5 Misconceptions About Ivy League Schools

5 Misconceptions About Ivy League Schools
  • Opening Intro -

    Some of the most prestigious schools in America are the Ivy Leagues.

    This list includes famous institutions such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Yale.


Because of their caliber and high esteem, they have developed certain reputations that have inspired a lot of folklore.

Most students write off these colleges because they believe the various myths that often paint them as unattainable. The truth is that there’s way more than meets the eyes when it comes to these complex establishments.

Here are five misconceptions about Ivy League schools that you should stop believing.

They Look at Only Grades

It’s true that good grades are among the most important aspects of Ivy League admissions. However stellar marks and high test scores aren’t enough. Good grades alone won’t get you into these prestigious universities; you need a diverse application to impress admissions departments.

Your application should demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded student with a variety of interests. Having high grades is important, but you should also strive for balance.

Expand your application by taking different kinds of classes and joining extracurricular activities. Show admissions that you’re a diverse student who’s eager to learn and participate.

They’re the Most Selective

Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Princeton have a reputation for being ultra selective. These schools do have rigorous standards that are difficult to meet, but they aren’t the only ones with high expectations.

Several establishments outside of the Ivy Leagues are just as selective, if not more so. For example, specialized institutions such as CalTech and MIT are exceptionally difficult to get into because of their low acceptance rates.

Going to a conservatory for music, art, or another special interest will likely lead you to programs with higher standards than those of at least half of the Ivy League schools.

They Prioritize Only Athletics

When considering what extracurricular activities to participate in, most people assume that athletics look the best on applications. Many schools, including the Ivy Leagues, do search for athletes to join their programs. However, athletics aren’t their only priorities.

So if you aren’t an athlete but dream of getting an Ivy League education, don’t worry! The Ivies also have other prestigious departments to fill, including music, theater, and dance.

You don’t have to play a certain sport to be an Ivy League hopeful; being excellent at a different craft could impress their admissions departments just as well.

They Value Quantity Over Quality

When you picture the typical Ivy League student, you probably imagine someone with no free time due to their various extracurriculars.

Many students try to fill every space in their applications with random activities. This is a classic mistake that doesn’t always improve your chances of admission.

Ivy Leagues prioritize quality over quantity. It’s important to show that you have diverse interests, but it’s also helpful to demonstrate mastery of a certain skill.

Selective schools would rather admit students who are extremely accomplished in a few subjects than those who barely made it through several activities.

They’re Too Expensive

The most damaging misconception about Ivy League schools is their tuition rates. Because of their selectivity, most students think establishments such as Harvard or Brown are too expensive to afford.

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The reality is that there are many practical ways to pay for an Ivy League college that won’t break your bank.

Most of these schools offer all kinds of financial aid to help students and their families foot the bills. This is to expand their outreach and educate as many potential leaders as possible. If you’re on the fence about applying due to costs, don’t let money deter you from pursuing your educational goals.

Attending an Ivy League school is more doable than many students think. Debunking these myths gives more students the opportunity to follow their dreams and receive high-quality educations.

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