Having now made their offers of admission, schools in the Ivy League have publicly reported their application and acceptance statistics for the class of 2026. The data reveals that the Ivy League is becoming more competitive than ever. It appears that the increase in test-optional policies – from colleges that have suspended or ended the use of standardized tests like the SAT and ACT in their admissions process – and the uncertainty caused by the pandemic are prompting more students to apply to more top colleges, driving down acceptance rates to be the lowest in admissions history.
For example, Harvard University, the most competitive of Ivy League schools, accepted just 3.19% of applicants. It is the lowest rate in Harvard’s history, surpassing the previous low of 3.43% in 2021. Brown saw its largest-ever applicant pool, with a 9% increase in applicants from last year, and subsequently reported a 5% acceptance rate for the class of 2026. This too is the university’s lowest-ever acceptance rate. Some schools, such as Cornell and Princeton, have opted to not report specific data this year, with Princeton citing a desire to not discourage prospective applicants as the reason.
While the data may be daunting to anyone with aspirations of going to a top college, what it really demonstrates is the value of an experienced college counselor. Working with someone who has insider knowledge of the admissions process at a highly competitive school can be an enormous help. They can help you to make sure your application highlights what top colleges are looking for, setting you apart from the tens of thousands of other applicants you will be competing with.
This is in fact what makes our company unique: not only has our President, Dee Blackman, studied at two Ivy League colleges, but she has also been the Dean of Admissions for both Columbia University and Harvard University. Dee was directly responsible for accepting students and is intimately familiar with what selective colleges are looking for. Our team can help students and their families bring what may seem impossible to within reach.