The Truth about the Ivy League

If you’ve always dreamed about attending one of the eight prestigious colleges that make up the Ivy League, you probably already know that admission to these schools is ultra-competitive. So here are a few simple truths to help keep things in perspective as you decide whether applying to an Ivy League college is right for you.

Truth No. 1: Not many people attend Ivy League colleges.

Fact is, most people who apply to Ivy League colleges are rejected. Acceptance rates for these eight colleges range from 9 to 20 percent. This means 80 to 90 percent of candidates get a rejection letter in the mail. Now, consider that rejected Ivy applicants include some of the most successful, intelligent students in their respective classes. Most go on to find a good fit at other colleges, big and small, throughout the country. The lesson here is that there are many, many opportunities to get an excellent education and have a great college experience outside the Ivy League.

Truth No. 2: Other colleges offer the same benefits as Ivy League colleges.

Ivy League colleges don’t have a monopoly on beautiful campuses. Or high teaching standards. Or strong alumni networks. Or any of the other factors that might make an Ivy League school especially appealing to you. So think about what it really is that attracted you to Yale. Chances are good you can find it at another college.

Truth No. 3: Any Ivy League college isn’t the best choice for every major.

Sure, Ivy League colleges have more than their share of top-rated academic programs. But that doesn’t mean they are the best at everything. Depending on what major you want to pursue, you might just be surprised to find the program at a public, in-state university is more highly acclaimed than the one at Harvard.

Truth No. 4: An Ivy League degree doesn’t spell automatic success.

College is what you make of it. Just because you attend an Ivy League college doesn’t mean you’ll graduate with honors or even graduate at all. Likewise, an Ivy League name on your diploma and resume doesn’t guarantee you’ll find your dream job straight out of school. You make your own success through the hard work you put in once you get to college whether it’s Princeton or the local community college.

Truth No. 5: When it’s all said and done, you could get in.

Finding the right college fit means going after the schools at the very top of your wish list. There’s never a guarantee you’ll get into an Ivy League college. But if you have the grades, the test scores and the rest of the package that make you a great candidate, go ahead and apply. You might just end up in the percent who make it in.

The Ivy League:

College City State
Brown University Providence Rhode Island
Columbia University New York New York
Cornell University Ithaca New York
Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire
Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Yale University New Haven Connecticut


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