Should I apply to an Ivy League school? | Blog | News | Parros College Planning

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Should I apply to an Ivy League school?

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By Tim Parros

What schools are considered Ivy League? Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale are considered Ivy League schools and, added all up, they had a total of 281,060 applicants for the class of 2021. That’s a lot of kids and parents saying “I just want to apply just in case I get in.”

In my experience there is no such thing as ‘just in case’ when you realize that of those applicants, less than 10% got admissions offers. Harvard had the lowest acceptance rate out of all the Ivies, at just 5%.

The dream of attending an Ivy comes at a cost: LendEDU recently released its annual ranking of the colleges that make the most money off of student applications. The student-loan information site analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and reported how much revenue 500 American colleges and universities earn from application fees for the 2016-17 academic year.

Let’s take a look at Harvard, they had 39,041 total applicants, an application fee of $75 and projected income of $2,928,075, not bad when you realize that they only accepting 5% of those applicants! The most revenue from application fees collected actually comes from the University of California, Los Angeles with a total applicant count of 97,112, their application fee is $70, therefore the projected revenue is $6,797,840. WOW!

Clearly, getting into any Ivy League school is an impressive achievement. So, how do people do it? Let’s focus on what these schools are looking for in their applicants, we can point to two main qualities in applicants: Students who are going to accomplish world-changing things and
students who are going to contribute positively to their communities while in college and help other students accomplish great things as well. This seems simple enough right? A few extracurriculars and some hard classes is that all you need? Wrong.

Ivy League schools are often looking for the best of the best, the cream of the crop; they want student leaders who’ve graduated in the top 2% of their classes academic-wise, have a healthy bundle of extracurriculars under their belt, have nearly perfect scores on their SAT/ACT, volunteer experience, and a few awards in some of those areas doesn’t hurt either.

So, as you consider what colleges to apply to I want to remind you that your success in life is up to you, not the school you attend. The school you go to cannot guarantee your own success.

Whether you get into a top school or not, it’s only the beginning of a long road, and what happens during your journey after college is almost entirely up to you, no matter what college you end up attending. When I am asked by my clients if they should apply to a reach school my response is always that it is great to have two reach schools and to talk to us about your chances of acceptance so that we can guide you in your decision. We encourage everyone who would like to learn more to schedule a complimentary consultation with us to discuss your college dreams.

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