Ivy League uses A.I. to recruit athletes

By The Dartmouth Web Staff | 12/28/11 3:16pm



Re­cruit­ing a group of Ivy League cal­iber fresh­men ath­letes is no easy en­deavor. Since the mid-1980s, the Ivy League has used a stan­dard­ized mea­sure­ment of aca­d­e­mic achieve­ment called the Aca­d­e­mic Index to make sure mem­ber in­sti­tu­tions don't ac­cept "vastly un­der­qual­i­fied" re­cruits. Po­ten­tial re­cruits re­ceive an A.I. cal­cu­lated on a com­bi­na­tion of SAT math and ver­bal scores and grade point av­er­ages. This past sum­mer, the Ivy League raised the min­i­mum ac­cept­able A.I. score from 171 to 176 - or, a 3.0 stu­dent with an 1140 SAT. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port on Brown ath­let­ics com­mis­sioned this year, Dart­mouth and UPenn had five sports with av­er­age A.I. scores under 200; Brown 7; Co­lum­bia 3; Yale 1; and Har­vard and Prince­ton none. The re­port did not men­tion Cor­nell.

Along with the in­crease, changes in cal­cu­lat­ing A.I. in­clude a switch from using class rank to grade point av­er­age.

"Har­ris said the A.I. this year was not raised so much as ad­justed. Class rank was once part of the for­mula, with grade-point av­er­age used only if class rank was not avail­able. But be­cause many high schools stopped re­port­ing class rank­ings in re­cent years, it was elim­i­nated over the sum­mer. Har­ris said the change was made be­cause when ad­mis­sions di­rec­tors re­cal­cu­lated mul­ti­ple A.I.’s under the new sys­tem, a can­di­date who typ­i­cally reached a score of 171 was now a 176."- New York Times

Across Ivy League schools, the A.I. serves as a way to en­sure ath­letes meet the same aca­d­e­mic stan­dards as the rest of their in­com­ing class.

In the 1980s, Dart­mouth Dean Ralph Manuel '58 H'08 and Pres­i­dent John Ke­meny played key roles in de­sign­ing the Aca­d­e­mic Index blue­print.

Ad­den­dum: This blog post has been mod­i­fied to clar­ify the change from using class rank to G.P.A. in cal­cu­lat­ing the Acad­e­mix Index. It now in­cludes ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about Dart­mouth's re­la­tion­ship with the A.I.

The Dartmouth Web Staff