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Allen Grove

GPA, SAT and ACT Data for the Ivy League

By November 2, 2013

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The eight Ivy League schools are among the most selective colleges in the country. This doesn't mean that you need a 4.0 gpa and 2400 on the SAT to get in (although it doesn't hurt). All the Ivy League schools have holistic admissions, so they are looking for students who will contribute more than good grades and test scores to the campus community. A winning Ivy League application needs to present a strong academic record, meaningful extracurricular activities, glowing letters of recommendation, and a compelling application essay. Your college interview and demonstrated interest may also help, and legacy status can give you an advantage.

When it comes to the empirical part of your application, you will need good grades and test scores to get accepted to an Ivy League school. But how high do those numbers need to be? Check out these GPA and test score graphs for applicants to each of the Ivy League schools: Brown | Columbia | Cornell | Dartmouth | Harvard | Penn | Princeton | Yale


September 14, 2012 at 9:02 am
(1) Nageen says:

Is there any way of getting into an Ivy with a low academic record?

December 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm
(2) SadTruth says:



January 2, 2013 at 5:58 am
(3) Shahnun says:

My daughter has completed A level. Her dreams to study in USA. .She did not try for admission to Bangladesh. She has applied to Ivy .Her O level and A level result is good but sat score is 2000. Will she get chance to Ivy league.

January 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm
(4) Ivana says:

@Shahnun your daughter has a great chance getting accepted to any Ivy League school with those SAT scores but she has to have something that’s going to make her stand out from the others like extracurricular activates.

January 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm
(5) collegeapps says:

If you look at the GPA and SAT graphs linked to this blog post, you’ll see that a 2000 SAT score keeps your daughter in contention for admission, but she is at the lower end of the score range for matriculated students at Ivy League schools. She’s going to need great grades, challenging courses, an engaging essay, and stand-out extracurricular activities to go along with that SAT score.

January 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm
(6) anonymous says:

Is there a way of getting accepted when everything else even the interveiw is exceptional exept your SAT score.. :’( I got a 1660 and a 23.

January 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm
(7) anonymous says:

I believe they would like people with higher scores, but you might still have a chance. :-)

January 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm
(8) Valerie says:

i’d like to apply to ivh league schools this year December. My G.P is not satisfactory so i’m repeating grade12.my major fear is that my high school transcripts will not be good enough. Does anybody know if I can get into harvard with a 3.8 G.P, ACT composite score of 36, SAT 1-2350, a score of 5 on 5 AP tests and 750 on 3 SAT subject tests. Another fear I have is that MY secondary school did not offer any extra-curricular activities( in Nigeria) so I just volunteered at non-profit organisations.What do you think…Do i have a chance of getting in/

February 19, 2013 at 7:22 am
(9) matters says:

will I be able to get into an Ivy League school, if my GPA and SAT score are not that impressive(3.2 and around 2000), but I’ve got a prodigious history of extracurricular activities, victories in academic competitions and a few of my literary works and articles published?

March 11, 2013 at 11:36 pm
(10) Jayia says:

My daughter is currently a junior in high school. She would like to apply to USC and Stanford. She has a 4.0 nw and 4.71 w gpa. I am concerned that she doesn’t have enough community service hours. How much weight does the schools place on that for acceptance?

March 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm
(11) Ella says:


Next year I will be entering high school. I’ve always done well academically (most recent GPA: 4.1,) but I’m nervous about my getting into Yale or another Ivy League school in four years all the same. As my high school courses sheet is due in about a month, I would like to know 1) What chance I have of getting into Yale in the first place, 2) What courses should I take based off my academic ability (honors), 3) Is it a wise investment to look at career/college counseling, 4) What extracurriculars should I look into, and 5) Would it be a good idea to contact some Ivy League schools and ask for their advice (I’ve just been doing a lot of research and don’t know if they’ll tell me the same things I’ve heard everywhere.)

Also, I’ve heard over and over again that having a piece of information that makes you stand out from the rest is a good idea to put in your application. I’ve won many contests and have been published multiple times, but I need something unique. Would you consider writing a book or getting something patented good ideas?

I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to get perfect SATs or any other requirements.

If I do write a book, I plan to do so this summer. Please do not underestimate me; I feel I have potential, but the potential energy will only all be turned to kinetic energy when friction is removed. I know I will need to push myself to get rid of the friction. I think I am ready to do so.

But of course, I hope I can stay on track. Do you have any ideas for what my day should look like? (E.g. Amount of studying each day, etc.)

Thank you for your advice.


March 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm
(12) wnagetthru says:

I hav a 3.4 gpa and 2100 in my SAT reasoning test …can I get into any top 10 ivy league colleges ?also it has been my dream to become a doctor …so which two subjects should I choose for my SAT subject test

June 3, 2013 at 10:29 am
(13) shahzaib sheikh says:

I m doing my A levels and i have got good grades in my O levels but i have heard that recently the demand of ivy league is to have minimum five or six subjects in a levels so knowing that the SAT test i have to give i can score pretty well in it,can you please clear me the fact of how much subjects should i take up. I am in not any mood to apply to any local Pakistani university so it would be quite helpful if its told how much subjects to take up in a levels.

July 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm
(14) Anjali says:

I am going to be a senior this year and I just came to US during my junior year. My current gpa is 3.38nw and I haven’t taken SAT ( I’ll be taking them now). My gpa will certainly increase during my senior year with all my rigorous courses and hardwork.
Do I have any chance of getting into ivy school ?

July 5, 2013 at 8:33 am
(15) collegeapps says:

Unfortunately, junior year grades are the most important since you’ll have only partial grades for senior year by the time applications are due. A 3.38 is low for the Ivy League — if you look through those GPA, SAT and ACT graphs, you’ll see that nearly all admitted students are above a 3.5, and most are closer to a 4.0.

July 10, 2013 at 4:58 am
(16) ariadna says:

I am a senior, studying in Europe, so my final exam will be a Baccalaureate, not the SAT. Do I have a chance of getting accepted in the Ivy League without the SAT, but with a good grade in the Baccalaureate?

July 10, 2013 at 8:24 am
(17) collegeapps says:

You’ll need to schedule the SAT separately. ETS has over 1,000 international test centers. The universities will be impressed by your IB curriculum, but IB doesn’t exempt you from the SAT/ACT requirement.

July 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm
(18) Dahlia says:

Hello, I am a junior in high school and was wondering what my chances would be like getting into an ivy league school. I have a 3.8 GPA weight 4.7 unweighted. I usually get straight A’s but in math or science (chemistry especially lol) I’ll get a B’s sometimes. What I’m trying to ask is, well in the past I’ve always made straight A’s and my mom tells me my grades “dropping” are going to ruin my chances to get scholarships and get into a good school. Will it? I love my mom but she just stresses, and stresses me out too haha so yeah… Thank you!

July 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm
(19) Johara says:

I’ma sophomore, studying in Saudi Arabia, thankfully, my grades this year were good, my GPA is 3.8 and my w/GPA is 4.25, however, my GPA last year (freshman year) was not so good, 3.28. I have not taken the SAT yet but i will hopefully be taking it this year. I’m taking anything the school offers AP, honors, and etc. My school does not offer any sports and i do not know what to do that can count as extracurricular. I’ve only been volunteering with charities to get community service. I plan on doing anything to get accepted into Yale or Columbia, i still have my junior and senior year left but i was wondering if what i have a chance or not?

Thank you!

September 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm
(20) Esther says:

Hi. i’m currently a junior and i school in Nigeria. i’ve never taken SAT or ACT but my grades are good and i was wondering how to apply to Harvard because my school doesnt have extracurricular activities and all i have is my grades to show. How can i do it?

September 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm
(21) fzy1995 says:

I come from Malaysia, from South-East Asia. Is there any opportunity for me to enter Ivy League schools if I have good SAT score,participate actively in extracurricular activities but only have an above average high school results?

September 15, 2013 at 6:00 am
(22) Abhay Bhatia says:

None of my chosen subjects relate with any of the SAT Subject Test portions other than Mathematics. Even English is Communicative. I am a Commerce ( Business Studies, Math, Accountancy, Economics and English) student from India studying in Grade 11, with a prolific extracurricular record. I wish to get into Harvard, and i noticed that one doesnt need to submit Math Level 1 and 2, to fulfill the requirement of SAT Subject Tests, so kindly advice what my plan of action should be? Should i go beyond my academic curriculum and study something like English Literature? Also, i do not study in an IB school, though my primary language of communication is English.

September 18, 2013 at 7:54 am
(23) teddy says:

Is it possible for an international student to get into an American university with just O level, TOEFL and SAT. Do i need to finish 12th grade? Or I can just drop out at 11th grade and pursue university education?

October 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm
(24) J. J. says:

@Nageen Yes, there is. By being extremely well-rounded and participating in a million (not literally) extra-curricular activities, and having a wonderful record with your teachers. Basically, you need a story. A story of how you changed and became the amazing person you are now.

November 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm
(25) Alexis says:

Hey, I have a 3.8 gpa and I’m ranked 35/592 students in my class. I haven’t taken the SAT’s yet (preparing), I have four 5′s and one 4 in my ap exams. I have done track and field for the past years(as a sport), I am in drama club (but not an officer). I’ve volunteered around the community a few times. What are my chances of getting into an Ivy league school?

-Thank you! :)

November 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm
(26) collegeapps says:

Hi Alexis. My advice is to always view the Ivies as reach schools. Even students with 4.0 unweighted GPAs and a 2400 SAT score have no guarantees. When the acceptance rate is in the single digits, everyone who gets in is going to be exceptional in some way. In any case, students certainly get in with your GPA and class rank. Many do not. Definitely apply to any Ivy League schools that are a good match for your interests and goals, but also apply to schools with a lower admissions bar. There are hundreds of fabulous colleges out there that would be happy to have you join their community.

November 16, 2013 at 3:33 am
(27) Amy says:

In the scheme of things, (baseline requirements, GPA & scores aside), it would seem that determining factors for admission are internships and extracurricular activities… I just want a confirmation of this conception I have. If I am a junior & my school’s Red Cross club president, in running for valedictorian, and meet the scores for ivies, is that good enough? (I am also seeking an internship. )Or do I need to write a best-selling novel or teach African children English
(In fact, I would LOVE to have the opportunity of volunteering in less-developed countries, but is it NECESSARY?)

Thank you for your time! :)

November 19, 2013 at 4:36 am
(28) DebsR says:

Is there any chance of me being admitted if I have an ACT composite of 29 and SAT of 1970? My GPA tends to vary between 3.8-3.9, but I have won awards for outstanding community service and I’m an IB Diploma candidate with 40-41 predicted.

November 19, 2013 at 5:08 am
(29) elena says:

I am currently doing my A level course. There is a change in the syllabus. The course for international students is IAL instead of GCE. Will this reduce my chances of getting in to the ivy league? Or does ivy league accept IAL? Also how many subjects should I have to meet the ivy league requirements? In a dilemma whether to take GCE or IAL because most schools now only provide IAL. Really looking forward to some guide about the topic.
Thank you.

November 26, 2013 at 9:43 am
(30) Tarek says:

Hi,I am a student from Bangladesh. I have passed ssc exam with science on 2008,with 4.44 GPA above of 5.
Then I fall 5 years education gap for a personal matter.
Now this I want to start my education in USA. Have any chance for me?please help me.

December 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm
(31) Rohan says:

Sir , I m from india and I want to study in usa because I want to study from the best .
I have taken the sat and goted the score of 2330 , but my academic record is not that good of last year .
The previous 3 years records are :
9th: 86 %
10th: 90%
11th: 65%

What are my chances of getting into a top college like MIT or harvard , princeton ?

December 6, 2013 at 4:40 am
(32) HarvardBound says:

Ok. Listen closely. A guy with a gpa of 2.5 and SAT scores lower than 1200 got into Harvard. As for a kid I know with a gpa that exceeds 4.0 with 2300 on his SATs didn’t. How is this possible? Well you have to look at it like this. Harvard accepts people who are unique. If there is nothing unique about you, you aren’t fit to be in. Honestly, I wouldn’t want a bunch of smart kids wandering a campus. They all fit in one category. What Harvard wants is an audience or group of kids in their campus who are the best at what they do. Now here’s the crazy part. You can get into Harvard with any type of grades… But here’s the catch. (MONEYYYY) LOL, I have a 4.6 gpa with plenty of A+’s, take classes in Computer Science, and a sophomore in high school who wants to go, but if there is nothing unique about me, why accept me? I know a lot of smart kids, but they all fit in one category. But keep trying to get good grades. It shows great responsibility and tells them that you are on the top of your game. and even if you don’t get it…… Does that make you any dumber? NOOOOOO! LOL, I Know way smarter kids that don’t go to any ivy league schools. But what makes ivy leagues so special… they have a variety of talent, as for the smarter kids that don’t get accepted go to the colleges that have a few of those amazing talents. Otherwise, have a good day and I hope you take this in consideration. Honestly, I would love to go to Harvard, and it’s my dream school, but you have one life, try not to stress too much before you actually get in the school and work your butt off. LOL, Enjoy. :)

December 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm
(33) StudentA says:

Is it possible to get accepted into columbia without taking the sat 2′s?

December 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm
(34) collegeapps says:

Yes–If you submit ACT scores, you don’t need the SAT Subject Test scores.

December 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm
(35) Bobodudu says:

Hi guys, would I be able to get scholarship into a ivy league school with a sat score of 2200 and alevel ABB. in high school I performed in the school orchestra and was a school prefect as well..I have also worked for charity too..I just wanted to know if the alevels can be of any benefit.thanks

December 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm
(36) collegeapps says:

Hi there. The Ivy League schools do not have merit based scholarships. All financial aid is need based. If you are admitted, you will have 100% of your demonstrated financial need met, and the Ivies do a great job keeping student debt low.

December 29, 2013 at 1:13 am
(37) San says:

Hey. I am from Malaysia. Currently i am studying the american degree program, which is a twinning degree program to the U.S for my actuarial science major. Unfortunately it doesnt allow me to go to the ivy leagues. So how do i go about from here? What do i do if i would like to enter one of the ivy league uni’s?

February 7, 2014 at 8:11 am
(38) TS says:

My son would like to attend any Ivy league school. He has about a 3.75 GPA and attends an academically challenging Jesuit high school. However, he has severe test anxiety and ADD which really hurts his standardized test taking (i.e., ACT). On a cold sitting with no preparation he received a 23 on the ACT. He is in National Honor Society and his high school requires quite a bit of community service. His one unique point is that he is a very good offensive lineman in football and has received interest from a few of the Ivy league schools. With the low test score, though, is he precluded from the ivy league or do these schools consider such things as ADD and test anxiety? He is a very good student and is interested in pre-med.

February 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm
(39) Riley says:

My SAT score is a 2280 and my ACT composite score is a 32. My weighted GPA is a 4.0; unweighted, my GPA is a 3.75. My junior and senior year final grades were an A- or higher for every class- excluding gym class, which I am medically excused from. My first two year’s transcripts are filled with Bs, Cs, Ds, and passes. I applied to 12 schools. All of the schools are nationally ranked, including a few junior-ivy and ivy leagues. I was deferred from schools I thought would be my safeties, but accepted to almost every ivy, junior ivy, and top-ranked school. Test scores are not everything. Essays are not everything. Grades are not everything. In my experience- and it is also my on-going hope- that all admissions officer thoroughly look over every aspect of their prospective students. I wish you all luck!

February 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm
(40) Charuz says:

I am trying to transfer to a four year university after completing community college. My ACT composite is 28 and my gpa is around 3.7. What are my chances with the ACT scores?

February 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm
(41) Jablay says:

If you are from an over represented state and you are an over represented race, it will be very very difficult to get into any of HYPSM no matter what your grades are. That is because there are just too many smart Whites and Asians from NY, NJ, MA, CT, and CA.
HarvardBound was spot on. You have to be unique.
Does this include 4.0, 36 ACT, 2400 SAT and 800s on every SAT II?
Yes it does. These schools likely don’t care if you get a 2340 or a 2400. In fact, if you take the test a second time after getting a 2340, you are just showing them that you don’t understand their selection process at all and are just a grade crazy nut.
I would bet that 4.0, 2400 Asian from NY with no interesting ECs has less than a 5% chance of getting into Harvard.

March 4, 2014 at 10:56 pm
(42) IvyLeagueBound says:

Hi. I am a freshman in high school, and my first semester didn’t go so well. My unweighted GPA was a 2.71, and my transcript was mostly Bs and Cs, but this was because I didn’t have a successful transition into high school. Also, I had taken three honors and one AP course, which I thought was a little too challenging. I have been more careful about the courses I have chosen for my sophomore year, though. Anyways, with my 2.71 GPA, do you think I have a shot at going to the Ivys or near-Ivys if I pull off straight As from here on out (assuming I have an SAT score of 2200+ and meaningful extracurricular activities)?

March 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm
(43) Zhamilya Hakobyan says:

I have always been a strong student. Ever since I was in elementary school I’ve been preparing to get into an Ivy League school. When I initially entered my freshmen year of high school, I was going through a difficult time and did not do so well academically. That year I received mostly A-’s, a C- and a GPA of about 3.5. I had to repeat a semester of freshmen year because I missed a few months of school from being admitted to the hospital. When I got back to school my second year of attending, I did phenomenally, and from then on I continued with straight A’s. My current GPA is a 5.0, my SAT score was a 2350, and my ACT score was a 36. I am extremely involved in my community and my school, I am on a sports team, and part of a high IQ society called Mensa, I’ve done internships and community service, and I even went to Siberia to volunteer and raise money to build a school. I have applied to several Ivy League schools, but my most desired choices are Yale and Stanford University? What are my chances of getting into such competitive schools?

March 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm
(44) collegeapps says:

That’s not a question I can answer. With schools like Yale and Stanford, no one’s chances are great–the schools are just too selective, and excellent students will invariably be rejected. That said, you should definitely be competitive at both schools. Best wishes! You’ll know the decisions soon!

March 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm
(45) babycactus says:

So I have twin boys that are currently in the 6th grade one had been in the gate program since 2nd grade per teacher recommendation . The other choose not to however his scores more than qualified him to enter the program. They have always been very smart and scored well on the tests. One of them scored a 593 math and 398 Ela . My other son Scored 479 math and 415 ela. With these scores are they on the right track to get into an ivy league college. One will be taking journalism next year in the 7th grade. My other son will be taking yearbook in the 7th grade. Will these two classes be sufficient enough to get them even considered by an ivy league college. One has his eyes set on Harvard and the has his eyes set on Yale. Any suggestions on what classes to take to help them accomplish their goals? Thank you for your time.

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