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The Ivy League Academic Index Explained

Updated: 4 days ago

There is a great deal of confusion about the “Academic Index” used in the Ivy League and what it means and how it’s applied.

We asked our admissions officers to shed some light on this important matter in Ivy League admissions.


Here are some facts:


Ivy League Use Exclusively for Athletes


Within the Ivy League, the Academic Index (AI) is used exclusively for athletes to ensure that their average grades and scores fall within a comparable range in relation to the overall applicant pool.


Athletes who fall below this range would generally not be eligible for admission.

Academic Index Formula


The AI is a formula based on:

  • Grades

  • Class Rank (if available)

  • Test scores

This is then typically calculated by the college team coach


Academic Index Range


Different sports may have a different range within the academic index to work with and may change from year to year depending on need.

Does An Acceptable Academic Index Guarantee Admission?


An athlete that falls within the acceptable index range for any team is not guaranteed admission to the college.


The admissions office conducts a regular review of the application which also includes essays, other extracurricular activities and recommendations.


Although a college coach may identify a particular student as a desired recruit, the final determination rests with the college admissions office.

Are Online Academic Index Calculators Accurate?


There are a number of “AI Calculators” that can be found online. Most of these are inaccurate and can lead you to believe that a decision is based solely on the AI, which is false.


In addition, most of them are based on old SAT scores which no longer align with the new test.

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