Crimson Education’s Ivy League Legacy: 10 Years and 1,000 Ivy League Offers

22/06/202416 minute read
Crimson Education’s Ivy League Legacy: 10 Years and 1,000 Ivy League Offers

In this blog post Crimson Education COO Arkesh Patel reflects on a remarkable Crimson milestone: helping 1,000 students gain admission into Ivy League schools over the past ten years. Highlighting our innovative, personalized approach to expert counseling, academic tutoring, and strategic planning, this post underscores how Crimson stands out in the competitive landscape of college admissions. It also features success stories and our plans for the future, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to getting results for our students.

With acceptance rates at Harvard sinking to historic lows, hovering below 4% for the last four years, and Yale’s rate falling below 5%, and then lower again to 3.7% — an all-time low for Yale — and Brown’s rate falling below 6%... many families with motivated young students aiming for the Ivy League reach out to us wondering how to get into the Ivy League and what strategies or priorities promise the best chances for getting into Harvard and other Ivy League schools.

Unfortunately, there is no simple formula or magic incantation for success. Inevitably, each Spring, as some students celebrate admissions offers from one or more Ivies, a good number of other families are left disappointed, and often bewildered, because even extremely accomplished and talented young scholars may not get accepted.

The simple explanation for all this is in the numbers: far too many students vying for a very limited number of spots.

The more complicated truth, alas, is that holistic admissions processes don’t result in a linear merit-based sorting system.

Regardless of similarities or differences in merit, factors such as geographic location, legacy status, a student’s high school, and factors related to diversity and inclusion principles — all of these and more can be part of admissions frameworks that are explicitly “holistic” not to mention disparities in high schoolers' access to elite educational opportunities across different student and family populations and demographics.

Statistically ruthless on the one hand, and opaque and complex on the other, the world of Ivy League admissions can be brutally hard to navigate.

A New Milestone Amidst Historic Challenges

In light of these challenges, I am all the more gratified as I reflect on what our team members and students accomplish each year across the admissions landscape.

Even more, despite these challenges, Crimson has reached another incredible milestone: over the past decade, Crimson Education has succeeded in getting 1,000 diverse and exemplary young scholars into Ivy League schools.

1,000 Ivy League Admits
UniversityTotal Crimson Education Admits

This milestone speaks volumes about our commitment, expertise, and unyielding dedication to helping students realize their dreams. It also reaffirms my own personal conviction that along with our team's collective expertise, an old-fashioned commitment to hard work and attention to detail, and a highly personalized approach to advising, our singular focus on results really does make a difference.

Our numbers don’t lie: Crimson students applying to the Ivy League have beaten the odds by 6.75x overall, compared to general acceptance rates for the same schools, a number now independently audited. And, at Crimson we’re in the business of getting results like these across a diverse demographic, serving  young scholars from more than 100 countries around the globe each year.

So, when people ask me What’s the best way to get into an Ivy League school?...

I tell them to follow the model of our students. Their determination, a willingness to work collaboratively with Crimson strategists and FAOs, and a readiness to accept the challenge of reaching for outcomes that exceed their expectations create a perfect match for success with the support of our talented and experienced Strategists, FAOs, Mentors, and personalized advising approach.

As I reflect on what Crimson has accomplished just in the last year — more than 650 students securing spots at one of the top 20 US universities and another 60+ going to Oxford or Cambridge, 780 obtaining UC offers, and well over 1,000 accepted at one of the US top 30 — it’s clear that the best way to get into the Ivy League and other top schools is by combining exceptional expertise, teamwork, and personalization.

Celebrating Success

Achieving 1,000 Ivy League admits — an average of 100 each year since we began 10 years ago —  is a testament to the exceptional work of our team and our innovative approach.

This year, many Crimson students prioritized early round admissions strategies to navigate the challenging landscape as well, but applying in early rounds will only ever be but one piece of a more comprehensive admissions strategy and team approach.

Crimson Education Ivy League Stats (Class of 2028)
UniversityNational RankCrimson Admits
Princeton University122
Harvard University322
Yale University524
Brown University937
Columbia University1256
Cornell University1255
Dartmouth College1817

Ivy League Success Stories

Ever wonder how it feels to actually get into an Ivy League university? Since it can seem elusive to say the least, let me share a couple recent success stories, hopefully making the experience a bit more tangible for you!

How Talia Got into UPenn

Talia is a student from Brazil who reached out to Crimson with a dream of attending a top US university. And, while Talia was immensely talented and accomplished on many fronts, her SAT score of 1520, while outstanding, was not going to make a big difference in Ivy admissions.

Another challenge she faced was finding the right school — one that would provide full financial aid, had a highly ranked competitive fencing team (one of Talia’s passions), and a renowned physics program.

Once we homed in on UPenn, however, there was still the risk of not being accepted, with the acceptance rate there hovering around 6%.

Talia’s Strategist and the Athletic Mentor worked closely in tandem to identify universities aligned with Talia’s goals, with UPenn and UNC going to the top of the list, and then supported and worked alongside Talia each step of the way to ensure Talia’s applications were as strong as possible.

The outcome? Talia was accepted to UPenn as a Vagelos MLS Scholar, getting ample financial support, and a spot on UPenn’s fencing team.

“My Strategist and Mentors were always willing to find solutions and cared about me, both in terms of my application and in personal matters. Everything was done with great care.”

- Talia (UPenn)

How Akaya Got Into Brown University

Akaya was a student in Japan when she came to Crimson, with a clear vision of getting into Brown University. The challenge was that Akaya understood Brown was potentially beyond her reach, well aware that the acceptance rate there was below 8%.

Akaya’s Strategist reviewed Akaya’s full profile and made a game plan tailored to Akaya’s academic accomplishments and extracurricular themes and that included applying Early Decision.

Not sure if she could meet the deadline, Akaya agreed to do whatever necessary to make the plan work, and with some grit and determination, and close teamwork with her Strategist, Akaya forged a successful path to Brown.

“My strategist helped me out with my schedule and kept me way ahead of my deadlines, so while my peers at school were struggling right before the deadlines, I was very calm and relaxed about the application process. It would’ve been a much more stressful application process without Crimson.”

- Akaya (Brown University)

Although Talia and Akaya were both fairly accomplished and very focused on their admissions goals, the odds were still daunting overall. And, you can see that their success was hardly magical in any way, revealing instead that the best way to get into Harvard or another Ivy League school is through a combination of insightful guidance, well-informed goals and strategies, and committed teamwork.

Once again, the numbers support our story: In 2023 Crimson students spent a total of 56,000 hours working with Strategists and more than 25,000 hours working on their US and UK applications, proof that when it comes to getting into Harvard or similar schools, there’s no magic carpet to take you there!

Reflecting on Our Journey

Founding and Vision

Crimson Education was founded one decade ago with a clear vision: to democratize access to higher education by providing the best advising for admission to the Ivy League and other top universities.

This belief in the higher education mission and in making a difference, our results-driven ethos, our collective expertise, and the inspiring aspirations and commitments of the students in our network drive our success, which is really all about elevating the college journeys of our students.

Innovative Approach

At Crimson Education, we are committed to innovation and ongoing professional learning. Whether a student connects with us years before it’s time to apply to college, or a few months before submitting applications, success is supported not only be a global network of admissions experts, but by innovative technologies and programs.

Our team approach supports every aspect of a successful application process, from helping students track deadlines and other logistics, to crafting memorable essays, or applying to top-notch pre-college research programs, high-quality internships, or other game-changing extracurriculars.

Leveraging the insights of numerous Former Admissions Officers with experiences at selective universities, our teams do their best to offer up-to-date admissions advising and application strategies, along with guiding students through an introspective process — identifying a coherent application narrative and selecting the best target schools.

Personalized Application Help

One of the key elements that sets Crimson apart is our emphasis on personalization. From the moment a student begins their journey with us, they receive one-on-one guidance from their own dedicated strategist and supportive mentors who develop a tailored plan together with the student for optimizing applications.

Whether it's through detailed feedback on essays, strategic advice for early admissions, or integrating unique extracurricular activities into applications, the team works collaboratively for the best outcomes, keeping each student’s interests, challenges, and aspirations front and center.

“Crimson supported me in making every part of my application as good as it could be. It was their engagement that made my acceptances all that more special.”

- Abby (Crimson Trustpilot Review)

Diversity and Opportunity

Our journey hasn’t been just about students vying for the likes of Harvard, Oxford, MIT, or Stanford either. We’ve helped over 9,000 students each recent year target a wide range of dream schools — schools like UVA, University of Chicago, UCLA, Duke, NYU in the US, and Imperial College London or St. Andrews in the UK, to name just a few.

Typically, our students who engage earlier, in 8th or 9th grade, benefit far more, having more years to curate and take on impressive extracurriculars and research projects.

Nevertheless, students joining our network in their junior year also get an immense boost, thanks to our fluid teams and digital networks.

Again, numbers don’t lie:

  • in 2024, more than 400 Crimson students gained admission to the Top 20 US colleges and universities
  • In 2023, Crimson students applied to 430 different colleges and universities around the world and 250+ students earned offers to the US top 50, including NYU, University of Michigan, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, University of Virginia, and Washington University in St. Louis.

What Our Students Have to Say

Our journey with each student is unique and impactful, as evidenced by the 98.1% of students and families posting either 4 or 5 stars on our Trust Pilot reviews, underscoring our consistent quality and effectiveness.

“I was once a student at Crimson. And I will always be proud to say I’m a Crimson student. Thanks to Crimson's team of professional mentors accompanying me throughout the application process, my American dream and my dream school have come true! They also always cared about me and brought me many opportunities!”

- Hong, November 8, 2022

“My mentors were so friendly and helped me submit an application that I would never have been able to do on my own. Crimson opened up so many doors for me.”

- Alyssa

“Crimson played a crucial role in guiding me through the difficult process of helping me find and apply to the college that best fits my personality, preferences, and academic aspirations. It was thanks to the constant support of my Crimson mentors that I was able to be admitted to New York University’s Stern School of Business with a substantial scholarship. I am extremely glad I chose to work with Crimson and highly recommend them to any high school students aspiring to attend prestigious universities in the UK or the US.”

- Minh, February 17, 2022

Looking Ahead: The Future of Crimson Education

While we celebrate this significant milestone, we remain focused on the future. Our goals include expanding our reach and refining our methods to help even more students achieve their Ivy League dreams.

For example, as shrinking acceptance rates made Ivy League admissions increasingly difficult over the last few years, our Advisors and Strategists, after careful review of admissions data and policies, leveraged an early round application strategy and helped students rise to the challenge of meeting early round deadlines.

While challenging for students, the early round focus helped more of them achieve their dreams despite a crowded admissions landscape.

Again, the numbers tell the story… Our Ivy League admit rate has increased nearly three-fold over the last four admissions cycles, culminating in 288 Ivy admits this year alone.

Staying the Course

Whether it’s analyzing trends and adjusting admissions strategies, or the recent release of our new eBook The US Personal Essay Master Guide, our innovative Pathfinder App, or supporting our students' efforts with other robust digital platforms, our commitment to excellence and innovation will continue to be the cornerstone of our approach.

Finally, Crimson remains committed to its focus on forging pathways to elite schools for all motivated young scholars. For instance, just this week, we announced the four newest winners of Crimson’s Te Ara A Kupe Scholarship for 2024. Thanks to this effort, Crimson is supporting a growing legacy of young Maori students making an incredible journey to the Ivies and other top 20 universities. This year’s recipients will be attending Harvard, Duke, Columbia, and Yale!

Final Thoughts

As we reflect on this incredible milestone of helping 1,000 students gain admission to Ivy League schools, my heart fills with immense pride and gratitude. This achievement is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment of our team and the motivated and committed young scholars we’ve had the pleasure to guide. To all the students, parents, and team members who have been part of Crimson Education’s journey, thank you. Your trust and collaboration have enabled us to reach these remarkable heights. Together, we will continue to set new benchmarks and pave the way for future generations of diverse, international scholars.

If you’re ready to embark on your own journey to the Ivy League, we invite you to learn more about our personalized advising support. Sign up for a free feedback session with a Crimson Strategist today, and discover how we can help turn your college dreams into reality.

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