Ivy League Universities
The term Ivy League commonly refers to a group of 8 private, east-coast colleges and universities renowned for providing an excellent education and their significant history.
These universities were some of the earliest American institutions founded:
- Harvard in 1636
- Yale in 1701
- Pennsylvania in 1740
- Princeton in 1746
- Columbia in 1754
- Brown in 1764
- Dartmouth in 1769
- Cornell in 1865
Although the term 'Ivy League' officially refers to an athletic conference in which the eight colleges' sports teams compete, it has grown to have much wider connotations, because the members of the Ivy League compete academically as well as athletically.
Ivy League schools are highly selective, with acceptance rates often under 10%. They are also very expensive to attend, with fees averaging $35,000 (£21,800) a year.
Seven of the eight Ivy League schools were founded in the Colonial Era of the United States, and they comprise seven of the nine colleges founded before the American Revolution.
The Ivy League colleges regularly appear in the top 15 college rankings in the United States and pride themselves on having very rigorous academics. A number of famous political and social figures in the United States have graduated from the Ivy League.
The Ivy League institutions are heavily endowed, with Harvard being the wealthiest university in the world, Yale the second wealthiest, and Princeton the fourth wealthiest.
CampusCompare.com is a useful website that allows you to compare the Ivy League universities in terms of tuition fees, location, size, admissions, and more. It also contains lots of other information such as application fee costs, financial aid, clubs and organisations, social life and accommodation at each of the Ivy League institutions.
Although an Ivy League education carries the benefits of looking great on your CV and entry to a valuable alumni network, this sort of education comes at a price – both in the tuition costs you pay and the stress of the highly competitive admissions process.
Therefore it’s important to consider carefully whether an Ivy League education is right for you. It depends on what you want to get out of your degree, and whilst Ivy League universities generally deserve their excellent reputations, some of their courses are stronger than others.
Keep in mind that not all Ivy League universities have top-rated degrees for the subject you are interested in studying. It’s a good idea to look at other institutions outside the Ivy League, as they may offer things that are more important to you that are not provided by the Ivies, e.g. high teaching standards, excellent research facilities, low student-to-faculty ratio.
Even if you decide in the end that you are going to apply to Ivy League universities, you will be happier knowing you explored your other options first.