4 Ivy League Admission Tips for Class of 2024

March 22, 2021
By AdmissionSight

4 Ivy League Admission Tips for Class of 2024

It’s an equally exciting and nerve-wracking time for students nearing their final year in high school. Although it’s bittersweet seeing such a formative chapter of life come to a close, there’s a lot of anticipation and excitement for the next four years that lie ahead.

However enticing the collegiate experience might be, there’s still a large obstacle standing in the way. High school graduates not only have to decide where they’ll attend, but they also have to go through the challenging application process. Applicants will try their best to convince admissions staff why they’re deserving of a limited spot at the university of their choice.

Young student holding her books and backpack.

Even though this is a daunting process for any student at any university, those applying to the highly esteemed Ivy League will face unique challenges. These eight universities are among the most well-respected in the entire world. Naturally, this prestige comes with a high level of competition as these schools are incredibly selective.

As more and more high school students from across the country set their sights on the Ivies, the competition gets more intense with each passing year. Fortunately, the admissions process isn’t unidimensional. In other words, colleges take a great deal of information into account when determining who gets accepted.

Why is this good news for you? Well, it means your application isn’t immediately going to be thrown to the side because of one particular component. You have many different areas in which you can impress admissions staff and secure your position in the class of 2024 at the school of your choice. To help drastically increase your chances of getting accepted, AdmissionSight has put together this list of handy Ivy League admission tips. We’ve spent years successfully helping students secure spots in the country’s best schools. These are some of our top suggestions.

What Are the Ivy League Acceptance Rates for Class of 2024?

Before we dive into specific Ivy League admissions tips for the class of 2024, it’s helpful to gain a better understanding of the admissions landscape. Here’s the acceptance rate of the class of 2024 for all Ivy League schools:

  • Brown: 6.88%
  • Columbia: 6.15%
  • Cornell: ~ 15% (no statistics released)
  • Dartmouth: 8.79%
  • Harvard: 4.92%
  • Penn: 8.07%
  • Princeton: 5.55%
  • Yale: 6.54%

According to these estimates, the average acceptance rate of the Ivies for the class of 2024 is around 7.7%. When this is compared to the average acceptance rate among all registered colleges in the United States which is around 68%, it’s evident just how selective these schools are. Penn, Dartmouth, and Cornell have the highest acceptance rates among the Ivies, but still are considerably challenging when compared to standard state schools.

4 tips for the class of 2024 to get into Ivy Leagues

Apply Early

A great way to increase your chances of getting into the class of 2024 for an Ivy League school is by applying early. Unfortunately, most students don’t know this is even an option. All Ivies – and most colleges in the country for that matter – have two application timelines. The standard timeline is what most people use and are familiar with. However, the early decision or early action – depending on what the school offers – allows you to submit your application earlier. For most universities, admission rates are higher during these earlier application timelines. Here are the early admission rates for the class of 2024 for all eight Ivy League universities.

Admission Rates for the Class of 2024

(ED = Early Decision; EA = Early Action)

  • Brown: 17.54% ED
  • Columbia: 14.57% ED
  • Cornell: 23.82% ED
  • Dartmouth:  26.44% ED
  • Harvard: 13.93% EA
  • Penn: 19.67% ED
  • Princeton: 15.82% EA
  • Yale: 13.78% EA

Just like that, getting into all of these high-level universities seems so much more achievable! However, not everything is sunshine and rainbows when it comes to early admission. It’s important to get the full picture before you make the decision to apply early.

First and foremost, you’ll have to start your application process early in order to make the earlier deadline. This means you’ll have a shorter amount of time to gather all of the necessary documents you need such as high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and more. Another important consideration to make before you jump into early admissions is the university’s specific rules regarding acceptance. Schools that offer early decision plans require students to pull their applications from other universities after getting accepted if they want to attend.

This way, schools make sure you’re not sending out a bunch of early admission applications with the hopes of seeing what sticks. They want to make sure you’re committed. However, there are Ivy League schools that have early action plans with a similar timeline that’s not binding. Students simply receive an earlier response to an application but don’t need to express their commitment until the typical reply date.

Note: One of the reasons admission rates are higher during early application timelines is due to the smaller applicant pools.

Find and Develop a Passion.

Not every applicant is going to have the absolutely stellar grades that surprise admissions officers. In fact, the vast majority of high school students applying to Ivy League schools aren’t going to be able to really set themselves apart with GPAs, test scores, and other academic metrics alone. Why? Well, as we’ve already covered, the average student applying to these highly regarded universities is high-achieving and incredibly smart. So, how can your further set yourself apart in order to secure yourself a spot in the class of 2024? You have to find something you’re passionate about and pursue it…well, passionately.

Young student studying in a room.

That might sound a little vague, but it’s one of the best Ivy League admissions tips for the class of 2024. We’ve already covered how these colleges take a holistic approach to their admissions process – meaning they take a wide variety of factors into account when deciding who gets accepted.

In addition to academic performance – which is still incredibly important! – admissions staff are also looking for extracurricular activities in which you’ve excelled. Although all students should develop in this area to improve their application, these non-academic components are a great place for lower-performing students to compensate for those shortcomings.

Why do Ivy League universities care what you do outside of the classroom? They’re not just interested in having purely academic students. These schools are looking for individuals with the potential to be influential thinkers, leaders, and action-takers capable of making a change. While academics play a role in this equation, it’s not the only puzzle piece.

That’s why these colleges love to see students that have pursued something of interest to them outside of the classroom. What you do isn’t as important as the fervor with which you do it, the amount of time you dedicate to it, and how you develop throughout the process.

Instead of signing up for every extracurricular activity available at your high school, we advise students to pick just a few that sound the most interesting. Figure out which one brings you the most joy and decide to pursue that as much as you can. If you’re passionate about science, you could join the prestigious Summer Science Program (SSP). Interested in music? Practice for the famous Cooper International Piano & Violin Competition. There’s no shortage of extracurriculars available in which you can progress and, ultimately, prove to admissions officers that you’re a driven, enthusiastic, and capable individual with something to offer the university.

Share Your Story.

The vast majority of the standard college application is fairly dry and static. You’ve been asked to list your personal and contact information along with academic metrics such as classes, test scores, and grades. Even the extracurricular activities you’ll provide won’t give admissions officers much of a glimpse into what makes you unique as an individual. However, the standard application isn’t designed to accomplish this. Instead, it’s used as a resume-style document with a quick summary of how you performed in high school. The only place you really have an opportunity to tell your story is in the essay section. 

Young student sitting on the road.

All Ivy League schools require applicants to fill out a series of essay prompts. Although the actual questions vary between each school and between each year, there’s typically some overlap in the themes. Some typical college essay prompts involve questions like:

  • Why do you want to attend this university?
  • Can you tell us about how a meaningful experience in your life shaped who you are today?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • How did experiences of conflict in the past influence how you think and feel?

Obviously, the questions are dressed up and catered to the university, but these fundamental questions are inherent in the prompts. These essay topics are designed to help admissions officers learn more about each applicant beyond what little information is provided on the standard application. It’s the best opportunity students have to show colleges what makes them unique, who they are, and why they’re a great fit for the school. This is the best – and pretty much the only – time to tell your story. It’s time to let your personality shine through.

Even if the rest of your college application is mediocre, a stellar essay might just be the saving grace you need. Here are some quick tips for making your essays genuine, unique, and effective.

  1. Be open and honest in your responses. Authenticity is key and admissions offices will be able to smell a lie from a mile away. Stick to what you know and speak earnestly.
  2. Find a writing style that works for you and stick to it. Colleges have to sift through tens of thousands of essays. In order to ensure yours stand out, you’ll need more than just a great story. You’ll also need incredible writing.
  3. Make your writing emotive. You should do everything you can to elicit emotional responses from your readers. This ensures you’ll hook admissions officers and get them rooting for you.
  4. Stick to the prompt. It’s easy to get carried away when telling a personal story, but you have to remember to always bring things full-circle and connect what you’re saying with the original essay topic.
  5. Mention specifics about the university. While admissions officers are interested in learning more about you, don’t forget the whole point of the application: to show why you’re a great match for the university. That’s why you should always make an effort to mention specifics about the university and how they align with your personal and academic goals.

Push yourself academically.

There’s no secret that academic performance has a major impact on your chances of getting into the university of your dreams. After all, despite offering a wide variety of non-academic opportunities, colleges are first and foremost academic institutions. This is especially true when applying to Ivy League schools which are world-renowned for their academic rigor and selectivity. So, the real question becomes, what are you up against? What kind of performance do you need in order to secure a spot in the Ivies? Well, here are the average GPAs and standardized test scores for each of the eight Ivy League universities.

Average Ivy League Academic Performance

  • Brown:  4.08/ SAT: 1500, ACT: 32
  • Columbia:  4.16/ SAT: 1530, ACT: 34
  • Cornell: 4.04/ SAT: 1480, ACT: 32
  • Dartmouth: 4.06/ SAT: 1500, ACT: 32
  • Harvard: 4.1/ SAT: 1540, ACT: 34
  • Penn: 3.93/ SAT: 1510, ACT: 32
  • Princeton: 3.9/ SAT: 1520, ACT: 33
  • Yale: 4.19/ SAT: 1540, ACT: 33

As you can see, Ivy League schools demand near perfection when it comes to academic performance. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is only one part of the comprehensive equation that is the admissions landscape. Furthermore, don’t forget that admissions officers like to see growth and progress. If you can show how you’ve pushed yourself over the course of your high school career to earn higher and higher grades, this information is going to make your GPA look even better.

Young student studying in the library.

Fortunately, there are some strategies you can implement to make sure you have impressive academic achievements. Here are some of the most effective tips:

  • Sign up for Advanced Placement (AP) or honors courses to bring up your GPA as these classes are weighted for their difficulty. They’ll also show admissions officers how you challenge yourself.
  • Take the ACT and SAT more than once in order to average up your score. However, make sure you don’t take both more than three or four times as too many attempts can reflect poorly on your application.

Don’t get too caught up in the admission statistics

While it’s easy to let these numbers discourage you from applying to these top universities, it’s key to not get too caught up in the admissions statistics. Keep in mind that these are all averages. In other words, Ivy League universities accept students with scores and GPAs well below these averages as well as higher. Instead of viewing these stats as obstacles, you can view them as clear benchmarks for what you need to achieve. Furthermore, you can turn your attention to our top Ivy League admissions tips for the class of 2024. Take a deep breath, try to release some stress, put your best foot forward, and trust in the process. You got this!

Young girl studying in a room looking sullen.

Need more help getting into top-tier colleges?

Applying to college is a challenging and daunting process. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with years of experience providing high-quality services to both parents and students. We have a proven track record of helping students get into some of the best schools in the country, including the Ivy League. We’ve custom-tailored our services to the specific admissions requirements for each of these schools allowing us to give students a competitive advantage over other applicants. We’ll also personalize our services to match each student’s strengths, interests, and goals.

If you’re interested in working with AdmissionSight, feel free to contact us. We’ll set up a free consultation where you can ask any questions you might have about our services and the college admissions process overall. We look forward to hearing from you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.