Are Ivy League Schools In The NCAA

Many young aspiring student-athletes hope to get into the best colleges to help them further their careers and hopefully achieve their dreams of making it to the big leagues. Participating in NCAA competitions is a historically proven means of gaining fame and nationwide recognition. These athletes could be looking to get the opportunity to play for an Ivy League school to improve their chances of being seen. Let’s begin with Are Ivy League Schools In The NCAA.

Are Ivy League Schools In The NCAA

Ivy League schools are definitely in the NCAA and are among the best Division 1 Colleges. They are only different because their recruitment process differs from other colleges. In addition, they typically don’t grant athletic scholarships as they prioritize academic performance in their students.

Differences Between Ivy League Schools and Other Schools in the NCAA

The NCAA comprises three divisions (Division I, II, III) and over 400 institutions. The Ivy

League schools include the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell Universities. They are highly regarded institutions and are known for being very competitive, accepting a low percentage of numerous applicants every year. Some differences between them and other colleges in the NCAA include:


  • Ivy League schools are generally harder to get into and have a significantly lower acceptance rate than most of the other schools in the NCAA.
  • The Ivy League emphasizes academic excellence as the main determinant for accepting applicants to the universities.
  • They don’t have provisions for athletic scholarships for their students. Rather, they offer need-based financial assistance to their students.
  • Issuance of the likely letter to recruited athletes to signify conditional acceptance into the university.

The Recruitment Process for Ivy League Schools

The athletic recruitment process for Ivy League schools is a bit different from other NCAA colleges. Most of the processes are similar, but a distinct attribute of the Ivy League recruitment process is the Academic Index, which contains a record of athletes’ SAT scores and GPA. The Academic Index monitors the performance of applicants, and the coaches use it to make their decisions on who to recruit.

As well as not being able to offer scholarships for athletics, schools in the Ivy League don’t use the National Letter of Intent. In its place, they issue a likely letter to the athlete, which means that the college will accept the athlete provided they maintain their current performances. Of course, the likely letter doesn’t guarantee admission, but it could serve as a heads up to let the athlete know that he will likely get into the university.

How to Get Into an Ivy League School as a Student-Athlete

Excelling as an Athlete

If you’re looking to get into any college as a student-athlete, the main goal should be getting noticed in the first place. You should be able to show your worth as a sportsman and catch the eye of recruiters and make them want to have you on their team. Getting the right people to notice you would increase the probability of getting accepted into the university you choose.

Maintaining Good Grades

Apart from being an excellent athlete, an applicant must be able to show that they can uphold the high academic standard of an Ivy League school. The competition for spots in an Ivy League school is very high, and these institutions only accept an exceptional few from numerous applicants every year. So you must stand out to succeed as a student-athlete. The most important thing to understand is that your academic performance is equally as important as your excellence in sports. No matter how good an athlete the applicant is, a low GPA or SAT score won’t help them get into Brown or Princeton. It is important to balance those two aspects to be a successful applicant.

A Solid College Application

You will have to pique the university’s interest by submitting an impressive application to stand out in the crowd. It would be helpful to an applicant to take part in interesting projects and engage in extracurricular activities and community service to help them spice up their college applications.


The Ivy League schools are under the umbrella of the NCAA and participate in the competitions. Only a few distinct characteristics differentiate them from other schools in the NCAA, most especially in their acceptance requirements and recruitment process, which are more demanding for the applicants. Standing out and proving that one can bring value to an institution will help them get into schools of that ilk.


  1. Do ivy league athletes sign letters of intent?

No, they don’t sign letters of intent. Typically, Ivy League colleges don’t use a letter of intent because there are no scholarships given to admit athletes into their institutions, unlike in other NCAA colleges.

  1. Why don’t ivy league schools offer athletic scholarships?

Ivy League schools don’t award any kind of funds to students based on their talents. They only offer based on the financial need of the beneficiary.