From Top College Prep Schools to the Ivy League

In a recent year, the majority of Harvard freshmen were graduates of public high schools and only 5% were graduates of elite prep schools. Five percent may not seem like much, but students at the top prep schools represent only .2% of total high school graduates in the U.S. each year. 

Below is a list of the top 14 private prep schools in the U.S. with the percentage of their students that go on to the Ivy League. This demonstrates clearly that these schools continue to provide an advantage in admissions.

  1. Trinity School, New York, NY – 40%
  2. Collegiate School, New York, NY – 40%
  3. Brearly School, New York, NY – 37%
  4. Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY – 36%
  5. Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, MA – 36%
  6. Phillips Academy, Andover, MA – 33%
  7. The Spence School, New York, NY – 33%
  8. The Winsor School, Boston, MA – 31%
  9. The Dalton School, New York, NY – 31%
  10.  St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH – 30%
  11.  Chapin School, New York, NY – 30%
  12. Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles, CA – 30%
  13. Phillips Academy, Exeter, NH – 29%
  14. The College Preparatory School, Oakland, CA – 29%


The rationale for attending a top prep school isn’t tied only to the potential for admission to the Ivy League. There are a number of other sound reasons to enroll in these schools, as noted below. 

  1. The level of competition that a student encounters affects the quality of their academic performance. Students in a top prep school are more likely to perform at their best if they’re competing against highly motivated, high-achieving peers who have passed rigorous entrance requirements. 
  2. Unlike guidance counselors in public schools who have many other responsibilities, top prep schools have counselors on staff whose sole job is to advise and assist students in gaining admission to college. 
  3. Colleges need to know if the education available at an applicant’s high school will prepare the student to perform up to the standards of their institution. The educational quality of top prep schools is known to them and respected. 
  4. The perceived cultural, social, and career advantages afforded graduates of top prep schools are of benefit to them in the American economy and society at large throughout their lives. 


Considering the advantages that accrue to students of top prep schools, one may wonder if the assistance of a professional college admissions consulting firm like IvySelect is needed. We are certain that it is because we’ve found that even these privileged students benefit by working with IvySelect. The main reasons are summarized below:


  1. While prep school guidance counselors may be able to provide more intensive assistance than their public school counterparts, they still can’t provide the level of individualized attention offered by IvySelect
  2. At IvySelect, we guide our students in finding the strongest topic for their personal statements. We know that one of your best chances to stand out is in the quality of your written submissions. We’ll provide sustained guidance, devoting time to theme, structure, emotion, and adherence to your core message.
  3. IvySelect assists you in developing essays in response to the supplemental essay prompts required by the top-tier institutions to which you’ll apply. Few prep school counselors have the time to work with you on all of these essays, which, if you’re submitting 12 applications to top-tier schools, may total 12 unique essays.
  4. The counselors at top prep schools owe their loyalty to their employer. Their primary concern is their school’s reputation. Therefore, their advocacy for you may be muted unless they’re convinced that you’re among their very best students. IvySelect has no divided loyalties. You are our client. We work solely on your behalf and advocate fully for you.
  5. Extracurricular activities provide an excellent opportunity to distinguish yourself from your peers. Guidance counselors don’t help you in this regard because they don’t engage in strategic admissions planning with students while this is a key strength of the IvySelect approach. Your strategy, developed jointly with us, enables you to select activities based on their ability to focus your talents, interests, and passions and then communicate them to colleges.

For the above reasons, families and students from some of the most prestigious college prep schools in the country, including Exeter, Andover, Choate, Deerfield, Horace Mann, Dalton, Harvard-Westlake, Sidwell Friends, and more have wisely turned to IvySelect for expert guidance throughout the admissions process.


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