Have you ever wondered why there are smart players who ride the bench of an Ivy League college’s basketball, hockey, or football team? While it may be because the player doesn’t perform well or is injured, it may also well have to do with the Ivy League Academic Index.┬áThe Ivy League assigns an Academic Index to each and every applicant – both athletes and non-athletes. Each athletic team at an Ivy League school must have a team Academic Index within one standard deviation of the campus Academic Index.

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The Academic Index is at the heart of understanding Ivy League admissions for athletes as well as non-athletes.

So if you’re a recruited athlete with subpar SATs and lousy grades (let’s say you’re a Band 2 athlete between one or two standard deviations below the campus Academic Index), you may still gain admission to this selective Ivy League college. But the coach may need a Band 4 athlete – athletes at or above the campus Academic Index – to offset the Band 2 applicant’s academic numbers. Those Band 4 athletes may not be quite as good athletically as the Band 2 athletes. Maybe they’re good enough but they’re unlikely to be stars. Nonetheless, these Band 4 athletes serve an important function. While they may ride the bench, they’re putting up numbers for their teams, too.

Check out our post on Ivy League Sports or on College Admissions and March Madness. And check back soon for more posts on the Ivy League and the Academic Index.

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