College Spotlights

How Do You Get Into Seven Sisters College?

Harvard University and the rest of the Ivy Leagues used to be all-male schools up to the late 1960s. To provide women with an education equivalent to those offered by the Ivy League schools, the Seven Sisters schools were formed. Since they are highly selective liberal arts colleges, many women (and some men, too) dream of getting admitted into them.

To get into the Seven Sisters, one must have a GPA of 3.84 to 4.0 and an SAT score of 1290 to 1370 or an ACT score of 29 to 34, depending on the school. Having a strong recommendation letter is important, too, since the Seven Sisters value how students can contribute to the community.

Besides being elite, the Seven Sisters schools also have close-knit communities and strong alumni networks. Needless to say, having a degree earned from any one of them helps make it easier to land your dream job.

It’s due to this why many would love to become Seven Sisters students. However, because all of these schools boast of an exclusive status, many find applying to them daunting. If you are one of them, don’t stop reading now. Below, you will come across just about everything you need to know about getting into the Seven Sisters schools.

But before anything else, let’s give an answer to this pressing question…

Are the Seven Sisters Ivy League?

The various Seven Sisters schools are not Ivy League schools. However, they are seen as Ivy League schools, especially because they were founded, first and foremost, in order to provide women with the same caliber of education as their then all-male counterparts, the eight Ivy League schools.

When the Ivy League was established, their programs were open to males only. There was only one Ivy League school that has been co-ed since its birth in 1865, and it’s none other than Cornell University.

In the early 20th century, many women had a hard time raising enough money to get their hands on top-notch education, which was mainly being offered by the different Ivy League schools at that time. To solve this problem, in 1915, the Vassar College’s president called together different colleges to provide women equal opportunities for higher education.

The group was originally composed of only four schools:

  • Vassar College
  • Wellesley College
  • Smith College
  • Mount Holyoke College

It didn’t take long before three more schools were added to the roster of all-women counterparts of the Ivy League schools. They are Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, and Radcliffe College.

By the way, Radcliffe College merged with Harvard University in 1999. And it’s now known as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Because they are formed as equivalent to the Ivy Leagues, each of the Seven Sisters schools is associated with at least one Ivy League school. Some are also associated with other prestigious schools.

And this takes us to a question many students are too shy to ask…

What are the Seven Sisters Ivy League Pairs?

The different Seven Sisters schools are affiliated with different Ivy League schools, the very reasons why they were created. Some of the Seven Sisters schools are associated with non-Ivy League schools that are nonetheless prestigious, too. Some examples are Amherst College and MIT.

Having a college degree opens doors to more job opportunities and more stable careers. However, having a college degree earned from an Ivy League school can open even more doors.

It’s because of this why many students dream of going to the Ivy League. Unfortunately, for the majority of them, it will only remain as a dream. That’s because aside from the steep sticker prices, the Ivy League schools are also known for being selective — the majority of them have single-digit acceptance rates.

Luckily, there are many schools that are comparable to Ivy League schools. A lot of them have higher acceptance rates, too, which means higher chances of getting admitted into them.

Here’s a table of the Seven Sisters schools and their acceptance rates and the elite schools they are affiliated with:

SCHOOL NAMEACCEPTANCE RATEAFFILIATION
Barnard College10.80%Columbia University
Bryn Mawr College33.20%Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College
Mount Holyoke College30.80%Dartmouth College
Radcliffe College2.40%Harvard University
Smith College32.50%Amherst College
Vassar College23.80%Yale University
Wellesley College21.60%Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Now that you know which of the various Seven Sisters schools have some of the highest acceptance rates, you also already have an idea of which ones to apply to in order to have higher chances of getting an acceptance letter.

And this takes us to this very important application-related question…

How Can I Get Into a Seven Sisters School?

High GPA and test scores are important when applying to the Seven Sisters schools. A good recommendation letter is a must, too, especially one that highlights a student’s community contribution. Research is also essential since one will be asked for the reason for applying to a Seven Sister school.

Applying to any Seven Sisters school is just like applying to any other prestigious school.

Because the GPA is the most important part of a college application, yours need to be above-average.

As a general rule, you need to have a GPA of at least 3.81 before you can grab the attention of the Seven Sisters admissions officers. Take note that different Seven Sisters schools have different minimum GPA requirements.

Needless to say, you should have a high SAT or ACT score to get admitted into any of the member schools.

It’s of utmost importance to research the Seven Sister schools you will apply to. That’s because, during the application, you will be asked “Why (school name)?” Showing that you know very well the institution of your choice can help increase your chances of getting admitted into it.

On the other hand, not knowing enough about the Seven Sisters schools, such as using “all-girls school” rather than “all-women’s school” can result in the complete opposite.

Before we put this article to an end, let’s take a look at some other important details you need to know about the Seven Sisters schools, all of which can lend a hand in the selection process.

Here’s a table comparing their GPA and test score requirements, cost, and a few others:

SCHOOL NAMEGPASATACTCOSTPOPULATIONCO-ED?
Barnard College4131034$57,6682,631No
Bryn Mawr College3.94131031$54,4401,384No
Mount Holyoke College3.81129029$56,3002,190No
Radcliffe College4.18146033$54,002N/AYes
Smith College3.84134032$55,8302,531No
Vassar College4137031$60,9302,441Yes
Wellesley College3.97133030$58,1202,519No

These days, you can apply to one of the different Seven Sisters schools, whether you’re a male or a female. That’s because only four of them remain as all-women’s colleges. The other two, Vassar College and Radcliffe College, which is now Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a part of Harvard University, are co-ed.

Because they were formed as counterparts of the then all-male Ivy League schools, it doesn’t come as a surprise why the Seven Sisters schools are seen as prestigious institutions.

While selective, they have higher acceptance rates than the Ivy League and other top-notch schools. This means that you have a higher chance of getting admitted into them.

And to make sure that you will receive an acceptance letter, always keep in mind the tips mentioned above. Good luck applying to the Seven Sisters school of your liking!

Related Questions

What’s the difference between Radcliffe College and Harvard University?

Since Radcliffe College merged with Harvard University in 1999, it became the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard students live closer to Harvard Yard than Radcliffe students. What’s more, Harvard dormitories are more luxurious than Radcliffe dormitories.

What is the so-called Seven Sisters style?

The Seven Sisters style consists of polo shirts, sweaters, khaki pants, and loafers. The fashion sense of Seven Sister school’s students was turned into a book published in 2014 called “Seven Sisters Style: The All American Preppy Look”. It was written by a Vassar College graduate, Rebecca Tuite.

This article is a part of series about Seven Sisters colleges. You can find more information by following the links below:


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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