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Ivy Day 2024: Everything You Need To Know

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman using a laptop in a desk.

Ivy Day 2024: Everything You Need To Know

The coming of spring annually doesn’t only mean the start of a new season. For a specific set of people, it is also a crucial period of the year when lives are about to change – Ivy Day 2024. This year, that day falls on March 28. 

Every year, thousands of upcoming college students together with their family and friends wait diligently for this day to come. But what exactly is Ivy Day 2024?

What is Ivy Day?

Ivy Day is a big deal for high school seniors worldwide. It’s when Ivy League schools announce their admission decisions.

The tradition of Ivy Day doesn’t come from a single event or official start. It’s grown naturally over time, becoming a key moment for students aiming for the Ivy League. The term “Ivy League” started in the 1950s for an athletic conference of eight elite Northeastern U.S. colleges – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale. These schools are known for their tough academic requirements, historic backgrounds, and competitive admissions.

The specific day known as “Ivy Day,” when these schools simultaneously release their undergraduate admissions decisions, has become a significant event only in recent decades. This synchronized decision release is a relatively new phenomenon, facilitated by advancements in digital communication and the Common Application system.

Before the widespread use of the Internet, college admissions decisions were sent by mail over a range of days or even weeks. As online applications became the norm, and with the establishment of a more unified application process, the Ivy League schools adopted a practice of announcing their admissions decisions on the same day each year, usually at the end of March or the beginning of April.

Young woman looking at a laptop while smiling.

This practice was likely adopted for practical reasons, including managing the flow of applicants who might be waiting on decisions from multiple institutions within the Ivy League, and simplifying the process for both applicants and the admissions offices involved.

When is Ivy Day 2024?

Ivy Day 2024 is expected to occur on March 28th. It is the day when The eight Ivy League schools—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale—release their admissions decisions at the same time. Although the exact hour can vary each year, it’s typically around 5 PM or 7 PM Eastern Time.

Top universities outside the Ivy League often share their admission decisions on different days. For instance, Amherst College announced its decisions on March 20 in 2022, and Caltech released theirs even earlier on March 12. Sometimes, non-Ivy schools’ announcements overlap with Ivy Day; NYU did this in 2018, releasing its decisions on the same day but earlier.

The synchronized decision release on Ivy Day specifically applies to students who applied via regular decision to Ivy League schools. This means if a student applied to Yale, Penn, and Harvard with a regular decision, they would get their results from all these schools at the same time on Ivy Day.

Students who applied through early decision or early action to Ivy League schools get their admissions decisions earlier, usually in December or January, depending on the school.

What to expect BEFORE Ivy Day 2024

As Ivy Day 2024 approaches, students and their families are caught in a mix of excitement and nervousness. Preparing for this day involves practical steps and emotional support. Here are a few important things to remember or do before the actual day comes:

Mark the Date: As Ivy Day approaches, ensure that you have the correct date and time marked on your calendar. Ivy Day 2024 is expected to fall on March 28th, with decisions typically released in the evening, around 7 PM EST. Adjust for your local time zone to avoid any confusion.

Verify Your Information: Double-check that your login credentials for each Ivy League school’s admissions portal are correct. This might seem trivial, but ensuring you can seamlessly access your decisions on Ivy Day is crucial.

Female student typing in her laptop.

Plan Your Day: Given the emotional weight of Ivy Day, consider planning your day in advance. Some prefer to be surrounded by family or friends when they check their decisions, while others might choose a more private setting. Think about what will make you feel most comfortable and supported.

Manage Expectations: It’s natural to have high hopes, but it’s also important to prepare yourself for any outcome. The Ivies are known for their extremely selective admissions processes. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and the effort you’ve put into getting to this point, regardless of the decisions.

Consider Other Options: Before Ivy Day, take some time to reflect on and appreciate your other college options. Many excellent universities offer quality education and opportunities for growth. Familiarize yourself with these alternatives and their unique offerings.

What to expect DURING Ivy Day 2024

The most awaited day has arrived. It is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Here’s a guide to help you prepare for the intensity of the result.

Checking Your Decisions: Ivy Day 2024 decisions will typically be released in the evening, around 7 PM EST. When the time comes, access each Ivy League school’s admissions portal using the credentials you previously verified. It’s a good idea to have a stable internet connection and a quiet, comfortable space prepared for this moment.

Immediate Responses Not Required: While receiving your admissions decisions is momentous, remember that you don’t need to make any immediate decisions. Most Ivy League schools give admitted students several weeks to decide whether to accept their offer.

Review Financial Aid Offers: If you’ve received multiple acceptance letters, take the time to carefully review and compare financial aid packages. These offers can play a significant role in your final decision.

Seek Advice if Needed: If you’re feeling uncertain about your next steps, don’t hesitate to seek advice. Family members, school counselors, or trusted teachers can provide valuable perspectives. Additionally, many universities offer admitted student days or virtual events to help you get a better feel for their community and offerings.

Take a Moment: After checking your decisions, give yourself permission to take a step back and breathe. Whether it’s taking a walk, calling a friend, or engaging in a favorite hobby, allow yourself some time to absorb the news and relax.

On Ivy Day, all Ivy League schools post their admissions decisions online at the same time. This often leads to slow website loading and sometimes page crashes because of the high online traffic.

It’s completely normal to want to see your results right away, but remember, it might take a bit longer to access them due to the traffic.

If you run into too much online congestion or constant page crashes, try taking a break for an hour or two before checking again. This could help avoid the peak rush and make it easier to see your admissions status.

What to do AFTER Ivy Day 2024

Once Ivy Day 2024 has passed, you might experience a range of emotions depending on your application results. Regardless of the outcomes, there are important steps you can take to move forward:

Embrace Your Emotions: It’s normal to feel everything from joy to disappointment after Ivy Day. Let yourself fully experience these emotions. Whether you’re celebrating an acceptance or coping with a letdown, your feelings are valid in the competitive college admissions landscape.

Take Time to Reflect: After the initial emotional response, give yourself some time to think about what your admissions decisions mean for your future. Consider all your options, including any acceptances, waitlists, and even plans that might involve reapplication or gap years.

Evaluate Your Offers: Don’t just focus on Ivy League prestige. Think about which college aligns best with your academic interests, career aspirations, personal development, and financial needs. Explore by attending admitted student events, talking to current students or alumni, and checking out each school’s resources and community vibe to choose wisely.

Think about which schools among your acceptances you can see yourself doing well at. Where can you imagine not just academic success but also genuinely enjoying your time? Also, review which schools have given you the best financial aid packages. These considerations are key to making the best decision for your future.

Female student typing in his laptop for a college essay.

Visit the Campuses: Whenever possible, visit the campuses of the schools that have accepted you. Being there in person can give you a better sense of whether a school is a right fit. If you can’t visit physically, virtual campus tours and online events are great representatives of what each institution feels like.

Respond to All Schools: Whether you’re accepting an offer, declining admissions, or deciding to remain on a waitlist, communicate your decision to all schools promptly. This courtesy helps universities manage their admissions process and can also benefit other students who are waiting for spots to open up.

Plan Your Next Steps: Once you’ve made your college of choice, it’s time to look forward. This includes completing any necessary paperwork, applying for housing, registering for orientation, and preparing for your college life both academically and personally.

Ivy Day 2023 Admissions Data

The data from last year’s regular decision round underscores the extreme selectivity and tough competition for a spot at these esteemed schools. Although the numbers change greatly year after year, it might help to look at the previous year’s Ivy Day 2023 admissions data.

School Name Regular Decision Applicants Regular Decision Accepted Regular Decision Acceptance Rate
Brown University 44,532 1,730 3.88%
Columbia University 51,391 1,600 3%
Cornell University NYP 3,324 NYP
Dartmouth College 25,832 1,173 4.54%
Harvard University 47,384 1,220 2.34%
Princeton University 32,804 1,895 5.80%
University of Pennsylvania 44,960 3,345 7.40%
Yale University 44,506 1,433 3.22%

Note: NYP = not yet published

These statistics confirm the common understanding that getting into an Ivy League school is incredibly challenging. They reflect the high caliber of applicants and the limited spots available. With only a small percentage of candidates getting in, the Ivy League continues to stand for academic excellence and exclusivity.

Additionally, these numbers suggest that these institutions are intentionally maintaining a tight-knit learning environment, despite the growing pool of applicants.

What to do if you were waitlisted or rejected

Waitlisted

Being on the waitlist can feel like you’re stuck in limbo, not accepted but not fully rejected either. It’s a situation filled with uncertainty, but there are steps you can take.

Embrace the Waitlist: If you’re really interested in the school, send a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI) to the admissions office. This is your chance to reiterate why you and the school are a great match, adding new information that wasn’t in your original application. Keep it concise, aiming for one page. Just remember, you might be in for a long wait.

Female student typing an essay while sitting on the pavement.

Secure an Alternative: It’s important to be hopeful yet practical. As deadlines for other schools get closer, consider securing your spot at another college by making a deposit, even though it might be non-refundable if you get off the waitlist later. Given the slim chances of getting off Ivy League waitlists, it’s wise to manage your expectations and have a solid backup plan.

Rejected

Getting turned down by your top-choice college, especially if it’s an Ivy League, can be tough. The competition is intense, and many brilliant students don’t get in. For example, schools like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale only accept around 4% of applicants.

Look Beyond Ivy League: Remember, there are many colleges out there with great programs and opportunities. Applying to a mix of reach, target, and safety schools increases your chances of getting several acceptance letters.

Focus on Your Acceptances: It’s time to shift your focus to the schools that have accepted you. Start comparing them by listing the pros and cons of each. Think about how well they match your academic interests, their financial aid packages, campus vibes, and how they fit with your plans. This approach can help you find excitement and opportunity in your next steps.

Ivy Day represents the start of a long, mostly challenging road toward collegiate success. If you were not accepted to your dream school, it’s not the end of the world. There are options – whether it’s taking a gap year and re-applying, going for a transfer, or attending community college. It may not be what you have envisioned or expected, but this roadblock can be seen as a redirection or another opportunity to be better and come back stronger.

Furthermore, Ivy Day means a lot more than just getting acceptance letters. It’s the commemoration of a tough journey filled with hard work in school, doing extracurricular activities, and growing personally. For many students, it’s the day they find out if they’ll get into one of the eight Ivy League schools. But most importantly, Ivy Day isn’t just about where the students will go next; it’s also about thinking back on all the effort they’ve put in to reach this important day.

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