Academic Index Calculator 2016

This Academic Index Calculator for 2016 reflects the recent changes that have been adopted by the Ivy League in calculating the Academic Index.  According to sources, Ivy League schools have moved away from using class rank in the Academic Index calculation. This version of the academic index calculator also takes into  account that the SAT Writing and Critical Reading scores are averaged and added to the SAT Math score as explained in this article in the New York Times.

The Academic Index Calculator for 2016


Academic Index Calculator – Google Docs version

Please let me know if you have any difficulty with it
Plug in whatever information you have available. You’ll get the most accurate results if you have SAT scores, GPA (unweighted) and 2 SAT II subject tests. But plug in whatever information you have – even if it’s only your GPA and ACT composite.

The calculator will return an Academic Index estimate for an unweighted GPA over 2.3  and ACT composites over 20. Please leave a comment after you use it so I know if there are any inconsistencies or flaws that need to be addressed.


New for 2016

The SAT test has been revised and starting with the March 2016 testing date, the new format will be used. The new scoring uses the 1600 scale instead of 2400. The Tier 1 Athletics Academic Index Calculator has a page for both the old and the new SAT scores. The page tabs are at the bottom margin.

Using the Academic Index Number

It’s important to understand that your academic index doesn’t mean you’ll be admitted. It is, however, a useful yardstick to help you determine if your grades and test scores are in range to make you a potential recruit.

Interpreting your Academic Index score

An excerpt from The Essential Guide to Ivy League Athletic Recruiting 2012:

“By mutual agreement, the minimum Academic Index to be admitted as an athlete in the Ivy League is 176. This was revised in 2012. The AI floor used to be 171. It’s very important that you realize this number is not a standard that will make you eligible to be admitted into an Ivy League school. Consider this number a minimum. In reality, a much higher AI is generally required of most athletes. To make it even more confusing, each school within the Ivy League has a different AI requirement. The rule states that the mean AI of all athletes on campus must fall within one standard deviation of the mean AI of the whole student body. If, for example, the average student on the Princeton campus has a higher Academic Index than the average Penn student, the Princeton athletic recruits must also meet a higher standard.”

“The general consensus is that SAT scores of 700 or better per section and a 3.5 GPA put the potential recruit on solid academic footing to be recruited just about anywhere. Ivy League coaches are looking for athletes who can make the grade with admissions, and just as importantly, they are looking for athletes who can compete and win at the Division I level.”




  1. Michael says:

    It worked well for me – is there any boost for AP classes?

    • admin admin says:

      Run the numbers using both the weighted and unweighted GPA if possible. Remember, this isn’t an application- only a quick read on your academics to see if you’re at a recruitable level.


  2. Swim mom says:

    I am having a problem with GPA section. The numbers do not come out for weighted or unweighted.
    Does it have any effect at all that my son goes to top IB magnet high school and taking full IB courses to get the diploma?

  3. Jill says:

    I am having a hard time figuring out athletic index

    SAT math 480
    crit writing 530
    reading 530
    total 1540
    GPA weighted 4.0

    Can you help me figure out what would be correct index

    thank you

  4. jim says:

    The results from your calculator and are very different.
    Can you explain which one is more accurate?

  5. jim says:

    I think i see the problem on – no unweighted GPA. My school only adds 5 points to unweighted GPA(100 scale) for AP and honors, the weighted GPA does not mean much if someone has average 95 (4.0) on unweighted GPA.

    • admin admin says:

      Yes, the satscores calculator doesn’t have an unweighted GPA, also it’s still using the class rank which was dropped in 2012.

  6. denise says:

    The Harvard Coach says they are only allowed to take a certain number of players in each “band” based on their academic index.

    Can you explain this to us?


  7. Denise says:

    The emails we have received from Harvard and Yale both ask for only our UNWEIGHTED GPA – but your calculator allows you to use either.

    Is the WEIGHTED GPA used at all in the academic index?? If so why do they keep asking for unweighted?

    My son has a 3.9 weighted GPA – but only a 3.15 unweighted. Your calculator gives him pretty good results, but if the school don’t take the weighted GPA, we’re in a mess!

    • admin admin says:

      The problem is that different schools have different ways of weighting GPAs – there was a recent news article about a girl with a 10.03 weighted GPA. So to avoid the confusion and try to compare recruits on an apples to apples basis, unweighted is easier for coaches to use. But try not to get too hung up on the index number. The difference between the 3.15 unweighted and the 3.9 weighted amounts to about 7 index points. That’s nothing that good test scores and being a very strong athletic recruit can’t overcome.

  8. Denise says:

    Hi –

    We have now been told by both Harvard and yale that the only consider unweighted GPA – but your formula offers weighted GPA as an option –

    do you know of any Ivys who actually use the weighted GPA?

    Thank you.

    • admin admin says:

      Hi Denise – there is a published conversion chart for weighted GPA conversion that I have made available in this calculator. Looking at the recruiting questionnaires throughout the Ivy League, they generally just have a single field for GPA. Unweighted is preferred.

      It’s much easier for a coach to sort through hundreds of potential recruits if everyone is using the same GPA scale, that’s why unweighted is preferred.

      When it comes time for admissions to take a look at your transcript, it will certainly be advantageous to have honors and AP classes, even if they don’t show up in the the coach’s quick read of your GPA

  9. Jason says:

    Can you provide me a rough calculation of my academic index based on the following:
    Math- 510
    Reading – 640
    Writing- 600
    Unweighted GPA- 3.36

  10. C.Johnston says:

    I am trying to understand why my SAT scores (R 610, M 570, W 690) rank me better than my ACT scores (28). My GPA is 3.3, and my SAT II (600 and 650). Thank you.

    • admin admin says:

      610 CR, 570 Math and 690 writing combined with your 3.3 GPA and SATii scores give an AI of 204. If you use the 28 ACT instead, you get 196.

  11. C.Johnston says:

    Thank you! So, I should def. send the SAT over the ACT?

  12. michael says:

    Do only Ivies use the academic index? What about other schools like Duke, Northwestern, Tulane, Rice, etc?

    • admin admin says:

      Schools outside the Ivy League may use an internal algorithm similar to the Academic Index to evaluate prospective recruits, but as far as a conference-wide standard – that’s just an Ivy thing

  13. Mike says:

    33 ACT composite
    5.17 weighted, 3.95 unweighted (one B+ fresh year).
    looking toward swimming. Care to give approximation on AI and where the Ivy swim squads are averaging AI’s and their hard floor?

    • admin admin says:

      Mike, you’re around 225 using your unweighted GPA. In my estimation that would put you at or above the average on any Ivy swim team

  14. Theresa says:

    Is there a formula since my son is in a IB program where 7 is the highest mark and all all 6 subjects he is averaged at 6.5? Its hard to use the calculator with a IB scores, although checking on different sites, he would be unweighted 4.0?? Thanks

    • admin admin says:

      If the IB scale has 7 as the highest mark, that corresponds to a perfect 4.0. So, assuming a straight-line correlation, 4/7=.57. Multiplying your son’s 6.5 average by .57 gives a GPA of 3.71 on a 4.0 scale.

  15. Mark Clouse says:

    My son has
    Critical reading 660
    Writing. 710
    Math 650
    Unweighted GPA 3.3

    Brown is saying he is 199.5 vs 208 which they need, I can’t get their number. Could it be something I am missing?

    • admin admin says:

      Mark, if you add the CR and Writing, divide by 2 and add the Math to that, you get 1335. Divide that by 20 and you’re at 66.75. With no SAT IIs, we double that and get 133.5. Brown is giving your son 66 points for his GPA. If you plug that 3.3 in as a weighted GPA, with 4.3 being the max possible, you get 67 points – if it’s actually a 3.29, you get that 199.5 (calculator rounds up).
      Here’s a link to a NYT article that explains it.

  16. Kristin says:

    Wanted to thank you for your counsel earlier this fall. Unfortunately, despite my kids grades, index, etc, he got flat out rejected. We had guidance reach out to check and see if there were any deficits on application. Negative. He did exactly as coach asked him to in terms of application and his sport. He did not get likely letter but supposedly a letter of Rec to file (which we actually now wonder if that happened.

    One athlete from his school got in. Two other students were deferred and apparent were minorities so my understanding is that they are in a different pool.

    To all parents out there, be very very careful with this process if your student doesn’t have likely letter. In retrospect our child should have taken a different path. We feel very strongly that he was duped. Lots of contact, met coach twice. Went to meet. No official visit but was told he was on team if he got in. Even if you go ED make sure kid is Im contact w other coaches and does back up apps.

    Coach hasn’t even bothered to email since rejection.
    Hard lesson for 17 year old kid.

    • admin admin says:

      Kristin, so sorry to hear things didn’t pan out. I agree, it’s really hard on anyone, let alone a 17 year old kid that’s being led along by a coach. Your advice to other parents is spot on. In the absence of a Likely Letter, or a coach telling you, “Yes, I am supporting you with one of my slots,” you just don’t know where you stand. And at these schools with very low acceptance rates, even a kid with stellar academics is a longshot without solid coach support. “Letters of rec” just don’t carry the same weight.

      Again, I’m very sorry to hear the news. Not to be a Pollyanna, but I’ve found that smart kids like your son eventually end up with good outcomes, even it wasn’t the way it was originally planned.

  17. John Glover says:

    I see different results using the google docs version and the downloaded version. For instance, if I key in a 28 for ACT Composite the online google docs version gives it 63 points whereas the downloaded version only gives it 61. So with a 28 ACT, 4.3 weighted GPA, and 4.0 unweighted the google docs version says 206, but the downloaded spreadsheet shows 202.

  18. Jeff says:

    My son – football player –has:
    620 math
    620 reading
    600 writing

    Unweighted GPA of 3.84 with two AP classes and rest honors.

    I come up with 201 AI score ? sound right ?

    We are updating Ivy Coach’s with scores…should we include what we think his AI index is ?

    Does 201 sound in the range for Football at Yale, Upenn or Princeton ?

    thanks and great resource !!

    • admin admin says:

      Yes, you’re 201 sounds right. No, i wouldn’t give the coach the calculated AI, he can do the math. Football recruits in bands, more athletes are allowed in the top band than the lower band. Mty guess is that he could be in range at Princeton, Yale or Penn – but I don’t think he’d be top band at Yale or Princeton. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just fewer spots in the lower bands.

  19. Dan says:

    Hello, do you know what the AI of my son who has a unweighted GPA of 3.43 and a ACT comp. score of 26.

  20. Dan says:

    Do you think my son would have a chance at harvard yale or brown at hockey with a 3.43 and 26

  21. Aisha says:

    Columbia women’s basketball recruit
    African American
    unweighted GPA of 3.99 (in AP and all honors courses)
    Math 540
    Reading 590
    Writing 557
    Class size 380

    She is a junior and will take it again.

    I got about a 191. Your thoughts?

    • admin admin says:

      I think it will depend on how desirable she is as a player. If she can improve her SAT scores, esp math, that will certainly help.

  22. HC says:

    My son has an AI close to 240: Perfect SAT score. 4.0 unweighted GPA. 4.7 weighted GPA. Second place ranking in the over 500 class. He is an OK athlete in an unpopular sport. What do you think his chance to be recruited in HYP? I heard sometime these schools recruit mediocre athletes with high AI to balance the star athletes with low AI. Is that true?

    • admin admin says:

      What you’re talking about is called an “index booster” – The practice of recruiting a few kids just for their high academics to balance the lower AI recruits. Twenty years ago this was pretty commonplace. The Ivy League took steps to reduce the practice by limiting the number of spots that can be supported for each team. The result is that a coach generally can’t afford to use up a spot for someone that can’t contribute athletically no matter how high their AI.

      That said, given a choice between 2 athletes of similar ability the 240 AI will certainly look better, but the athletic ability has to be there.

  23. Scott Herzer says:

    Thanks so much for this info. It’s very helpful, but I’m hoping I can ask a clarifying question. What is your understanding of an Ivy baseball recruit’s chances with an AI of 208? I know all sports are not created equal in the eyes of recruiting stats. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

    • admin admin says:

      As you said, not all sports are created equal, neithrr are the academic thresholds at every Ivy League school. My opinion is that there is room on the roster at most schools in the league for a 208 AI if the players skill set matches the program needs. For example, if you are an overpowering LHP you may be more welcome with that 208 than if your skills are not as ‘in demand’. Hope that helps!

      • Scott Herzer says:

        Thx for getting back to me so quickly! Kinda what I thought but this journey is so tricky already that I was hoping for more definitive news!! Son has been invited to a Junior Day but it’s a very long trip. We’re just trying to make sure he has a decent chance of admission before we commit to the travel.

  24. Scott Herzer says:

    Meant to add Merry Christmas !!

  25. Scott Herzer says:

    How will AI formula change with new SAT format?

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