What is the Ivy League?

What is the Ivy League?

There is often some confusion surrounding the topic of the Ivy League. Someone outside of the United States knows about the Ivy League, and apart from this, don’t know what it means. Some might say it’s the name of a prestigious school, or the name of an athletic department. Today, I want to clear up some of the confusion. I’m addressing the question on everybody’s mind, what is the Ivy League?

The Ivy League is a conference of eight North Eastern American universities. The eight are renown for being the most prestige and elite in America. They carry academic excellence, have a very selective admissions process, and are well-known for their elite socialism. The eight bodies that make up the Ivy League are Brown, Penn, Dartmouth, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia. Ivy League schools are NCAA Div 1 schools. There are 8000 student-athletes and 35 Varsity teams at each school.

This week over in my private sports community, ‘College Bound Athletes’, we have been discussing all things Ivy league. Come check out the resources, tips, tools, and strategies that will guide your athlete on this journey to college success. Join in the Ivy League discussion. You can join today right here.

The Ivy League conference is the toughest intercollegiate Athletics competition in the United States, and the most rewarding. Competing in the Ivy League can present broad opportunities for your athlete.

A Brief History

The first intercollegiate athletics began in 1870 which saw the formation of the Rowing Association of American colleges. The word ‘Ivy’ in the college respect, comes from ‘planting the Ivy’ day. It was first formed at the University of Pennsylvania. Each Spring students would plant Ivy on the walls of the university buildings. The students named it ‘Ivy Day’ in 1874.

In 1876, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia presidents met to decide on uniform rules for American football. This took off like crazy. Along with American football, Cornell, Columbia, and Penn developed the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. In 1902 basketball entered the league, and 1906 saw the National Collegiate Athletic Association form. The association originally consisted of 39 different schools. Of those 39, only two remain Ivy League schools which are Dartmouth and Penn.

1930 was the introduction of the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League consisting of Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Cornell and Dartmouth. Brown and Harvard joined in, followed by Army and Navy. Sports writers began to refer to these schools as the Ivy schools. It was first mentioned by Stanley Woodward of the New York Times in 1933. The first Ivy Group Agreement, signed by the eight presidents of each university in 1945, for American football.

The NCAA division 1 athletics conference formed in 1954. This was a historic year with the Ivy Agreement extending to include all intercollegiate athletics. Army and Navy from departed from the Intercollegiate Baseball League in 1982. From this point on, all intercollegiate sport that saw the eight schools compete, ultimately became one conference within the ‘Ivy League’.

Ivy League Finance

The Ivy League does not permit sports and academic scholarships. In most cases they do offer needs-based financial aid packages. These packages are very generous and come with many perks. This is to give students from middle-low income families the chance to attend an Ivy League school.

After your athlete receives a financial aid offer from different colleges, they will have negotiating opportunities. Negotiating power presents an opportunity to increase funding. your athlete can secure funding outside the college too. That can very well take them all the way on a free ride at an Ivy League school. How cool!

Would you like more information or advice on securing funding for an Ivy League school? Pop on a connect call with me. I promise it’s not a sales call. It’s just a connect call. It’s totally free and you can book at a time that suits you. Want to jump on a connect call? You can visit my booking page here

Admissions Have the Final Say

Coaches at an Ivy League school don’t have as much influence in the admissions process. A coach can recruit your athlete, and support their application. The final result lays in the hands of the admissions office. Ultimately, admissions have the final say.

A coach can ask admissions to look at your athletes current academic transcripts, test scores, and sports achievements. admissions will assess the likelihood of their application being accepted. Admissions will forward feedback to the athlete. This will give them a chance to identify areas they will need to focus on and improve. It is important to remember, no verbal agreement is a binding admission placement. A coach can support your athletes application, the final word will ONLY come from admissions.

Likely Letter

Ivy League schools don’t offer scholarship programs. There is no letter of intent. Your athlete will be receive a ‘likely letter’. A ‘likely letter’ simply implies your athlete will receive placement at that school. Provided they continue to maintain their academic, sports, and personal achievements at a high standard. That responsibility lays with your athlete.

How to Reach the Ivy League

Students who are good candidates for the Ivy League have outstanding academic skills. They will hold a triage of strengths and accomplishments. Ivy League potentials get involved in numerous extra-curricular activities, and are regular contributors to the community. For admissions to consider your athlete, they will have to challenge themselves.. Encourage them to take more advanced classes at school, and try to experience new things. Athletes who are all-rounders are a favourable consideration. I would suggest checking out the websites of those top choice colleges on your athletes list. See what suggestions they may have to help your athlete challenge themselves in different ways that will help their application.

Encourage your athlete to continue a display of high standard academics and personal development. They should be working on gathering strong personal, sports, and academic recommendations, which will help build a strong application. I suggest your athlete reaches out to coaches. Ask their opinion on the likeliness of making his team. Try to find out what they will need to do to ensure that happens.

Develop an effective recruiting strategy. Teach your athlete how to be a good negotiator, and research all the rules and policies surrounding eligibility. After your student-athlete receives offers of admission at numerous colleges, negotiations with coaches for better funding will begin. Knowing how to use negotiation skills early in the journey will ready them for those moments.

On Monday the 8th of June, is Live in the Locker Room: A Parents Blueprint to College Sports Success. It is a LIVE and FREE 90-minute event. Parents will learn how to develop an effective strategy. One that will help your athlete create professional breakthroughs beyond their wildest imagination. Spots are filling fast. Would you like to register for the event? You can secure your spot here.

Qualities of an Ivy League Athlete

The criteria is the same right across the board of colleges. Ivy League athletes will have that bit extra, and will show signs of potential Ivy League material. Your athlete will need to have a very strong focus on their sport, and preferably just one sport. The only time they should be heavily focused on two sports, is if they are highly successful in both. And the skill sets from both sports must compliment each other. It’s best to just focus heavily on one.

Encourage your athlete to compete in a high level of competition outside of school, and enter major tournaments/competitions regularly. Coaches look very favourably on those who compete in a high-level of competition. Keep a record of their player stats and achievements in a professional manner. The coaches will ask to see these regularly in your athletes senior year in high school. Your athlete already has the qualities of an Ivy League student. They will have to maintain those qualities through what can be ‘trying’ teenage years.

Benefits of the Ivy League

It’s no secret the benefits of being an Ivy League student. The perks can be endless. The final result can be your athlete having a very successful life after college sports. History tells us that many Ivy League students go on to become public figures and sports professionals. Connections your athlete will make as an Ivy League student will carry over a lifetime. Team mates, coaches, professors, and counsellors will become life long connections.

As an Ivy League student you have access to private healthcare, physiotherapy, and world-class sporting facilities. You have access to the worlds top coaches and trainers. Study perks come with extended deadlines, private tutors and study rooms. Ivy League students receive equipment, merchandise, sponsors, sports contributions, and very impressive financial aid packages. I could go on and on. The benefits of being an Ivy League student are endless.

Final Words

Being a student-athlete is a hard gig. Your athlete is already smashing that title out of the ball park. An effective strategy, 4-year academic and sports plan, and impeccable support network, sets our athletes up for success. Help them maintain focus, productivity, drive and determination, and those Ivy League offers will come rolling through the door.

Coaches will see how hard your athlete works. They will watch them improve academically, athletically, and personally. They will know they are looking at a future member of their team. The important thing to stress to your athlete, is the word ‘student-athlete’. Student comes first. They must be an excellent student to be an excellent student-athlete. Ivy League admissions wont even bat an eyelid at your athletes application, if the academics are not up to scratch.

Hopefully this blog has cleared up some confusion around the question ‘What is the Ivy League, and what does it really mean? It’s fascinating how many different college systems there are around the globe. The Ivy League is in North Eastern America. There are many others just as prestige and elite in different nations around the world. Does your athlete want to travel, and go to an Ivy League school? check out the other college systems around the world that are just as elite. For more information, tips, tools and resources that will help you guide your athlete toward college sports success, come on over and join my private sporting community here. See you over there. Brooke x


I give parents the tools and strategies required to help their elite athletes achieve their dream of a college sports scholarship. I teach everything from maintaining balanced sports, sleep, and school lifestyle, build visually pleasing sports portfolios, college and scholarship choices, creating exposure through social media, and the application process from start to finish. All this, and more. Your athlete's success is my #1 priority.

Do you want Brooke to build your athletes entire 4-year plan and give them access to expert consulting and world-leading coaches, scouts and educators?

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