Ivy League recruiting

Yep, this is going to be pretty individualized. I can’t tell you how many people, here mostly, told me that my son’s scores were several ACT points below the bare minimum for anything but football at an Ivy. But that was because while they knew their kid’s sport, and maybe a couple others, they didn’t know ALL of the sports. There is a lot of variation between sports. There is a decent difference between schools too. Not just on how they handle this, but how they do things overall.

Plus different schools pick different sports to give more leeway to. You don’t build a basketball team like Harvard or a wrestling team like Cornell by insisting that those teams have the same requirements as everyone else.

And your position on the recruiting chart matters too. A few coaches were specific about it, others were vague, but all made it clear that the scores and grades they required varied greatly based on how much they want you. If you are playing on the level of an Big 12 basketball player, or SEC football player, or Big 10 wrestler your numbers are VERY different than the kid who athletically would fit in at either Harvard or Williams.


As far as the NCAA requirement, it’s pretty irrelevant. If you can’t hit that you aren’t going to be able to pass your classes in the easiest major at the easiest of the Ivies. You still may need a number, but it it doesn’t get reported to the school as part of your application it doesn’t really matter what it is. If you have a 3.0 GPA, which probably is the minimum even for a NFL bound quarterback, you need a 13 on the ACT. Higher GPA needs even lower ACT/SAT.

If you can’t get a 13, you probably are going to struggle with college anywhere, even a school that has your tutors all but take your classes for you.

1 Like

Regardless of score, not enough people concern themselves with actual academic fit. Such a mistake. Any athlete will be a better if they are thriving in the other aspects of school life too.

This is pretty consistent with what we have seen in Ivy track recruiting. (1) Most everyone wanted tests, even if they are test optional in regular application process. (2) Athletes over 1400 seemed to be fairly straightforward, vs regular candidates who need to be over 1500 to be even in the game, so there is a very significant benefit in that regard, but they aren’t just letting anybody in. High academic D3 is somewhat more rigorous - mid-1400’s was the target.

Also important to note is both Ivy and the D3’s wanted to see rigorous schedules full of AP’s and Honors classes, so to the other posters points in the thread, you still need to be quite a good student.

Of course, as an athletic department, you aren’t going to blow your AI on women’s track, so I am sure this varies dramatically across sports.

Agree. There are 2 questions about academic qualification. 1 - can you get in? 2 - can you thrive or even survive once there? Those questions don’t always have the same answer.

I know kids who have either failed out or ended up transferring because they met #1 but not #2. And plenty more that didn’t have to leave but didn’t have a great experience because they were in over their head in most of their classes. Just using kids I know personally, the schools that happened at range from the Ivy League to a D2 where my D thought her dual enrollment class she took on campus with actual college students was easier than her HS classes.

It’s a bit like the athletic question. Many kids (and especially parents, frankly) are just focused on getting into the best school they can, whether that is academically or athletically. But you really have to ask how you are going to fit in once there. There are kids who struggle through their Harvard classes and think it was worth it. There are kids who play football in the SEC and never get any meaningful playing time and think it was worth it. But many, probably a majority, of those kids would choose differently if they could go back in time and drop down a level to a place they could thrive, not just survive.