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How to Get into Ivy League Schools: The Ultimate Canadian Guide

22 OCT 2021

We hear about them often, in television, film, and even from other students, but how well do you know the Ivy League schools as a Canadian student? Getting into the elusive Ivy League is a mystery to most high school students. Luckily, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Ivy League admissions so there is a bit of wiggle room and multiple ways you can make your Canadian application stand out.

Table of Contents

  • What are the Ivy League Schools?
  • Does Canada have Ivy League Schools?
  • What is the easiest Ivy League to get into?
  • How to get into Ivy League Schools: 6 ways to stand out in your application
  • What are Ivy League Schools looking for in your application?
  • Find an Ivy League School that Fits You
  • Final Thoughts
  • FAQ about Ivy League Schools

What are the Ivy League Schools?

What are the Ivy League Schools?

Considered the most prestigious universities in the United States, the eight Ivy League schools include:

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

While the term “Ivy League” wasn’t actually coined until 1954 when the NCAA athletic conference for Division I was formed, seven of the eight schools existed prior to George Washington’s presidency.

As a result of their academic excellence, selective admissions process, and social prestige, these eight universities are considered “the most sought-after institutions of higher learning in the country and around the world.” - U.S. News & World Report


Download our free eBook to compare all eight Ivy League universities and decide which one stands out among the rest.

Breaking Ivy League Blog

Does Canada have Ivy League Schools?

Over the years, Canadian universities have stirred up quite a debate on whether or not they are considered ‘Ivy League,’ or in the very least, comparable to American universities. Although Canadian universities do not fall within the list of Ivy League schools by definition, there are a few Canadian universities that demonstrate similar qualities to their American counterparts.

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. McGill University
  4. McMaster University
  5. University of Alberta

According to U.S. News’ Canadian university rankings, these universities are the top-ranked in the country. Many Canadian and international students interested in studying in Canada have considered these universities ‘Ivy Leagues’ because of their academics and educational programs.

When evaluating what universities should make your shortlist during the application process, consider the academic, resources, and networking opportunities you’d like to experience in university.

Top University Rankings 2021/22
Top UniversitiesUniversity RankingUS News National (2022)US News Global (2021)QS World (2022)
Harvard University12 (tie)13
University of Toronto111726
University of British Columbia223146
Princeton University211112
Columbia University32 (tie)619
McMaster University34133140
McGill University435127
Yale University451117
University of Pennsylvania 581416
University of Alberta55138126
Cornell University6172218
Brown University71410160
Dartmouth College813226203

What is the easiest Ivy League to get into?

While it's debatable which Ivy League is the easiest to get into, comparing acceptance rates is the simplest way to figure this out. According to the table below, Cornell, Dartmouth, and U Penn are the easiest Ivy League schools to get into, with the highest acceptance rates for the class of 2025.

Overall Ivy League Acceptance Rates for Class of 2024 & 2025
IviesClass of 2024 Acceptance RateClass of 2025 Acceptance Rate
Cornell10.70%~8.52%
Dartmouth8.80%6.17%
Penn8.07%5.68%
Brown6.88%5.40%
Yale6.54%4.62%
Columbia6.15%3.66%
Princeton5.55%3.98%
Harvard4.92%3.43%

Want to go to an Ivy League school but don’t know where to start? Crimson Education is the world’s leading admissions consulting company. Our expert academic advisors can pave a customized roadmap to help get you started on your journey to attending an Ivy League! Book a free consultation to learn more about our College Admissions Consulting Program.


How to get into Ivy League Schools: 6 ways to stand out in your application

When applying to the top universities in the US and Canada, the critical components of your application are academic performance, test scores, letters of recommendation, your essay, and extracurriculars.

1. Academic Performance

If you want to get into Ivy League schools you need to have good grades

Grades Still Matter

Ivy League schools assume you will take AP courses and have outstanding grades. It’s practically a prerequisite to applying. Unless you’ve experienced an extreme illness or a life-changing experience, Ivy League schools expect stellar grades.

Choose Coursework Wisely

When you take a holistic approach to your application, it’s still important to choose courses that challenge you academically and personally. But, keep in mind that if your strengths are math and science, you may not be an exceptional English scholar. It’s better to take AP, Honors, or IB courses that showcase and define your passions than struggle through one that lowers your GPA and doesn’t help your overall objective. While grades are important, they don’t tell everything about you. Don’t focus so much on grades that you neglect the other pieces of the puzzle.

2. Test Scores

SAT and ACT requirements for Ivy League Schools

SAT and ACT scores matter, but not as much as you think. Students who get accepted into Ivy League schools have very high test scores but most are far from perfect. Only 300-500 students who take the SAT score 1600. Many universities are also going test-optional, meaning you may choose not to submit test scores. While skipping the tests may seem enticing, remember this means the rest of your application needs to shine.

If you are a Canadian student applying to any of the Ivy League schools, including your SAT and/or ACT scores will be required. Similarly, Canadian universities require require students to submit their OSSLT scores. For Ontario students using OUAC, these scores are automatically uploaded to your application profile.

Check out our blogs on What’s a good SAT Score and What’s a good ACT Score to learn more about what scores you should be aiming for and how you can achieve them!

Average GPA, SAT and ACT Scores for the Ivy League Schools
IviesGPASATACT
Brown4.08150032
Columbia4.16153034
Cornell4.04148032
Dartmouth4.06150032
Harvard4.1154034
UPenn3.93151032
Princeton3.9152033
Yale4.19154033

From the IB, A Levels, AP, to SAT/ACT, at Crimson, we engage the world’s best teachers and tutors in specific curricula to help students reach their high school and university admissions goals. Book a free consultation to learn more about our online tutoring programs.

3. Letters of Recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation can help you get into Ivy League Schools

Recommendation letters help build your holistic application by allowing people in your life to give their personal and professional opinions about your academic performance, character, and drive. If you want to receive favorable and convincing recommendations, establish strong relationships with teachers, key staff, and leaders of your extracurricular activities. Build a compelling application with strong letters of recommendation from outside parties and an exceptional essay driven by your unique extracurricular passion.

4. Personal Essay

personal essays can help you stand out in your ivy league applications

The personal essay is just that - personal. A well-written essay can capture the authenticity of an applicant better than any other part of the Ivy League college application. Through a personal essay, students can communicate personal motivations, share more about their passions, showcase leadership qualities, and build trust. A personal essay also helps an Ivy League university determine if you’re a good fit for their campus community. They want to know that you not only care about your goals, but you’re capable of furthering the university’s mission as well.

Most Canadian universities do not require personal essays to be included in the application process, however, a number of competitive programs in the top universities do invite applicants to submit additional information alongside their academic transcripts. With competition on the rise, students explore any opportunity to stand out during the admissions process.

Check out our free eBook to read 23 successful essays by Crimson students who got into the Ivy League!

5. Extracurriculars

Strong Extracurriculars can help you get into Ivy League Schools

If you want to get into the Ivy League, strong extracurriculars are critical. Ivy Leagues are not looking for applicants who have participated in dozens of extracurriculars. They discourage dabbling in many activities and prefer you dig deep into a subject, dedicate significant time to it, and ideally use this experience to propel you into a world-changing career.

For Canadian students, particularly those living in Ontario, completing the required volunteer service or exploring extracurriculars may not be a top priority. If you are looking to apply to an Ivy League school, ensuring you complete these volunteer hours can increase your chances of impressing admissions officers.

Remember, it’s ok if your extracurriculars change later. Show them you’re capable of achieving big things now because what you accomplish now is a good indicator of what you will do in the future.

Check out the table below for some awesome extracurricular ideas that will stand out in your university application.

Additionally, for more ideas on your extracurriculars download one of our free eBooks to help you get started on building your extracurricular profile!

Extracurricular Ideas for Ivy League Schools
Extracurricular Examples
Science- Participate in original research at a local college - Compete in the Science Bowl or the Science Olympiad
Arts- Find a national level art competition and rank well - Win speech/debate competitions
Writing- Publish a book - Start a writing club and critique each other’s work
Tech- Create and sell a successful app - Start and successfully run a coding business for young people in your community
Athlete- Be the captain of your sports team - Compete at a national level
Business- Start a club or non-profit and raise awareness using social media or Kickstarter - Raise awareness for an important cause and help people in a quantifiable way
Hobbies- Start a YouTube channel and gain a large following - Mentor others in your hobby

6. Networking

The benefits of the Ivy League is that it offers powerful networking opportunities

Never underestimate the power of knowing the “right” people. Ivy Leagues are known to be networking powerhouses. If you know students, professors, alumni, or anyone associated with your dream Ivy League school, don’t hesitate to reach out. They can offer valuable advice and resources that can help you get into an Ivy League school.

Crimson students have access to world-class tutors, mentors, and strategists who have attended the world’s most prestigious universities. These invaluable assets know what it takes to get into an Ivy League school and want to help students successfully negotiate the Ivies.


Ready to start your application to one of the Ivy Leagues? Crimson student’s are 4x more likely to gain admission to an Ivy League university. Book a free consultation to Learn how Crimson can help you get into the Ivy League.


What are Ivy League Schools looking for in your application?

what are ivy leagues looking for in your application

While exceptional credentials don’t necessarily hurt candidates, it might come as a surprise that Ivy League universities are not looking for perfect students or even someone who looks perfect on paper. They’re also not looking for well-rounded students. The application pile is filled with students who participate in everything but don’t shine at anything.

If it’s not perfection, what are they looking for?

Ivy League schools are looking for people who stick out from the crowd, experts in their area of interest. They're searching for students who have transformed their big dreams into even bigger realities. Ivy League colleges want world-changers who are making positive marks on society with the resources available to them.

We look for students with intellectual curiosity, who have pursued and achieved academic excellence. We also look for students with strong personal and extracurricular accomplishments.

- Princeton University Admissions

World-changers drive change. They know what they want and go for it. They also know success doesn't happen overnight. Ivy League universities want to see growth, even if it means failing before succeeding.

Ivy Leagues are also looking for world-changers who can positively contribute to their university community. They’re looking for humble leaders who will bring accomplishment and recognition to the school, and those who are willing to share their knowledge to help fellow students accomplish their goals.

Check out our free eBook written by our expert admission advisors on how to crush your US university application by building a personal profile that sets you apart from even the strongest competition!

Haven’t found your passion yet?

What excites you? What drives you to keep wondering, exploring, and learning? Start there. Then, dive deep. When you discover your passion, spending time in it is not an obligation. You’re not doing it for someone else, to make your parents happy, for the grade, or because you think it will get you into the perfect college. You’re doing it for you and because YOU love it. Ivy Leagues are not looking for students who participate in dozens of extracurriculars or receive a bunch of awards. They’re looking for students who display leadership, dedication, and genuine interest in their chosen extracurricular.

Passions can change.

Don’t worry if you eventually decide to pursue other passions. Ivy Leagues understand you’re still figuring it all out. They want to see that you chose a path, spent time in the pursuit, encountered and overcame obstacles, and found success in the end. If you can show diligence and perseverance even when it gets tough, they know you’re capable of impacting the world, no matter what you choose in the end.

Choose something you love and pursue it like crazy! Your passion and drive will be evident throughout your application. If you’re still unsure of where to start, Crimson provides students with a database of extracurricular opportunities offered by students and mentors worldwide.

It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.

- Unknown

Take a Holistic Approach with your Ivy League Application

It does take more than a deep passion for an extracurricular to get into an Ivy League school. Selection committees review thousands of student applications with high SAT scores, perfect GPAs, and countless AP courses. You have to stand out from the rest of them. Take a holistic approach and show them you’re not one-dimensional by highlighting your strengths throughout your Ivy League application. Use your grades, test scores, letters of recommendation, and essay to complement your present and future career goals.

For example, Ivy League admissions committees look at the courses you took in high school to see if you chose classes that challenged, inspired, and encouraged you to learn more. They may even favor a B in a challenging course over an A in an easy one. They love to see that you chose leadership positions and that your professors enjoyed your intelligent and unique insight in their classes. Strong test scores still play a critical role in your acceptance but so does your essay and your extracurriculars. The selection committee wants to see you come alive on paper.

When you take a holistic approach to your university application, you’re showing you’re a relatable person who’s driven, has experienced and overcame challenges, and is ready to make a positive imprint on the world.

Instead of only looking at test scores and grades, the highly selective American universities deploy a holistic admissions process. Each admissions committee is trying to get as full a portrait as possible of the applicant including his activities outside the classroom

- Jacques Steinberg, former senior editor at The New York Times and author of “The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College.”

Don’t squeeze into their mold

While the Ivy Leagues all share similar entrance objectives, their cultures and learning styles are not the same. Many applicants fail to get into certain Ivy League schools because they try to fit the university’s mold instead of finding one that fits their values and goals. Do your research. Which college excites you? Does it offer programs and classes that will challenge you and help you grow? What’s the campus like? Do you prefer a university in a large city or a suburb? Communicate your answers throughout your application, and your passion for your dream school (or schools) will shine.


The process of applying to US universities is not only complex, but also highly competitive, with acceptance rates to top universities like Harvard, now under 4%. Crimson’s unique approach lifts students above the global applicant pool addressing every aspect of the application with equal intensity. Book a free consultation to learn how Crimson can help you get into your dream Ivy League.


Find the University that fits you

To get you started on your research, here are some of the unique qualities, values, and attributes of each of the eight Ivy League schools and top Canadian universities below.

University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta

University Of Alberta

University of Alberta Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
5~40,061$24,400 CAD58%N/A

U of A is a top public research institution in Canada with an international recognition on programs like humanities, sciences, business, and engineering. With 5 campuses located in 2 cities, U of A is home to a diverse crowd of students all striving to strengthen their understanding in research and innovation. Admission to U of A begins with a competitive average and an impressive high school course selection that not only meets requirements, but compliments the field of story being pursued.

Key Advice

To be a competitive applicant, you should spend your high school focusing on research-based extracurriculars that highlight your innovation and drive. Admissions officers take notice to students that display passion and determination in their studies.

Learn more about University of Alberta

You will be inspired, challenged, and filled with such knowledge and purpose that you are bound to achieve great things here.

- U of A Admissions

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia

University Of British Columbia

UBC Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
256,789$32,928 CAD57%N/A

University of British Columbia is the oldest university in British Columbia and another top public research institution in Canada with a focus on inspiring students and their ideas. Home to a wide range of courses, students are able to dive deeper into their academic concentration. Their admissions process remains competitive, paying special attention to courses relating to your field of study and any achievements that go beyond academics.

Key Advice

UBC pays a great deal of attention to students that have chosen the right courses in grades 11 and 12. For students looking to impress admissions officers, ensure you are challenging yourself academically with advanced and academic courses. Students applying to UBC will also be expected to submit an comprehensive personal profile highlighting their extracurricular achievements.

Learn more about University of British Columbia

UBC’s admission process is competitive and comparative. Your application will be evaluated against all of the others we receive for the degree you applied to that year.

- UBC Admissions

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University - Ivy League School

Brown Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
142,722$60,6965.5%17%

Brown is a major research and educational university known for its student-centered learning. Students who thrive at Brown navigate their intellectual journeys, have an intense curiosity, and want to make a difference in the world. Brown is the only major research university in the nation where undergraduates can develop a personalized course of study. Their admission process is holistic and contextual. Self-directed applicants thrive in this environment because they can take advantage of Brown’s signature Open Curriculum and sample a wide range of courses before choosing an academic concentration.

Key Advice

To be a competitive applicant, you should spend your high school years challenging yourself both inside and outside the classroom. Successful applicants need to have a track record of being self-driven. You will stand out if you can prove you’re already responsible for your intellectual and creative development.

Learn more about Brown University

Our strongest applicants have taken full advantage of what is available to them in their own schools, and many motivated students find outside learning opportunities (e.g., local college courses, independent study) to supplement their high school curriculum, especially when they have exhausted available courses.

- Brown Admissions

A Day in the Life: Brown University Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Brown.

Columbia University

New York City, New York

Columbia University - Ivy League School

Columbia Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
22,185$64,3803.7%21%

Undergraduates at Columbia University start with a common foundation of curriculum that includes literature, philosophy, science, art, history and music, and caps classes. Each class is only 22 students, so students experience close interaction with faculty. STEM programs like engineering and computer science are popular at Columbia. Located near Manhattan, New York, much of Columbia’s student body is passionate about political involvement, actively taking part in political engagements throughout the city. Considered “the quintessential great urban university,” Columbia is also one of the most diverse Ivy League schools, boasting students from all 50 states and over 100 foreign countries.

Key Advice

Columbia takes a holistic approach to its admissions process. They take the time to get to know applicants and select those who they think will take advantage of Columbia’s community and offer a meaningful contribution to the community. Columbia offers generous financial aid programs to qualified students.

Learn more about Columbia University

At the core of our wide range of academic inquiry is the commitment to attract and engage the best minds in pursuit of greater human understanding, pioneering new discoveries, and service to society.

- Columbia Admissions

A Day in the Life: Columbia Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Columbia.

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

Cornell University - Ivy League School

Cornell Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
175,836$60,2828.7%18%

Cornell’s mission is to discover, preserve and spread knowledge. They do this by producing unique and creative work and reaching beyond the university and into the world. If you're passionate about finding ways to enhance the lives of those around you and around the world, Cornell might be your school. They heavily promote outreach and public service in the New York area and beyond. Cornell also boasts world-class interdisciplinary research centers in nanotechnology, biotechnology, supercomputing, and genomics.

Key Advice

At Cornell, cost shouldn’t hinder success. They offer several financial aid options to students. Their admissions process is highly individualized. This means they evaluate the person as a whole. The student body is a diverse mix of talented, open-minded, and empathetic individuals. Study Cornell’s culture and university philosophy to determine if you’re a good match.

Learn more about Cornell University

If you want to be a Cornellian, you want to be challenged. You want to define your own journey. You want to engage with and help others. You want to effect change in the world and in yourself.

- Cornell Admissions

A Day in the Life: Cornell Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Cornell.

Dartmouth College

Hanover, New Hampshire

Dartmouth College - Ivy League School

Dartmouth Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
132,092$59,9536.2%24%

Dartmouth is one of the oldest and most respected universities in the United States. Dartmouth's teacher-scholars are leaders in their fields and committed to teaching. Senior professors even teach first-year students. Dartmouth professors rank among the most respected teachers in American higher education. Their highly flexible quarter-system works well for students interested in exploring all the university’s educational offerings.

Key Advice

Dartmouth strongly believes applicants should showcase all elements of their application. If you have a stand-out talent or passion, be sure to intertwine it throughout your application.

Learn more about Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth has practiced holistic admissions review for 100 years, and that ancient ideal of the whole person continues to guide our application review during these unprecedented days.

- Dartmouth Admissions

A Day in the Life: Dartmouth Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Dartmouth.

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University - Ivy League School

Harvard Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
21,968$54,0023.4%16%

With access to world-renowned research opportunities, thought-provoking courses, and faculty mentors, Harvard provides individualized instruction for both those driven towards a passion and those still discovering their path. Harvard College has a House System that links learning and living and serves as a foundation for the undergraduate experience. Each House holds 350-500 people and has a dining hall, common rooms, and facilities for academic, recreation, and cultural activities.

Key Advice

Students passionate about exploring the unfamiliar, asking difficult questions, and furthering their passions fit well in Harvard’s community.

Learn more about Harvard University.

As a research university and nonprofit institution, Harvard is focused on creating educational opportunities for people from many lived experiences.

- Harvard Admissions

A Day in the Life: Harvard Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Harvard.

McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

Mcgill University

McGill Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
3~20,000$34,022 CAD52%N/A

McGill University, located in the heart of the multilingual city of Montreal, offers degrees and diplomas in over 300 fields of study. McGill is home to an internationally diverse student body with its students coming from over 150 countries. McGill is most notable for having the top-ranked medical school in Canada for over 15 years.

Key Advice

For students interested in applying to McGill, whether it be their medical program or not, high academic achievement is a major focal point for admissions officers. McGill admissions is highly holistic and takes many factors into account when deliberating applicants.

For students looking to apply to McGill’s medical school, preparation for the application interviews and supplemental components should begin in advance.

Learn more about McGill University

All candidates who apply to our programs are assessed based on a standardized, rigorous selection process supported by current best practices and psychometrically valid tools.

- McGill Admissions

McMaster University

Hamilton, Ontario

Mcmaster University

McMaster Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
420,181$32,000 - 48,000 CAD44%N/A

McMaster University is internationally known for their academic resources including world-class libraries and facilities. The most notable facilities on campus are the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Social Sciences, which has been ranked one of the best of its kind in Canada. McMaster is also highly respected for their career opportunities and commitment to employment equity. McMaster remains one of the top employers in the Hamilton-Niagara region of Canada.

Key Advice

McMaster is definitely a university of interest for students interested in pursuing STEM. The percentage of students applying to McMaster with an average GPA of 90% has increased from 13.6% to 46.2% within a 10-year period. For students looking to apply to McMaster, particularly their more competitive programs like Engineering or Computer Science, taking advanced, IB courses are a great way to set yourself apart from other students.

Students should also note that reach program at McMaster has a very strict admissions limit. For this reason, students should start building their application early and apply to their program of choice well before the deadlines.

Learn more about McMaster University

All programs at McMaster University have enrollment limits. We recommend that applicants complete their application and/or amendments well before the deadlines.

- McMaster Admissions

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

university of pennsylvania, ivy league school

U Penn Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
83,699$60,0426.8%23%

The University of Pennsylvania, located near the heart of Philadelphia, is steeped in American history. Students are encouraged to engage in activities beyond the classroom, exploring the cultural, social, and political life within the city and beyond. Award-winning scholars teach classes and encourage students to pursue their passions, address challenging problems, and become world-changers.

Key Advice

The University of Pennsylvania wants to learn all about you. They want to know your strengths, challenges, interests, and how you plan on impacting the world. When you give them a complete picture, it helps them determine if the Penn community is a place you can actively contribute and grow.

Learn more University of Pennsylvania

Discover a new world or shape one.

- University of Pennsylvania Admissions

A Day in the Life: University of Pennsylvania Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Penn.

University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

University Of Toronto

U of T Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
171,930$26,300 - $56,720 CAD43%N/A

University of Toronto, Canada’s top and largest university with three campuses located in Toronto, Mississauga, and Scarborough. U of T has been internationally recognized for its high level programs in Engineering and Business while also being praised for their abundance of class choices for students. Despite their high admissions rate of 43%, the U of T admissions process remains highly competitive with 27% of the most recent undergraduate enrollment being international students.

Key Advice

The University of Toronto looks for diversity in their students: academically, culturally, and through expression. Student aiming for U of T should demonstrate their uniqueness in their personal statement along with their exceptional grades.

Learn more about the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto has an academic path for every student. Whether your heart is drawn to the arts, the sciences, or both, we have a program for you.

- University of Toronto Admissions

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

princeton blogs ivy league schools

Princeton Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
11,890$53,8906.1%N/A

Princeton dedicates itself to undergraduate education. They boast a hefty financial aid program and ensure all accepted students, regardless of financial ability, can attend and graduate with little or no debt. Princeton seeks out talented individuals with a broad spectrum of cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Collaboration is encouraged, and Princeton expects students to do original, creative research. Princeton believes experiences can be as essential as education. They encourage getting involved outside the classroom, leading lives of service, and pursuing personal interests, activities, and friendships.

Key Advice

Princeton wants to know more than your test scores and grades. They want to hear your story and learn about you. Tell them how you will use the opportunities at Princeton to contribute to their community and how Princeton will help you change the world. Don’t forget to write in a way that reflects your voice.

Learn more about Princeton

Princeton University has a longstanding commitment to service, reflected in Princeton’s informal motto — Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity — and exemplified by the extraordinary contributions that Princetonians make to society.

- Christopher L. Eisgruber, President of Princeton University, Class of 1983

A Day in the Life: Princeton Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Princeton.

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University, Ivy League School

Yale Admissions Statistics
US News National Ranking 2021Undergraduate Enrollment 2021TuitionGeneral Admissions RateCrimson Student Admissions Rate
52,272$57,7005.0%13%

Yale is a research university and liberal arts university that accepts students they believe will make the most of their resources and someone who will contribute most significantly to the Yale community. They look for students who have the desire and ability to stretch their limits.

Key Advice

Pursue what you love and tell them about that. Be yourself. Ask the teachers who know you best to recommend you. Apply and relax.

Learn more about Yale

I am inclined to believe that the person who gives every ounce to do something superbly has an advantage over the person whose capacities may be great but who seems to have no desire to stretch them to their limit

- Former President Kingman Brewster on Yale's selection process

A Day In The Life: Yale Student


Use our admissions calculator to find out your chances of getting accepted into Yale.

Final thoughts

Thinking about applying to a top university can be jarring. Here are a few tips to consider when applying to the Ivy Leagues, or any other top university:

  • Increase your chances of getting into the Ivy League if you apply early.
  • Do your research. Every top university has a slightly different application process. Follow their checklists to ensure you don’t forget key pieces of the application packet.
  • Keep in mind, not all Ivy League schools accept the Universal Application and Coalition Application. All eight Ivy League schools accept the Common Application.
  • For Canadian and/or American university applications, make sure to review all the deadlines through your application portal.

It takes more than high test scores and exceptional grades to get accepted. Ivy League and Canadian schools are looking for students passionate about their work, driven, and already demonstrating success in a specific area. If their passions and extracurriculars line up with the school’s mission, research, classes, and volunteer opportunities, the chances of acceptance are significantly higher.

Ready to start your application to the Ivy Leagues? Crimson Education is the world’s leading university admissions support company specializing in helping students gain entry to some of the world’s most competitive universities. Book a free consultation to learn more about our Admissions Support program.


Frequently Asked Questions about Ivy League Schools

Do Ivy League schools give athletic scholarships?

No, Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships. But, they do offer generous financial aid packages. Many top colleges and universities do offer athletic scholarships. See how Crimson helps athletes get into the colleges of their dreams.

Is Stanford an Ivy League school?

No, Stanford University is not an Ivy League school. It’s often mistaken for an Ivy League because of its selectivity and prestige. Nicknamed “Harvard of the West”, Stanford attracts some of the most brilliant and promising students in the world.

Key Resources and Further Reading

Want help gaining admission to top universities?

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