The Ivy League universities are all highly regarded academically. As is often the case, history plays a significant influence. Giving them a long track record will help them attract the best students. Over a third of US Presidents attended Ivy League schools, and they have a disproportionate number of Nobel laureates.
Few people worldwide have heard of the eight Ivy League Universities, and even fewer who can’t name at least a handful of them. Regardless, most people who can’t call at least Harvard and Yale will still think of the Ivy League as prominent universities and high-quality research organizations. Ironically, the Ivy League, at least officially, is uninterested in education or research. It’s a real sports league!
What is the Ivy League?
The Ivy League is a group of private universities that hold sports conferences in the US. These colleges engage in competitive sports, competing against each other in various of student athletic sports.
A visit to the Ivy League’s website reveals that it offers a lot of sports news but not much about the academic side of college and university life; there is only one page of admissions guidance for athletes who want to play for one of the teams.
The Ivy League was established in 1954, but the term has been used since the 1930s. Picking up on a nineteenth-century habit of planting ivy at numerous universities, sports writers used it to refer to the inter-college rivalry between the historic institutions. The term’s athletic origins confine membership to those eight universities with a common history and geography, making it an elite club.
What are the Ivy League Universities?
The limited group of eight US institutions earned their name from sports. Certainly, it goes without saying that all the Ivy League universities are venerable and esteemed institutions. Seven of them were founded during the colonial period of America, and they are universally recognized for their academic excellence. Despite being members of the Association of American Colleges, an organization that represents the greatest colleges in America, Ivy League universities are frequently regarded as the best that America has to offer.
Ivy League universities list
- Harvard College (Massachusetts)
- Yale College (Connecticut)
- Princeton (New Jersey) University
- New York’s Columbia University
- Rhode Island’s Brown University
- Dartmouth (New Hampshire) College
- Penn State University (Pennsylvania)
- New York’s Cornell University
Indeed, the Ivy League brand is so powerful that it is routinely employed when discussing other high-performing universities in America, with phrases like Ivy Plus, Public Ivies, and Hidden Ivies used to construct new lists and classifications. While the word is actually about sports, it is best known as a shorthand for America’s premier institutions.
Of course, the Ivies are not the only institutions of distinction in the United States. There are other universities outside of the League that provide good education and are worth considering due to their strong worldwide rankings and lower tuition fees. Stanford, M.I.T., and Caltech are among them – colleges that are not exactly Ivy League but have a similar reputation and social standing. In fact, because of MIT’s renown, Stanford is frequently mistaken for an Ivy League school, even though it is not.
Why are Ivy League Universities so prestigious?
These few American colleges not only have a great academic reputation and history but also have a lot of money saved up for investments. Together, they have nearly $150 billion in assets, and Harvard alone has $40 billion-plus.
This creates a strong demand for spaces; typically, for every accepted student, at least nine are refused. And the opportunity to be selective ensures a steady supply of students to keep not only academic records but also money coming in!
These universities are likely to captivate your attention initially as you embark on your quest for undergraduate and graduate programs, owing to a range of compelling reasons.
Primarily, they leverage resources to draw in talented, diligent, and ambitious students globally. Additionally, these institutions significantly support students in their career endeavors, spanning diverse fields such as law, electrical engineering, medicine, and business, where Ivy League universities stand out.
The worth of prestige
An Ivy League education provides much more than just knowledge. The privileges that Ivy League universities provide are appealing to many students. While any university degree is advantageous, some say that an is superior to other universities.
Regarding education, it’s difficult to dispute that Ivy League institutions aren’t among the best in the world. According to the QS University rankings, they hold five of the top 10 positions in the United States, and those five are all in the top 25 in the world. An impressive academic record for a group that is only technically a sports league!
They might also brag about good results for their students. Professor Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist who studies the impact of many determinants on life outcomes, discovered that Ivy League graduates often move on to high wages, with 20% going on to be in the top 1% of US earners within 15 years.
These advantages, however, come at a cost. They are among the most costly universities in the United States. Annual fees normally vary between $40,000 and $50,000 per year. Because many Ivy League universities are located in high-cost-of-living areas, the initial prices may indicate that better-earning potential after graduation is important.
Things to consider when applying
A degree from an Ivy League university is about much more than that. They offer not only outstanding education but also the opportunity to study at colleges with distinct personalities and histories that are typically intertwined with America’s national narrative. And, for many, universities provide the foundation for a lifetime of achievement.
The Ivy League, rich in history, academic prowess, and intense sports competition, presents a collection of universities that would be hard to surpass, regardless of your chosen field of study. Just keep the following factors in mind:
Securing admission to these prestigious colleges is exceptionally challenging; you must meet standards significantly higher than those required by the average public university. For instance, the admission rates in 2020 were below 10%.
Ensure you meticulously examine the admission criteria, encompassing test scores ( GRE, SAT LSAT), GPA, letters of recommendation, academic achievements, and extracurricular activities. These factors hold considerable importance!
Nevertheless, bear in mind that the United States boasts various higher education institutions, numerous of which offer more affordable tuition. Therefore, as you explore institutions, prioritize finding the one that best aligns with your specific needs.
5 Interesting Facts About Ivy League Schools
Stories — and even falsehoods — will naturally accompany colleges and universities as old and famous as the Ivy League. Here are a few amusing and, in our opinion, fascinating facts regarding Ivy League universities.
1) They called them ‘Ivies’ as an insult at first
The phrase originated to refer to the athletic rivalry between the eight colleges. The sports journalist who originally mentioned the Ivy League was an alumnus of Fordham, which had a good football reputation and was dissatisfied with having to cover a Columbia-Pennsylvania game. It is believed that his usage of the term ‘Ivy League’ was intended to be derogatory, implying that the universities were more famous for their foliage-covered walls than football.
2) ‘The Ancient Eight’ isn’t all that old
Despite the fact that the name is completely incorrect. The Ivy League colleges are approximately 500 years from being the world’s eight oldest universities, but they aren’t even the United States’ eight oldest. Although Harvard is the oldest institution in the United States, Cornell was founded in 1865, 96 years after the next youngest Ivy League university, Dartmouth. There are many universities that are older than Ivy League members, including America’s second oldest, the University of William & Mary, which was founded in 1693.
3) but they’re older than America
Seven of the members (save Cornell) were colonial institutions, which were the nine universities founded before the Declaration of Independence. The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Ben Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers. Columbia University was founded by Royal Charter as King’s College before changing its name following the American War of Independence.
4) Brown offers a “choose your degree”
Students can choose practically any subject they wish because the university encourages originality and creativity. The only restrictions are that students must complete at least 30 courses and have one emphasis (or major) in order to graduate. Each semester begins with a shopping period during which students can sample courses. The approach is designed to be as flexible as possible, with many courses having no prerequisites and even some taught master’s courses available. It implies that a one-of-a-kind degree is feasible!
5) The ‘primal scream’ is now a Harvard tradition
In the 1960s, Harvard students would open their windows before examinations to shoot and howl for 10 minutes to release tension, a ritual known as the primal scream, which has now been mostly supplanted by streaking. Cornell University also has a pre-exam tradition in which the university band takes over the library for an hour before tests begin, making last-minute revision impossible! Other bizarre Ivy League customs include throwing bread and other items onto the sporting field to ‘toast’ their team.