The Ivy Leagues

When you look at a list of Ivy League schools, do you start dreaming of being admitted and going to school with other competitive, like-minded people? Or do you read “Ivy League” and think you don’t entirely know what they are, but know they’re important? Either way, you’re not alone! Last year, the Ivy League schools received a combined total of almost 300,000 applications and only accepted just over 20,000 altogether. So who are the Ivy League schools and what makes them so special?

The List of Ivy League Schools

Below you’ll find the list of Ivy League schools in alphabetical order and where their main campus is located.

  •    Brown University — Providence, RI
  •    Columbia University — New York City, NY
  •    Cornell University — Ithaca, NY
  •    Dartmouth University — Hanover, NH
  •    Harvard University — Cambridge, MA
  •    Princeton University — Princeton, NJ
  •    University of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, PA
  •    Yale University — New Haven, CT

As you can see, the Ivy League schools are located in the Northeastern part of the United States. Most of them are some of the oldest universities in the country. But that doesn’t really explain all the hype surrounding Ivy schools.

What’s So Special About the Ivy League?

Although they’re known for their academic intensity and exclusivity today, when the Ivy League was created, their focus was actually sports. The Ivy League was originally an athletics conference agreement established between the Presidents of these eight prestigious universities. With these exception of Cornell, these are privately funded and some of the oldest colleges in the country.

Today the athletic conference still exists and the schools that make up the Ivy League are the only athletic conference that does not award athletic scholarships in the NCAA Division I. Basically, these schools are special, because they are extremely selective and prestigious. Attending one of these colleges sets you apart from the masses, because these schools are challenging to get into and succeed in.

Which Ivy League School is Better?

Honestly, the answer to this question varies from year to year, but typically, you will find Princeton, Harvard, and Yale at the top three in varying order every year. A quick Google search will produce multiple lists ranking the Ivies with different results. This is because each list uses different standards when they’re evaluating these schools and declaring them “better” in different areas based on different criteria.

Of the available lists out there, there are three you should pay the most attention to. US News, Forbes, and Niche carry the most weight in terms of credibility although each of these lists use different criteria to rank the schools.

The US News list focuses on ranking the Ivy League Schools by academic reputation. By surveying education experts like deans of admissions, provosts, university presidents, and even high school counselors, US News analyzes this information and creates its list of Ivy League schools based on these results.

The Forbes list focuses on what happens to the graduates the Ivies. Its list of Ivy League schools is based on things like alumni salary, debt accumulated when the students graduate, how many of those students default on their loans, and any prestigious accomplishments these alumni obtain.

Niche’s list ranks the Ivy League schools based on students’ quality of life. Their list does consider things like academic reputation and how successful alumni are after graduation. But the Niche list of Ivy League schools also analyzes the quality of opportunities available to students like athletics, campus housing, party scene, and technology.

Below, you’ll find the list of Ivy League schools in alphabetical order with their location and acceptance rate. I’ve also provided the endowment amount, which tells you how much money is donated to the university. After that, you’ll see the ranking from the US News, Forbes, and Niche lists as well as their average ranking.

University Name Location Acceptance Rate Endowment US News Ranking Forbes Ranking Niche Ranking Average Ranking
Brown University Providence, RI 9.01% $3.3 billion 14 8 8 11
Columbia University NYC, NY 6.04% $9.639 billion 4 15 14 9.25
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 13.96% $6.03 billion 15 25 23 19.5
Dartmouth University Hanover, NH 10.52% $4.7 billion 12 14 22 15
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 5.2% $35.7 billion 2 6 4 3.5
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 6.46% $22.72 billion 1 4 11 4.25
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 9.41% $10.7 billion 9 12 6 9
Yale University New Haven, CT 6.27% $25.57 billion 3 5 3 3.5

Why is This Information Important?

When you’re preparing to apply to schools like the Ivy League, or any college, you need to make sure it’s a good fit for you. This is especially important with prestigious schools like those that are a part of the Ivy League, because so many students apply simply because of their reputations. Being able to evaluate these schools based on the criteria used by US News, Forbes, and Niche gives you a complete picture of the school you’re applying to. By doing this, you’re better informed about what school you’re applying to so you can make the right decision for you.

When you look at any list of Ivy League schools, you’ll find eight of the most prestigious universities in the country. All located in the Northeastern part of the United States, each school offers amazing benefits in just by being able to say you attended an Ivy League. By looking at the criteria used for ranking by the US News, Forbes, and Niche lists, you have a complete picture of what attending various Ivy League schools can look like. Working with a college consultant will help you identify which schools you can be accepted into. They can also help coach you through any improvements you can make to increase your chances when applying.

Now it’s your turn. Did you attend an Ivy League? Do you want to? Were you surprised by any of the schools on this list? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. We can’t wait to hear from you!