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:
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.
The AI is a formula based on grades, class rank (if available) and test scores and is typically calculated by the college team coach.
Different sports may have a different range within the academic index to work with and may change from year to year depending on need.
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.
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.