Interest in Ivy League schools continues to be strong

by Grace


Despite a drop in applications at Dartmouth, Harvard and Columbia, overall interest in Ivy League schools continues to be strong.

The number of applications has risen steadily for over a decade (perhaps best shown HERE), so even small drops in applications won’t have a huge effect on admission rates at the Ivies. Harvard may have dropped 2% in the number of applicants, but their admit rate went from 5.79% last year to 5.90% this year, not a massive change. Columbia received 1.73% fewer applications from last year to this year, but the competition is not exactly wavering; their admit rate for the Class of 2017 was 6.89% and for the Class of 2018 was 6.95%. Want an even scarier number? Across all Ivy League universities plus MIT and Stanford last year 305,101 students applied and 26,758 were accepted (8.77% overall acceptance rate). This year? 313,981 students applied and 26,154 were accepted. So what’s that percentage tell us? It’s not easier to get in. 8.33% overall acceptance rate. Admissions is a numbers game and the numbers aren’t bending.

There seems to be a general consensus that even with the current downsizing trend in higher education, “elite colleges will continue to hold their value”.


“Breaking Down the Numbers in Admissions”, Application Boot Camp, July 24th, 2014.


2 Comments to “Interest in Ivy League schools continues to be strong”

  1. I’m not sure how meaningful those “across all Ivy plus MIT and Stanford” numbers are. E.g., if you just take the number of applicants to each school and adds them, you will overcount the total number of students applying, because many students will apply to multiple Ivies/MIT/Stanford. Some of them will also get accepted to more than one.

    I’m curious whether the drop in Dartmouth applications has anything to do with their decision to not grant AP credit.


  2. Good point about the numbers, but I guess the overall point that these schools are still attracting students is still supported.

    I have read that the AP issue figured into Dartmouth’s drop in applications, but controversial campus social issues have also been mentioned.


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