What is the easiest Ivy school to get into?

What is the easiest Ivy school to get into?

The Ivy League conjures images of prestige and exclusivity, with admission rates in the single digits. But while gaining entrance to these elite schools is very competitive across the board, some Ivies are moderately less selective than others. Factors like applicant pool size, admission percentages, test scores, and acceptance rate trends determine the relative accessibility of each school. In this article, we will Provide What is the easiest Ivy school to get into?

When evaluating these key statistics, Cornell, Penn, Brown, and Dartmouth generally emerge as the easiest Ivy League institutions to which students can realistically aspire. However, “easiest” is still highly relative in the Ivy League. Gaining admission remains a tremendous accomplishment.

Cornell University

Located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell has the highest undergraduate enrollment among the Ivies, at over 15,000 students. This larger student body helps account for a higher number of admitted applicants each year. For fall 2021, Cornell received nearly 60,000 applications and admitted 5,843 students, for a selectivity rate of 10.7%.

The middle 50% of admitted students at Cornell had ACT scores between 32-35 and SAT scores from 1410 to 1550. This is on par or slightly less than peers. GPA averages are not released but trend well. While rigorous, Cornell’s standards are marginally more attainable than other Ivies when enrollment size is considered.

University of Pennsylvania

UPenn, in Philadelphia, PA, saw nearly 48,000 applicants for fall 2021 admission. They admitted 3,404, equating to an admit rate of 7.1% of applicants. UPenn has the largest student population of the Ivies aside from Cornell, allowing for a somewhat higher number of admitted students.

The middle 50% of students accepted to UPenn had ACT composite scores ranging from 33 to 35. Average SAT scores were 1460 to 1560. UPenn considers standardized tests optional, however, which can increase applicants’ chances if other areas of their application are strong. UPenn sees consistent applicant pools annually as a large, prominent school.

Brown University 

Brown, located in Providence, RI, has an undergraduate enrollment of about 7,000 students. For 2021 admissions, Brown received nearly 37,000 applications. They sent acceptance letters to 2,566 applicants, for an admissions rate of 6.9%. 

Middle 50% ACT scores of accepted students ranged from 32 to 35, while SAT scores spanned from 1420 to 1550. Brown places emphasis on essays, leadership experience, and intellectual curiosity beyond just grades and scores. They evaluate applicants holistically on unique “Brown” fit.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH has a smaller total undergraduate enrollment of around 4,500 students. Dartmouth received 23,650 applications for the class of 2025 and made 1,230 offers of admission, equating to a 5.2% admissions rate.

The middle 50% of students admitted to Dartmouth had ACT scores between 31 and 35, with SAT scores ranging from 1410 to 1540. Dartmouth emphasizes passion for the school’s unique academic offerings and collaborative community in making admission decisions.

Takeaways for Applicants

While still highly selective overall, Cornell, Penn, Brown, and Dartmouth can be considered the “less competitive” Ivy options based on yearly application volume, admit rates, test scores, and other benchmarks. However, it’s important to remember that admission difficulty is relative in the Ivy League. Gaining entrance into any of these elite institutions remains a tremendous accomplishment.

Prospective applicants should realistically assess their academic and extracurricular qualifications against these schools’ averages. Students should cast a wide net and apply to several match and safety schools in addition to reach Ivies. There are no real “safeties” in the Ivy League. Creating a balanced college list maximizes options for outstanding postsecondary experiences.

With strategic college research, essay preparation, and interview practice, aspiring Ivy League applicants can aim high while crafting strong applications that reflect their unique attributes.


While intensely competitive overall, Cornell, Penn, Brown, and Dartmouth can be considered the relatively more accessible Ivy League schools based on admissions statistics like acceptance rates, test scores, and applicant pools. However, “easiest” is still a relative term in the Ivy League—admission remains highly selective. Wise students research carefully, manage expectations, and craft balanced college lists. With diligent preparation, outstanding candidates can aspire to the superb academics, networks, and opportunities of the Ivy League.

Frequently Ask Question About What is the easiest Ivy school to get into

What is the Ivy League?

The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private Northeastern US universities that are widely regarded as some of the most prestigious in the world. The eight members are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Which Ivy League school is the easiest to get into?

The Ivy League school with the highest acceptance rate is Cornell University. For the class of 2026, Cornell had an acceptance rate of 14.1%. By comparison, Harvard’s acceptance rate was 3.19% and Columbia’s was 3.73%. So while no Ivy is “easy” to get into, Cornell is statistically the least selective Ivy League school.

Why is Cornell easier to get into than other Ivies?

There are a few key reasons why Cornell has a higher acceptance rate:

  1. It is the largest Ivy in terms of undergrad enrollment, so it can accept more students.
  2. Its seven undergraduate colleges vary in competitiveness, so students have more options. The College of Arts and Sciences is the most selective (10.9% acceptance), while the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is the least selective (17.8% acceptance).
  3. As an Ivy League university focused on technology, engineering, and agricultural life sciences in addition to traditional liberal arts, it attracts a broader pool of applicants.

What GPA/test scores do you need to get into Cornell?

You still need very strong academic credentials, but the averages are slightly lower than Harvard or Princeton. The middle 50% SAT range for admitted students is 1400-1540. The middle 50% ACT composite score range is 32-35. For GPA, the mid-50% range was 95-99 on a 100-point scale. But of course, admissions are highly holistic.

Does Cornell give good financial aid as an Ivy?

Yes, like all Ivies, Cornell has a generous financial aid program that meets 100% of demonstrated need for undergrads. Over 60% of Cornell students receive some form of financial aid. The average net cost of attendance after aid is $25, Olympia per year for families earning under $75,000. So Cornell is considered accessible relative to other Ivies.

Nudrat Rahman Sheikh
Nudrat Rahman Sheikh