, while Ivy Day seems like the biggest day of your life, know “that there are many more accomplishments in your future, and you should take the time to feel proud of all the hard work you have put in twelve years of education to graduate and move on to college,” she said.
Or, as Kopp Weingarten framed it, the bumper sticker is nice, but the goal is to be happy where you end up and to take advantage of all that is offered. “It truly is important to find a ‘best fit’ college,” said Kopp Weingarten, right before casually weaving in that her son graduated in 2018 with a Princeton diploma.
Originally published on TheNew York Post on March 29, 2023 11:59am
Ivy Day is the day, usually in late March, when all Ivy League schools release their regular admissions decisions online. The eight Ivies—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale—typically release their decisions at the same exact time as well.What is Ivy Day for Ivy League? ›
When is Ivy Day? Ivy Day typically occurs in late March or early April every year. Ivy Day 2023 will occur on March 30, 2023. Ivy Day 2022 fell on March 31, 2022.What is the meaning of Ivy Day? ›
Ivy Day is an annual ceremony in which an ivy stone is placed on either a residential, academic or administrative building or ground to commemorate academic excellence. The ceremony is most known for being practiced among older colleges in the Northeastern United States.What is Ivy Day in high school? ›
A pivotal moment in many high-achieving students' lives is the one day a year – colloquially referred to as Ivy Day – on which all the Ivy League schools release their Regular Decision admissions decisions in the evening.What day is Ivy Day 2023? ›
Right now, Ivy Day is March 30, 2023.What is the most prestigious Ivy? ›
1. Which Ivy League School has the highest acceptance rate? Recent data shows Cornell University is the Ivy League school with the highest acceptance rate.Is Ivy Day the same every year? ›
This day, known as Ivy Day, varies slightly each year but usually takes place in late March or early April.What qualifies a school as Ivy League? ›
All Ivy League schools are private and located in the Northeast. They also hold big endowments, boast strong alumni networks, and have extremely low acceptance rates. Ivy League schools are known for their academic excellence, research, and accomplished faculty.Why are they called Ivy League? ›
The term 'Ivy League' was coined in 1937, by sports writer Caswell Adams in an article published in the New York Herald. Adams used the term as a reference to the powerful eastern football league, which was assembled by eight universities: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Penn, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia and Brown.
What Is Ivy Day? Ivy Day is the day, usually in late March, when all Ivy League schools release their regular admissions decisions online. The eight Ivies—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale—typically release their decisions at the same exact time as well.Which high schools send the most kids to Ivy League? ›
- The College Preparatory School, Oakland, CA. ...
- Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH. ...
- Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles, CA. ...
- Chapin, New York, NY. ...
- St. ...
- The Dalton School, New York, NY. ...
- The Winsor School, Boston, MA.
Ivy League schools are comprised of high achieving students that can be three times more anxious and depressed than the average pupil.What is the cheapest Ivy to attend? ›
Princeton. Princeton is commonly regarded as the “cheapest Ivy” thanks to its extensive financial aid offerings.What is the easiest ivy to go to? ›
Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate.Has anyone gotten into every ivy? ›
"I just decided to shoot my shot at all of them and see if it would land," says Ashley Adirika, a Nigerian American teen who was accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.Why is Stanford not an ivy? ›
Duke, MIT, and Stanford aren't Ivy League universities only because they didn't have strong athletic programs when the Ivy League was established.Which Ivy gets the least applicants? ›
Dartmouth University is the Ivy League school that receives the least amount of applications. On average, they receive nearly 23,000 applications each year, and this year they received 28,841 applications.Which Ivy campus is the prettiest? ›
The Ivy League with the best campus is Princeton. It's reputed as having the prettiest campus. But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people see Columbia as the most beautiful because of its gothic and classical buildings, while some will pick Cornell because of its breath-taking landscape.What is the lowest GPA to get into Harvard? ›
You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.
None of the Ivy League schools have a minimum GPA requirement for applications, which means anyone can apply regardless of their GPA.Will one C ruin my chances of Ivy League? ›
Just one bad grade in an advanced level course is not going to ruin your chances at an Ivy League. However, consistently underperforming in advanced classes in your area-of-interest classes will penalize you in the applications process.Will any other schools join Ivy League? ›
Can More Schools Become Ivy League? The Ivy League still consists of the original 8 schools that founded the League in 1954. Because of the recognition and prestige they enjoy, they are unlikely to admit other institutions into the League.What percentage of students go to Ivy? ›
Only 0.4 percent of undergraduates attend one of the Ivy League schools. This confirms my long-held belief that way too much attention is paid to these eight institutions. [Read about the Ivy League earnings myth.]What are Ivy Day acceptance rates? ›
Other Ivy League institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Columbia, have released admissions statistics on Ivy Day the past two years. This year, Harvard accepted 3.41 percent of its applicants, Yale accepted 4.35 percent, Columbia accepted 3.9 percent, and Brown accepted 5 percent.What is the hardest Ivy League school to get into? ›
The most challenging Ivy League school to get into is Harvard, established in 1636 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. According to Harvard Admissions, only 2,008 out of 43,330 candidates were accepted to the college. These figures translate into an acceptance rate of 4.6%.Can I get into Harvard with a 3.7 GPA? ›
Can I get into Harvard with a 3.7 GPA? Harvard does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, Harvard is highly competitive, so it may be challenging to get in with a 3.7 GPA. The average GPA for entering Harvard students is 3.9.What is the smallest Ivy League school? ›
The smallest Ivy League school, Dartmouth, was established in 1769 in Hanover, New Hampshire.Is Vanderbilt an Ivy? ›
No, it is not. Eight North East colleges make up the Ivy League. Despite having a higher ranking than Cornell and tying with Brown, Vanderbilt is not actually a member of the Ivy League.Why is Georgetown not an Ivy League? ›
Georgetown is often confused as an Ivy League school because of its highly selective acceptance rate: 14%. That's a smidge higher than the least selective Ivy League — Cornell — but all things considered, Georgetown is definitely an Ivy-level school without the branding.
MIT and Stanford are not Ivy League, but rank better than Harvard. Of the American universities in the QS World University Rankings, for example, the highest placed Ivy League university, Harvard, is third, beaten by non-Ivy universities, MIT and Stanford.How do I impress Ivy League colleges? ›
- Start early. ...
- Do thoughtful college research. ...
- Take time to write strong essays. ...
- Answer optional supplemental questions. ...
- Submit supplemental materials. ...
- Emphasize uniqueness, leadership, and impact. ...
- Submit test scores strategically.
Can an average student get into Ivy League? While it can be challenging for an average student to get into an Ivy League school, it is not impossible. The admissions process for Ivy League schools is highly selective.What is the happiest Ivy League school? ›
Many people know Brown as the “Happy Ivy,” and the Princeton Review ranked Brown as the 10th-happiest campus in the country. If you're curious, Tulane is ranked as number one.What is the #1 public high school in America? ›
Niche, a rankings and review site, just released its rankings for the top high schools in the country for 2023. According to their list, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics earned the number one spot for public schools.What is the #1 high school in America? ›
1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.Are most Ivy League students rich? ›
At Ivy-plus colleges, those elite institutions that propel people to greatness and equalize disparities, more than two-thirds of the students are from rich households and fewer than 4% are from poor households.What GPA do Ivy Leagues like? ›
If you're aiming for a top university such as one in the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, or others of the same caliber, a 4.0 GPA — or close to it — is expected.Which Ivy has the best mental health? ›
Penn scored the highest in a recent mental health report out of all eight Ivy League schools — with a failing grade of a D+.Is attending Ivy worth it? ›
On average, Ivy League graduates earn substantially more than graduates from other four-year universities, according to the most recent data from PayScale for more than 1,500 schools.
For instance, in the Wall Street Journal rankings, Harvard is ranked the nation's top college overall, which means that it's also the highest-ranked Ivy League school. On the other hand, Yale is ranked fourth nationally, which is second highest among Ivy League schools.What Ivy Leagues are free? ›
- Princeton University.
- Harvard University.
- Columbia University.
- Yale University.
- Brown University.
- Cornell University.
- Dartmouth College.
- University of Pennsylvania.
In the most rural setting of all 8 Ivy League schools, Dartmouth is unique for its designation as a “college” rather than “university.” Dartmouth does, however, offer graduate degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees.
The truth in this statement is that “the name” does carry some value. In addition to serving as an entry point to the alumni network, an Ivy League school listed at the top of their resume can help your child land their first job out of college, as well as internships and other opportunities while he's in college.What is the hardest non Ivy League school to get into? ›
Claremont McKenna College, in Claremont, California, has a 13% acceptance rate.Which school is the Harvard of the South? ›
Vanderbilt University is known as the Harvard of the South and with good reason. The campus is an urban one and a located on West End Avenue and 21st Avenue.What college is called the Harvard of the Midwest? ›
Truman stands out amongst colleges throughout the Midwest. There aren't many schools out there that compare to Truman. They call it the "Harvard of the Midwest" or "Princeton of the Prairie" for a reason.How many hidden Ivies are there? ›
Experts Howard and Matthew Greene introduced the term "Hidden Ivies" in their 2000 book with the same name. The eight Ivy League schools are famous for their name recognition, prestige, and notable alumni.What is the Ivy Day acceptance? ›
If you've applied or are currently applying to Ivy League schools, you've likely heard the phrase "Ivy Day." Ivy Day, or Ivy Admissions Day, is when all the Ivy League schools announce their admissions decisions for regular decision first-year applicants. This year, Ivy Day is March 30, 2023.Is there an Ivy Day for early decision? ›
Every Ivy League school has an Early Decision pool and, although deadlines and restrictions vary, Ivy League decision day for most Early Decision programs is sometime in Mid-December..
As you might expect, the colleges that produce the most billionaires are largely Ivy League universities. But even for those who never reach 10 figures, Ivy League universities can still generate wealth.Does Ivy accept 3.7 GPA? ›
Yes, you can get into an Ivy League with a 3.7 GPA. Though, the lower your grade, the less your chances of getting into an Ivy League, but with a strong personal statement and a properly packaged application, you can get in with a grade even less than 3.7 GPA.Is a 3.7 good for Ivies? ›
While 3.7 is a good high school GPA, Ivy League schools are incredibly competitive and a 3.7 GPA alone likely isn't enough to differentiate yourself. Applicants generally have a better chance of getting into an Ivy League school if they get closer to a 4.0 GPA.What GPA do you need to go to Ivy? ›
Test Scores and GPA
Like the other Ivy League schools, having a high GPA of 3.9 or above will help bolster your application. The most recent published class profile data is for the class of 2025: Average GPA: 4.07.
Cornell is the easiest and youngest Ivy League school. It was established in 1865 and is situated in Ithaca, New York. Out of 49,114 candidates, Cornell accepted 5,330, for an admission percentage of around 10.9%.
Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate. While it's easier, statistically speaking, to get into Cornell, it's still challenging. It's also important to remember that students apply directly to one of Cornell's eight undergraduate colleges.Which Ivy League has the prettiest campus? ›
The Ivy League with the best campus is Princeton. It's reputed as having the prettiest campus. But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.Is getting waitlisted at an Ivy good? ›
While being placed on an Ivy League waitlist can feel disappointing, it's important to keep in mind that being placed on a waitlist means you are a competitive applicant. Furthermore, it means that college admissions officers believe you would succeed on campus — they just might not have enough room!What colleges come out on Ivy Day? ›
Ivy Day is the day each spring when all eight Ivy League schools — Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University — release their admission decisions for first-year students starting that fall.How many Ivy League schools can you apply to Early Action? ›
Those who wish a decision in December must apply by early to mid-November and complete their applications with supporting materials shortly thereafter. A student may not file more than one Early Decision or Early Action application within the Ivy League.
You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.Which high school sends the most students to Harvard? ›
AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) — The public Texas high school that sends the most students to Harvard, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is right here in Austin. Westlake ranked No.Who are the richest Harvard graduates? ›
Some billionaire alumni at Harvard include the Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the founder and CEO of Citadel, Ken Griffin.