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Calculating Your Ivy League Eligibility


Freshman, now that you know your test scores and your CSU GPA, you can calculate your eligibility index.



How to calculate

If you’re a high school football player receiving letters from Ivy League football programs, then you should know what the Ivy League’s Academic Index (A.I.) is, and how to calculate it. Ivy League recruiters typically will not explain this.


The information presented here was drawn from College Consultant Gerald Bradshaw, conversations with teachers, coaches andother resources.


What is the Academic Index?


The Academic Index is a gauge that Ivy League coaches use to determine a player's recruitability. Approximately two-thirds of elibinlity is based a student sstandardized test score (SAT or ACT); the other third is based on your class rank (or GPA, if your school does not provide class rank).


Important fact: All Ivy League sports programs must abide by rules surrounding the index. Therefore, if your Academic Index is below the minimum level, you must raise it, or you cannot be admitted.


Ivy League schools have in the past sent out recruiting letters to students before ever calculating your index. Recruiting letters are not a guarantee of admittance.


The index shown below is just a rough approximation used by Ivy League coaches. The real Academic Index used by Ivy admissions offices involves the use of the SAT 2 exam, which most athletes have not taken.




•Two Ways to Calculate

–1/3 SAT-I/ACT Average + 1/3 SAT-II Average + 1/3 Converted Rank Score

–2/3 SAT-I/ACT Average +1/3 Converted Rank Scores

•Converted Rank Score is a GPA or Class Rank Calculation (based on charts or a formula)

•Generally, 2/3 SAT-I Average + CRS is used




–SAT-I: CR: 680 M: 630 WR: 610

•SAT Average = 640 (64 Pts)

–SAT-II: Chemistry 590, US History 610

•SAT-II Average = 600 (60 Pts)

–High School GPA = 3.4

–Use 2/3 +1/3 Formula!

–CRS = 68 Pts

–AI = 64+64+68 = 196




What it means


If you have an Academic Index below 171, you cannot be admitted to an Ivy League school as an athlete.


For those at or above 171, the meaning of the Academic Index varies from school to school.


To precisely determine an athlete’s recruitability, the Ivy League segments all A.I.s above 171 into four “bands.” something like A, B, C, D, with A being the highest band. Using this system, an Ivy League school like Harvard, with a high Academic Index of 220 and a standard deviation of 14 would have its bands defined as follows: High: 197-210, Med: 183-196, Low: 176-182, Low-Low: 171-175.

Ivy League schools rarely, if ever, publish their mean A.I.s. It is assumed, however, that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (in that order) have the three highest mean figures, probably at or around 220. According to the book, "Playing the Game," Dartmouth usually falls fourth at approximately 212, followed (in order) by Columbia, Pennsylvania, Brown, and Cornell.

Under the rules of the system, no school can admit more than 30 football players per year. Moreover, the schools must specifically show that prescribed numbers of recruited players fall into the bands as follows:

High band: 8 players
Med. band: 13 players
Low band: 7 players
Low-Low: 2 players


In general, however, the following is also true about the meaning of your A.I.:

1. The lower your band, the better you must be as an athlete.

2. Students who fall in the “low-low” band need to be exceptional athletes (all-state caliber players who are being recruited by Michigan or Ohio State, for example).

3. Students with A.I.s above 220 stand a better chance of being recruited, and needn’t be All-State caliber players. In fact, some Ivies have been known to pad their teams’ Academic Indices by recruiting football players with 1550 SAT scores and virtually no chance of ever seeing game action.

4. In football, offensive linemen are often recruited in the medium and high bands. Low-low bands are most often reserved for impact players: quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers.

5. Ivy admissions are tough, even for recruited athletes. All Ivy League schools start with a pool of more than a thousand players, and then whittle that pool down to 30. A typical “low-low,” therefore, will be in the top quarter of his high school class, with a 27 on the ACT (1220 SAT), and will be a first-team all-stater or even a high school All-American caliber player. A typical “high” might still be an all-conference caliber player with a 33+ ACT (1460+ SAT) and a top 5% ranking.


Finally, remember that the formula presented here is a rough approximation used by coaches. Ivy admissions officers typically want prospective students to take the SAT 2 exam before calculating their “real” Academic Index.




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