Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

Ivy League Admissions: Elite Colleges Becoming More Elite

News  SAT
Eric Barnes

eprep test prep videoCollege acceptance letters were received this week by students across the country. For those academically elite students applying to “elite” colleges, their definition of “elite” was called into question. No longer is a 4.0 GPA and perfect 2400 SAT test scores a ticket into your college of choice. As the New York Times reported yesterday, “high school valedictorians were a dime a dozen” at Harvard, Yale and Princeton. “There’s a sense of collective shock among parents at seeing extraordinarily talented kids getting rejected.”

Here’s a look at the low acceptance rates of a few top schools:

Elite School Admissions Rates 2007

The rejection of top students does not diminish the importance of academic achievement and scoring high on the SAT. In fact, it points to the increased importance of high grades and SAT scores as a requirement to even be considered at top schools. The difference maker these days appears to be what Seamus Malin calls being “well-lopsided” – showing some particular passion that you can bring to that school’s freshman class. Mere resume building, it seems, doesn’t work anymore.