Ivy League Acceptance Rates in 2022: What You Stand Against

Easiest and Hardest Ivy League Colleges
Cambridge, MA, USA – November 2, 2013: Radcliffe Quad undergrad housing at Harvard University in Fall in Cambridge, MA, USA on November 2, 2013.

What are Ivy Leagues acceptance rates like in 2022?

The Ivy League’s eight schools namely; Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale are among America’s and the world’s most prestigious and selective colleges. As a result, tens of thousands of candidates have flooded the websites of Ivy colleges with applications.

VastLearners Team will review the acceptance rates of Ivy League schools, and how have they changed over time?

The admittance figures are bleak. The number of Ivy League candidates for the Class of 2023 reached a new high of 311,948. Unfortunately, the acceptance rate across all eight universities was 6.78 percent, which was a record low at the time.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 breakdown, acceptance rates for the Class of 2024 climbed marginally at most Ivy League universities, although getting into Ivy League colleges remained exceedingly difficult.

Now that the admissions results for the Class of 2025 are in, it’s evident that applications to Ivy League schools climbed considerably in the most recent application round, with almost 100,000 more students applying than the previous year.

Ivy League acceptance rates: Class of 2025

(Note: This table will be updated as new data are released. Princeton cancelled early action for the Class of 2025.)

Overall Acceptance RatesEarly Action/Early Decision Acceptance RatesRegular Decision Acceptance Rates
AcceptedAppliedAcceptance RateAcceptedAppliedAcceptance RateAcceptedAppliedAcceptance Rate
Brown*2,56946,5685.5%8855,54016.0%1,68441,0284.1%
Columbia*2,35860,5513.9%6,43554,116
Cornell*5,83667,3808.7%
Dartmouth*1,74928,3576.2%5912,66422.2%1,15825,6934.5%
Harvard^2,32057,7864.0%74710,0867.4%1,57347,7003.3%
Penn*3,30456,3325.9%1,1837,96114.9%2,12148,3714.4%
Princeton^1,49837,6014.0%1,49837,6014.0%
Yale^2,16946,9054.6%8377,93910.5%1,33238,9663.4%
Total21,803401,4805.4%

*Early decision schools | ^Single-choice early action schools

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Here is a list of the Ivy League schools in ascending order of overall selectivity:

1. Columbia (3.9%)
2. Harvard (4.0%)
2. Princeton (4.0%)
4. Yale (4.6%)
5. Brown (5.5%)
6. Penn (5.9%)
7. Dartmouth (6.2%)
8. Cornell (8.7%)

What You Stand Against in Ivy League Schools

When we evaluate which Ivy League schools are “easiest” or “toughest” to get into, it’s easy to miss the big picture: Ivy League universities are some of the most selective in the country. Given the low overall acceptance rate, the vast majority of Ivy League applicants will not get into any of the eight schools.

The good news is that elite universities are still looking for the kinds of students they’ve always wanted. They place a premium on academic excellence. Students who take initiative, contribute in their communities, do well on the SAT or ACT, and enjoy studying are valued.

In many ways, the Ivy League admissions process is the same as it has always been. The bad news is that getting lost in the torrent of applications is all too simple.

For example, between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, Harvard’s admission rate fell from 5.0 percent to 4.0 percent, Yale’s from 6.5 percent to 4.6 percent, and Columbia’s from 6.3 percent to 3.9 percent.

Acceptance rates at Ivy League schools have declined from 7.3 percent to 5.7 percent on average. These are substantially bigger swings than the usual 0.2 percent or so that we see year to year.

Regrettably, this meant that getting into an Ivy League or similar top-tier college in 2020-2021 would be the most challenging year ever.

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5 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting into an Ivy League School

So far, we’ve examined historical data on Ivy League acceptance rates and yields, appraised patterns, and discussed why these admissions metrics are essential to colleges.

We’ll give you five tips on how to boost your chances of being accepted into one of the great national institutions we mentioned previously in this essay, moving from the abstract to the concrete.

Key 1: Demonstrate Your Enthusiasm in your Application

Your college application should ideally tell a story about the kind of student you were in high school (and suggest what kind of student you will be).

As PrepScholar co-founder Allen Cheng points out in his post on how to get into Harvard and the Ivy League, highly elite national universities worry more about displaying your interest for one subject than your ability to be well-rounded.

Ivy League institutions prioritize student diversity over student diversity within each student. In reality, this means that instead of demonstrating to elite institutions that you can do anything and everything well enough, you should show them that you can do a few things exceptionally well and with zeal.

Key 2: Aim for quality rather than quantity In your extracurricular activities

You should focus your academic rigour on the areas that interest you the most, and you should spend your extracurricular time on activities that complement your passions.

You should value quality over quantity and dedication over breadth when it comes to extracurricular activities like music, athletics, and community service. Even if you don’t plan on continuing to pursue your high school hobbies in college, exhibiting your ability to focus and dedicate yourself to greatness in one area will help your college application.

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Key 3: Enroll in Challenging Courses Related to your Interests

Highly selective colleges care almost as much about your classes as they do about your GPA.

This does not mean you must take every difficult course offered at your school; rather, you should choose the most challenging classes that fit your application’s narrative.

Schools will be suspicious if you’re taking your school’s easiest math and physics courses, even if you’re taking difficult English or History classes if you’re applying to colleges with the narrative that you’re a math genius who spends her leisure time working on p vs np problems.

Key 4: Aim for high test scores and outstanding performance.

Standardized test scores (mainly SAT/ACT) and GPA are used as filters by universities that receive a large number of applications to evaluate which applications are worth examining.

Going through tens of thousands of applications is simply not possible when most applicants submit their applications in early January and expect to hear back by mid-to-late March.

Even Caltech, with its 8,200 candidates, would have to look through approximately 110 applications per day between the day applications are due and the day students are notified.

Given the availability of non-workdays and the fact that admissions officers “require sleep because they’re not undead,” it’s logical that schools utilize test scores and GPAs as filters.

Yes, it hurts to believe that your value is reduced to a few digits. This does, however, imply that there are a few clear indicators of success that you might aim for.

Key 5: Double-check that all aspects of your application are up to par

Although test scores, GPA, course rigour, and extracurricular activities are typically the most important factors in Ivy League or other top-tier national university applications, you can still improve your chances by writing excellent letters of recommendation, personal statements, and application supplements or portfolios.

A strong letter of recommendation from a teacher who has seen you grow as a student, a well-written personal statement that reveals something not revealed elsewhere in your application, or an impressive portfolio of work (whether oil paintings or web apps) provide schools with more information to consider when deciding whether or not to accept you.

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