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How to Get into Ivy League Colleges from India (with Acceptance Rates)

Updated on 01 February, 2024

Pragya Sharma

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

Getting into an Ivy League college is a dream of many. With an average acceptance rate of 9%, Ivy League universities are the most prestigious due to their high education standards. Moreover, 18% of the Forbes 400 are known to attend an Ivy League college. Do you plan to be one of these elite students? This article indulges into everything there is to know about Ivy League universities and the best tips to help you enter one. Keep reading to learn how to get into Ivy League colleges from India. 

Universities Under Ivy League

What is the Ivy League? And why is it so hyped? Let us find out. The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising eight prestigious private universities in the northeastern United States as a mark of academic excellence and prestige. These universities are known for their academic excellence, competitive admission standards, and rich history.

The eight Ivy League universities are:

  1. Brown University 
  2. Columbia University 
  3. Cornell University 
  4. Dartmouth College 
  5. Harvard University
  6. The University of Pennsylvania
  7. Princeton University 
  8. Yale University

Why are Ivy League Colleges of Significance to International Students

Apart from holding a value of prestige and high-quality education, international students opt for an Ivy League university for various reasons. Some of them are: 

1.Academic Reputation

The eight universities that together form the Ivy League hold great academic reputations. With a long history of rigorous educational programs and excellent research opportunities, Ivy League universities are given significance by international students. 

2.Top-Tier Networking Opportunities

Ivy League universities have alumni positioned at the top of their fields. With a great networking opportunity, international students who enroll in an Ivy university can build long-term and impactful connections. 


Ivy League universities are proud to have a multicultural environment as there are students worldwide. Per the statistics, 13% of international students and 56% of students of color, among others. 

4.Financial Aid

Although these colleges may have high tuition fees, they also provide financial aid to selected students. This increases the chances of international students getting into an Ivy League college without worrying about financial constraints. 

5.Excellent Resources and Learning Material

Laboratories, libraries, and other necessary resources at Ivy League universities do not fall short. International students can reap the benefits of world-class infrastructure and resourceful material. 

6.Career Opportunities

International students attending these universities can use internship programs, job fairs, and career services to explore their career options and build professional networks.

7.Extracurricular Activities

The Ivy League colleges providing excellent education focus on extracurricular activities like sports and cultural events. International students can learn and grow their horizons through these activities.

Top Ivy League Universities and Their Acceptance Rates

Ivy League University QS World University Ranking 2024Location Acceptance Rate* 
Harvard University 4Cambridge, Massachusetts3.2% (class of 2026)
University of Pennsylvania12Philadelphia, Pennsylvania6.5% (class of 2026)
Cornell University13Ithaca, New York8.7%** 
Yale University 16New Haven, Connecticut4.6% (class of 2026)
Princeton University =17New Jersey4.38%**
Columbia University23New York3.73% (class of 2026)
Brown University =73Rhode Island 3.2% (class of 2026)
Dartmouth College=237Hanover, New Hampshire6.24% (class of 2026)

*Source: Official university websites

**The university will not release the acceptance rates for the class of 2026 during the current admissions cycle. The mentioned rates are for the class of 2025.

Disclaimer: The above Ivy League acceptance rates are indicative and subject to change without prior notice.

How to Get into Ivy League Schools from India

The admission requirements and the process to get into Ivy League colleges are very competitive. You must be a top student with an excellent academic record. Although the exact process and test scores are dependent on the university, the following is a generic idea of the Ivy League admission requirements: 

  • An average GPA of 4.0
  • The average SAT score is between 400-1600
  • Average IELTS score - 7.0- 8.0
  • Average TOEFL score - 100
  • Along with an excellent academic record, you must submit a personal essay that depicts why you deserve to be accepted into the college.
  • Another major requirement is a letter of recommendation.
  • Average GRE score - 300-350
  • Average GMAT score - 700-730

Top Tips to Get Accepted to Ivy League Universities

You need a strong foundation and strategy to get accepted into an Ivy League university. Listed below are a few tips on how to get admission to Ivy League colleges: 


  • Identify the average GRE/GMAT/SAT scores by browsing and analyzing the class profiles mentioned on the university’s website.
  • Try to apply early. An early application increases your chances of acceptance. For instance, at Havard, out of the 1,954 admitted students, 740 were early applicants.  
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, or other adults who know you well can be crucial to your application. You must choose your recommender carefully. Choose people who can speak to your academic abilities, personal qualities, and achievements.
  • To make your portfolio strong, maintain your test scores, and have a killer personal essay that gives the university an insight into your personality. This is important because scores are not the only deciding factors, and a strong profile can compensate for your slightly lower score.
  • You can reach out and connect with the university’s alumni and  get advice for the application process. You can also show your interaction with the university alumni or professors in your essay, as it will show your keen interest in getting admission to that particular university.
  • Students should align their current coursework with the program they are applying to. If the goals are not aligned, you must explain this change. For instance, those seeking MBAs should highlight their professional achievements and accomplishments and discuss their professional background.

Ivy League colleges are the most sought-after by students worldwide. Even though the process  is competitive and complicated, Indian students can make it  to the list with persistent hard work and determination. By referring to the guide above on applying for Ivy League universities from India, you can thoughtfully prepare to apply and get accepted into a prestigious Ivy League university.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average tuition fee for an Ivy League college?

The tuition fee for an Ivy college may depend on the university. However, the average tuition fee ranges between USD 50,000 to USD 60,000. 

Which Ivy League university has the highest acceptance rate?

Ivy League universities are known to have a low acceptance rate and are highly competitive to get into. Among the eight universities, Cornell University has the highest acceptance rate. 


Why is the Ivy League so famous?

The Ivy League is renowned due to its proven track record of strong academic reputation. They boast an impressive number of Nobel laureates. Its significance can be devised from the fact that 18% of the Forbes 400 (in 2022) are known to attend an Ivy League college.

Why are Stanford and MIT not in the Ivy League?

The term ‘Ivy League’ was first used to refer to the powerful eastern football league formed by the eight universities listed under it. Hence, some top and famous US universities like Stanford and MIT are not its part due to historical focus on athletics. However, these universities are at par with the Ivy League colleges with skilled-focused programs and high global academic standards.

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

Pragya Sharma is a content developer and marketer with 6.5+ years of experience in the education industry. She started her career as a social media copywriter for NIELIT, Ministry of Electronics & IT, and has now scaled up as a 360-degree content professional well-versed with the intricacies of digital marketing and different forms of content used to drive and hook the target audience. She is also a co-author of 2 stories in an anthology based on the theme- women empowerment.

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