Here's the short answer: yes.
How exactly Ivy League schools admit students has garnered a lot of scrutiny. In a perfect world, admissions to the Ivy League and other top colleges would be a pure meritocracy.
But welcome to real life.
The world of admissions is brutally competitive, and it’s even more so if you’re applying internationally. At MIT, for example, the international admissions rate is less than half the overall admission rate.
Quotas and “need-blind” admissions policies
Firstly, quotas are alive and well, whether some schools admit their use or not. But quotas aren’t the only way colleges stack the deck against international students.
Some colleges forgo their usual “need-blind” admissions policy: this means they factor in financial needs into their acceptance criteria, disproportionately impacts international students, who are often on the lower end of the financial bell curve compared to domestic students.
Stanford, for example, notes on their website, “Our admission program is need-blind, meaning, for all but some international applicants, financial status will not affect the admission decision.”
Our admission program is need-blind, meaning, for all but some international applicants, financial status will not affect the admission decision.
Tougher international competition
Ultimately, it boils down to this: as an international student, you’re typically judged in context of other international students. International students are going up against the best of the best students from all around the world, which offers a markedly lower shot versus the 4.3 GPA from Kansas.
From a sheer numbers perspective, it’s significantly tougher to break in as an international applicant.
Trickier, unfamiliar requirements
One area that often goes underlooked is the application process itself. As if the college admissions wasn’t challenging enough, applying as an international student brings a unique set of challenges.
Depending on your high school’s primary language of instruction, for example, you might need to take additional testing to demonstrate your English proficiency, like TOEFL.
The application process is typically markedly different from the processes back home.
The value of an Ivy League education
So, the long answer to this question: yes.
That’s not an easy answer, but if you want to get to an Ivy League college, or any other top school for that matter, you shouldn’t be looking for the easy answer.
It’s a brutally competitive process, and it should be. The fact is, to get to where you want to go, you must go above and beyond what you think you’re capable of so you can reap the benefits.
And the benefits are worth reaping.
The prestige, network & “foot-in-the-door” treatment are just some of the perks you get with an Ivy League education.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Five of the eight Ivy League schools—Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania—are among the top 25 schools in terms of mid-career median salaries.
The value of higher education is changing, and changing quickly. Despite this, the world-class benefits and opportunities that an education from a top U.S. school bring are difficult to understate—and this will likely remain the case for a very long time.
Improving your chances
There are a lot of challenges that come with applying to an Ivy League school, and those challenges are twofold as an international student. Having experts guide you throughout the process can offer an enormous edge.
While seeking admissions counseling from a private firm might seem like a good option, going down this route can easily cost you thousands of dollars. Not to mention, the quality of counselors is a mixed bag, and there’s little guarantee you’ll get a lot of value from the service.
Superapplicant is the world’s first online admissions accelerator and course that turns the usual admissions counseling paradigm on its head.
At a fraction of the cost, the accelerator delivers on-demand video lessons covering every aspect of the admissions process; live workshops; Q&A sessions; mentorship; and more.
Interested in enrolling? Click here to get started.
Let’s be clear: no matter how strong your background, you’ll need every edge you can get.