Which Ivy League Is Right For You?

If you are hoping for an Ivy League, you need to push yourself academically before you apply. You must have high grades in the hardest possible classes. This is one of the primary criteria to get into an ivy league. To know which ivy league school is best suited for you, read through the article

Updated by Anchal S on 17th October 2020

If you are hoping for an Ivy League, you need to push yourself academically before you apply. You must have high grades in the hardest possible classes. Show the Ivy League that you will perform at the top level of academic accuracy. After all the hard work your next question would be Which Ivy League is right for you? Do not panic, it is not that big a task. Read further and by the end of this article, you will pretty much have an idea of which Ivy League is right for you.

Now considering you don’t have a perfect transcript. Well, you are still not out of the running. Work hard to perform on an upward route from now on to show that you are just getting better and better. Your numbers aren’t everything as the top schools look for students who can do it all: excel in the classroom, and make a difference in their broader community. 

Take the time to be actively engaged in your school and local area before applying to the Ivy League schools. If you love theater, prove that this is your passion and take advantage of all chances to get involved. Take part in the drama program at your school, perform in an acting troupe in your community, and volunteer with a local elementary school’s productions. Pursue leadership positions to show your commitment, stay involved for a long time to show your dedication, and make a tangible difference to show your impact.

Table of content

The original Ivy League Schools 

Which Ivy League Is The Easiest And Hardest To Get Into

Which Ivy League Is The Best For You

The Original Ivy League Schools

The Original Ivy League was created in the 1940s by the presidents of the eight schools to encourage intercollegiate football competition in a manner that maintained the virtues of the game, while also balancing the primary purpose of attending colleges (academics).

The Ivy League name was created when a bored sports reporter at one of the schools to cover a football game, remarked on sitting there ‘watching the ivy grow’, about the sprawling ivy that crawls over many of the old schools.

Ivy League is a specific group of 8 search engines institutions. These schools are as follows: 

Harvard University

Harvard University was started in 1636. It defines excellence and academic conditioning at its highest level. They do not just believe in excelling academically but also encourage students to focus on overall development. 

The alumni list of Harvard includes many famous personalities like former US presidents John F Kennedy, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Mascot: Crimson

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 7,181

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 5.2%

  • Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences (General); Biology/Biological Sciences (General); Mathematics (General); Physical Sciences; and History (General).

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 97%

Brown University

Started as a non-profit college in 1764, to promote and accept students coming from any religion. Currently, Brown University is known as the leading research university. They focus on encouraging students to excel in all aspects including sports and extracurricular. To mention the alumni of Brown University are Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson, John Krasinski, and Ted Turner.

Official website

  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island

  • Mascot: Bears

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 6,316

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 9.0%

  • Most Popular Majors: Computer Science; Econometrics and Quantitative Economics; Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies; Biology/Biological Sciences (General); and Engineering (General).

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 98%

Columbia University

Columbia University in the city of New York is a non-profit college. It is known as one of the world’s best research and teaching institutions as well as offers a distinguished learning experience to both undergraduate and graduate students. Columbia University emphasizes the location of NYC and makes use of all the resources available from the metropolis for their distinguished areas of growth and research.

Official website

  • Location: New York, New York

  • Mascot: Lions

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 7,160

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 6.0%

  • Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and Psychology.

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 99%

Yale University

Yale University was founded in the year 1701. It belies in imparting excellence in the students with their high standards of education, research, and innovation. 

Some of the alumni of Yale University are George Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Eli Whitney. Yale University's sporting teams are affiliated to NCAA Division I FCS – Ivy League – ECAC Hockey – NEISA.

Official website

  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut

  • Mascot: Bulldogs 

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 5,275

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 6.3%

  • Most Popular: Drama and Music Programs (Yale Whiffenpoofs, a famous a cappella group, and the Yale Dramatic Association).

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 99%

Princeton University

Started as a non-profit university in the year 1746 with the name college of New Jersey and served till 1896 with that name. In the year 1896, the university was awarded the university status and then it was renamed Princeton University. This university believes in imparting education and becoming resourceful to contribute to society with innovation, education, and research. Princeton University offers a 4-year program.

Official website

  • Location: New Jersey

  • Mascot: Tigers     

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 5,113

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 6.5%

  • Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and Public Administration and Social Service Professions.

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 98%

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College was founded in 1769 and is ranked high among the world’s best educational institutions. Their vision is to bring out the most promising students and make them ready for learning, building leadership, and knowledge.

Official website

  • Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

  • Mascot: Big Green  

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 4,248

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 10.5%

  • Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; and History. 

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 97%

Cornell University

Cornell University was started in the year 1856 and is known as a private research university. It is well known for its outstanding faculties. Cornell University is also known for its research in natural science or engineering. As many students apply for a P.hD. program.

Official website

  • Location: Ithaca, New York

  • Mascot: Big Red  

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 13,931

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 14.1%

  • Most Popular: College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Hotel Administration.

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 97%

University of Pennsylvania

Penn was formed with a vision of changing the world. They strongly believe in the concept of innovation. Penn follows a tradition of intellectual rigor.

Official website

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Mascot: Quakers 

  • Undergrad Enrollment: 10,337

  • 2020 Acceptance Rate: 9.4%

  • Most Popular Majors: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Engineering; and Health Professions and Related Programs.

  • The Average Freshman Retention Rate: 98%

[Note- The average freshman retention rate is an indicator of student satisfaction].

Which Ivy League Is The Easiest And The Hardest To Get Into?

Now you pretty much have an idea about the list of Ivy League colleges to consider. After which the next step is to check if you match the eligibility criteria to get into one of these Ivy League schools. Again this depends on multiple factors like minimum GPA requirement for Ivy league school, academic rigor, and finally the college application essay. 

To figure out which Ivy League is the easiest to get into you should check the acceptance rate of each of those Ivy League schools. Check out the chart below to find out the acceptance rate of respective schools.

Acceptance rate at Ivy League schools

Based on the data in the above-given chart, Cornell University and Dartmouth College have the highest acceptance rate. Whereas, Harvard University and Princeton University have the lowest acceptance rate. Hence, it is easiest to get into Cornell University and Dartmouth College and the hardest to get into Harvard University and Princeton University.

Which Ivy League Is The Best For You?

From the list of such great universities and colleges, which Ivy League is the best for you? If you are confused about that, well, don't worry. Check out the above section with a list of Ivy League schools and all the necessary details you need to know to make the right decision. Take time, list down the pros and cons of each of your options. From the section above you will know which university or college has the highest acceptance rate and how to apply to those Ivy League schools. Check out our university pages linked above for every Ivy League school for additional details on the admission process, financial aid, ranking, and more. You may also visit their official websites as well for further more clarity. 


Take a step back and remember how competitive the application process is at these institutions before applying to the Ivy schools. Millions of high schoolers dream of attending one of these top schools. As the acceptance rates shrink year after year, keep in mind that the vast majority of applicants are rejected, and nothing is guaranteed. In this competitive landscape, you must be the total package to be seriously considered by the Ivy League. You need nothing short of stellar grades, meaningful and unique extracurriculars, a compelling personal statement, and letters of recommendation that rave about you.

Your grades and scores are only part of this picture, but they are incredibly important. To stand out to an Ivy League admissions officer, you should write personally and honestly about yourself, and you will need recommenders who will do the same. Every school asks for the perspective of a third-party who will describe you from personal knowledge. Ask recommenders who can speak to your character and provide enlightening examples about your personality. Identify teachers who know you well and will boast about your academic skills, and conclude that you are one of the best students they’ve had in their career. Before you apply, take the time to get to know some of your favorite teachers and your guidance counselor. You’ll be glad you did when it is time to ask for recommenders.