For thousands of Indian students, a Harvard degree, a Yale scholarship, an acceptance letter from Brown, or being a freshman at Princeton may be the ultimate dream, but when it comes to realizing it, our desis seem to trail behind the Chinese. While the number of Chinese students in the elite club of Ivy League campuses has risen steadily over the last decade (2003-13), the rise in the Indian count has been but marginal. Chinese (8,549) made up an impressive 27% of the population at the Ivies in 2013, while Indians (3,064) comprised about 9.7% of all international students at the colleges. Over the last decade, the Chinese have improved their share two-fold, whether in undergrad programmes, graduate schools or non-degree courses. The number of Indians has inched up marginally, from 7.9%. There’s no gainsaying that the competition to get into the Ivies is fi erce. About 30,000 of the brightest students fought for 2,131 places in the Harvard University undergraduate class of 2013 which saw an acceptance rate of 7.32%, according to Hernandez College Consulting. At Princeton University , 21,964 candidates applied for 2,181 spots. In all, the eight colleges that make up the league re ceived more than 2,00,000 applications and sent acceptance letters to only 11.9% of them.

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