Can You Get Into An Ivy League School With Cs?


Ivy league schools are considered to be the most sought-after institutions of higher education around the globe.

These eight private northeastern schools are well known for their highly competitive admission process, profound academic excellence, and promising career opportunities for those who attend.

Are you one of the students who have always dreamed of attending an Ivy League school but don’t quite have the grades? If the answer to this question is yes, then surprise! You don’t need to have exceptional grades to apply to an Ivy League school.

Securing a seat in an elusive Ivy League school happens to be a mystery for most high school students. Many believe that the coveted acceptance letter is only for candidates with excellent grades, tons of extracurriculars, and a perfect essay.

Luckily, this really isn’t the case. Ivy League follows a “not one-size-fits-all” approach, which creates a sort of wiggle room and multiple ways in which you can make your admission application stand out. 

With that being said, the following are some of the possible ways in which you can get into an Ivy League school of your liking- that too with having Cs to your name!

1. Academic performance

To secure a seat in an Ivy League school, there are ample requirements that need to be matched by every candidate. However, the condition that happens to be the most important one is “good academic performance.”

On the odds that you are someone who’s got Cs to their name, it might sound absurd, but we can say that you still have a chance here.

All eight Ivy League schools come in handy with their own grade requirements; thus, the Cs you scored would be assessed differently at every Ivy League school.

Besides grades, the other thing that Ivy Leagues have their eyes on is none other than “extra courses.” While grades are essential for your profile, they don’t tell everything about you, and this is where these extra courses tend to be of immense help.

Challenge yourself by taking AP and IB courses, and we are sure of the fact that they can lead you to secure a position in any of the Ivy Leagues – that too with Cs!

Having said that, don’t solely focus on your grades so that you forget about the other pieces of the puzzle!

ivy league schools

2. Letters of Recommendation

If, by chance, you ever stop by for an Ivy League admissions consulting, the thing that they will emphasize on, apart from grades, would be a letter of recommendation.

Many people often fail to recognize the worth and perks a letter of recommendation comes with.

A letter of recommendation helps a candidate build up an extraordinarily holistic application by allowing the people in his life to drop by some personal and professional opinions about their academic achievements and performance throughout their career.

If you have already graduated from your school, then you need to think of the teachers, teacher’s assistants, and every other person who taught you, and with whom you share exceptional chemistry, and ask them for a letter of recommendation.

The more profound bond you may have with your teachers and school management, the more favorable and convincing recommendations you will receive.

No matter if your grade sheet shows Cs in it, as far as the letter of recommendation you get holds pristine remarks for your academics, the chances for you to secure a position in an Ivy League school are still on the table!

3. Extracurriculars

As far as grades are essential for getting into an Ivy League school, so do your extracurriculars. 

However, some things need to be explained here. Many students fail to get into an Ivy League school, even after holding numerous certificates earned through different extracurriculars; want to know why?

It is because Ivy Leagues discourage dabbing in many extracurriculars. So, indulging in many extracurriculars won’t help you out in any manner. Ivy League holds a stance of its own when it comes to extracurriculars.

Their stance states that instead of dabbing into so many activities, a candidate should get associated with any one of his favorites, dig deeper into that particular activity, dedicate ample amount of time to that activity, and ideally use the experience gained from training to propel themselves into a world-changing career.

Nonetheless, always remember that it is absolutely okay for you to change your extracurricular after a while.

You need to show them that you can achieve big things, as the goals you accomplish now show a glimpse of the things you can achieve in the future!

4. Personal Essay

In need of something that proves itself to be a game-changer for you, something that can turn your entire application upside down or something that can lead you right into an Ivy League school if only done the right way, then “Personal Essay” is the thing you have in hand.

A personal essay is what the name suggests – personal. As stated above, a well-written letter comprises the ability to capture the authenticity of an applicant better than any other part of an Ivy League application.

Just by delivering a top-notch essay, a student gets the opportunity to share his personal motivations, the things he’s enthusiastic about, showcase the leadership qualities he comes with, and build the barrier of trust with the Ivy League school he’s applying to.

Supposing you have Cs to your name, your personal essay might be the best opportunity to tell the Ivy League you are applying to about why you are the best fit for their college.

If you convinced the admission committee via your personal essay, we are super sure that nothing would stop you from securing a seat in your dream university!

ivy league schools

5. Networking

Last but not least, the thing that drives you straight to an Ivy League – despite having Cs to your name, is none other than networking. 

In the world we live in, we must not underestimate the power of being friends with or knowing the right people. Lately, Ivy League schools are determined to be the powerhouse of networking.

If you have a friend at an Ivy League school you are looking forward to applying to, or you know any of the professors or alumni there, you shouldn’t really hesitate to reach out to them.

The students, professors, and alumni are people who have the complete know-how of the admission procedures, requirements, the negligible areas, the part of the application that is the most important, and a full sack of other minute details.

Hence, approaching them would prove to be highly fruitful to you, as this way you would have the proper guidance on how to make your application stand out from the rest of the candidates and other viable resources that can be helpful for you to put up a profile that’s hard to get rejected at any of the Ivy League!

Final Word

Nothing is better than having exceptional credentials to your name; however, it might come as a surprise to you that most Ivy League universities are not in search of perfect students and are really interested in finding well-rounded students.

If you had a chance to visit the Ivy League admission department, you might be surprised to look at the pile of applications filled with students who are extraordinarily bright but still fail to secure a seat.

The Ivy League schools can always find a person who stands out from the crowd. They are interested in a person who is an expert in his area of interest. In short, they recruit world-changers who are leaving a positive print on society with all the resources they have on hand.

With that being said, no matter if you have Cs to your name, if you fill the other pieces of the puzzle mentioned above, nothing can stop you from achieving the dream you have always desired!

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Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.


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