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Meaning of Ivy League Schools, Rankings, Tuition Fees, History and what Qualifies You to be their Student

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Unwana Akpan

The Ivy League is an American athletic collegiate conference containing sports teams from eight Northeastern United States private universities. Ivy League Schools in the US and around the world are the most sought-after higher learning institutions.

In the North-East of the United States, these schools are recognized for their highly selective admission practices, academic excellence and exciting career prospects for their graduates. Fabulous are their titles, popularity and social prestige.

More About Ivy League

Ivy League 

Ivy League colleges have been known to turn out not only well-rounded student-athletes, but future leaders, Nobel Prize winners and other high-achieving alumni, first grouped together by an athletic conference. Some of the oldest educational institutions are included in the list of Ivy League colleges, with well-respected academics, adequate research grants and generous support for financial aid. The applications of prospective students must be exceptional in order to make it to the halls of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia and the like.

Ivy League Schools Rankings based on U.S. News’ National University Ranking



National University Ranking

Princeton University Princeton, NJ 1
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 2
Columbia University New York, NY 3 (tie)
Yale University New Haven, CT 3 (tie)
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 6
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 12 (tie)
Brown University Providence, RI 14
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 17 (tie)

Review of Listed Ivy League Schools

1. Princeton University


Founded more than 270 years ago, Princeton University is the nation’s fourth-oldest institution. Princeton, a world-renowned research university, is No. 1 in our ranking of National Universities. From specialist libraries to state-of-the-art labs and even an art gallery on campus, Princeton provides first-rate academic services. In the collections at the Princeton University Art Museum, over 100,000 works remain.

Princeton University

Princeton University’s most common majors include social sciences; engineering; computer sciences and information sciences and support services; biological and biomedical sciences; and careers of public administration and social service. The university enables students to profit from small class sizes and one-on-one advisory partnerships with a 5-to-1 student-faculty ratio. Also the university has one of the nation’s highest four-year graduation rates. Princeton has trained former U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, Olympic medalists and Nobel Prize winners as home to Rhodes scholars and high-achieving students.

2. Harvard University

Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest higher education institution in the U.S. and one of the Ivy League’s most selective. In our National Universities ranking, the university lands at No. 2. Harvard has over 100 research centres on campus as a private research institution. In addition to the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard comprises 13 colleges and institutes, including the highest-ranking medical school in USA and high-ranking business schools, graduate education, law and engineering schools.

Harvard University

The university claims to have one of the nation’s highest rates of freshman retention. In addition to academia, students can access more than 445 extracurricular, curricular, and athletic organizations. The extensive library system of Harvard houses the oldest national collection and the world’s largest private collection. Harvard, committed to sustainability provides undergraduates, graduates and community members with green living programs.

3. Columbia University


Columbia University is the oldest higher education institution in the state of New York, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Columbia is the birthplace of many important innovations and outlets, including FM radio, the oldest literary magazine in the country, the first multiracial campus black student advocacy group and the first college gay rights advocacy group. Three undergraduate schools make up the university: Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science of the Fu Foundation, and the School of General Studies. The business and law schools, the Teachers College, and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons comprise highly rated graduate and technical schools. Columbia has one of the country’s most diverse student bodies, and was the first institution to enroll 1,000 foreign students in 1953.

Columbia University

To generate cross-cultural academic partnerships, the university emphasizes study and teaching on global issues. There are nine global centers in Columbia that generate science, scholarship, teaching and service opportunities across the globe. Students can access many on-campus learning services, including 22 libraries; more than 200 research institutes, centres, and laboratories; thousands of internships available through the Career Education Center; and the Earth Observatory of Lamont-Doherty. For up to four years, Columbia guarantees lodging, and more than 90 percent of undergraduates live on campus. In several movies, the campusajor has appeared, such as the “Spider-Man” franchise, which contains scenes shot in Havemeyer Hall.

4. Yale University


Yale University is known for its drama and music programs by the well-regarded Yale School of Drama. Besides Yale College and Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the university has 12 specialist colleges, including the country’s top law school and highly ranked medical, accounting, art and nursing schools. Undergraduate students have made advances in many fields at this academic institution, discovering new species and patenting products. Students will take advantage of global learning opportunities, from studying abroad to embarking on international internships and driven studies.

Yale University

Social sciences; biological and biomedical sciences; history; mathematics and statistics; and engineering are among the most common majors at Yale. The university cites many firsts: it was the first university in the United States to grant doctoral degrees, for instance, and one of the first of its kind is the Yale School of Public Health. Finally, the Center for Foreign and Area Studies of Whitney and Betty MacMillan focuses on teaching and study on international relations, communities and cultures around the world, and encourages students to undertake research abroad.

5. University of Pennsylvania


The University of Pennsylvania, founded in part by Benjamin Franklin, offers a blend of world-class liberal arts coursework and pre-professional education. Of all the Ivy League campuses, Penn has the most foreign students: 13 per cent of the undergraduate and graduate population are international students and come from more than 100 countries. In addition, over 2,500 students participate in international study programs offered in more than 50 countries around the world each year.

University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the schools of education and law are among Penn’s highly ranked graduate schools. The Stuart Weitzman School of Design and the School of Dental Medicine are among Penn’s other notable graduate schools. Acclaimed faculty, state-of-the-art research laboratories and interdisciplinary curricula are provided by the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Penn has more than 300 student organizations spanning the efforts of political action, performing arts, athletic clubs and magazines for students.

6. Dartmouth College


The birthplace of the BASIC programming language, which gave way to other developments in coding, is Dartmouth College. As well as the Thayer School of Engineering and Geisel School of Medicine, the college includes the highly rated Tuck School of Business, which houses the world’s first graduate school of management. Dartmouth founded one of the country’s first Native American programs to actively recruit students and has more Native American graduates than any other Ivy League institution among its alumni.

Dartmouth College

In fields ranging from medicine and the arts to engineering and industry, the college has more than 50 research-focused centres, institutes and organisations. Dartmouth encourages students to learn in an intimate atmosphere, with a 7-to-1 student-faculty ratio and more than 60 percent of classes with less than 20 students. More than 50 percent of students study for an immersive, global and hands-on education through off-campus programs that do not disrupt their academic schedule. In our Best Colleges for Veterans list, the college is also ranked No. 2.

7. Brown University


A private research institution, Brown University embraces an open curriculum to enable students to design a personalized course of study while becoming creative thinkers and risk-takers in the intellectual field. In over 80 concentrations, such as egyptology and assyriology; cognitive neuroscience; and business, entrepreneurship and organizations, this open academic program for undergraduates comprises comprehensive multidisciplinary research.

Brown University

Its highly competitive liberal medical education program requires students in a single eight-year program to complete an undergraduate and a medical degree. Six libraries specialize in topics like music and science. More than 250 special collections are housed in the Brown University Library, each home to rare primary research materials. There are more than 500 clubs and organisations for undergraduates to choose from and all first-year students live on campus.

8. Cornell University


Cornell University, founded in 1865 and the youngest Ivy League institution, has the goal of finding, preserving and disseminating knowledge, creating innovative work, and fostering a culture of broad inquiry throughout the Cornell community and beyond. Each of Cornell’s seven undergraduate colleges and schools, even though each graduate receives a degree from Cornell University, accepts its own students and has its own faculty.

Cornell UniversityThe College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are Cornell’s two main undergraduate schools. The highly ranked Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Weill Cornell Medical College, College of Engineering and Law School are among the graduate schools. Cornell is also renowned for its top-ranking Veterinary Medicine College and prestigious Hotel Administration School. In Ithaca, New York; New York City; Geneva, New York; and Doha, Qatar, Cornell offers more than 100 areas of study and has campuses. 

Ivy League  History

Most scholars believe that the term was coined in a 1937 article by Caswell Adams. He wrote about the Columbia/UPenn football game, and, reportedly angry about not being allowed to cover his alma mater, complained about the old “Ivy-covered” colleges, leading him to call them the “Ivy League.” The term stuck, and the Ivy Community Agreement was signed by the eight schools in 1945 with respect to academic standards and football scheduling. All the other sports were included in another contract reached in 1954.

Another idea is that Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and another school (usually Dartmouth or Columbia, depending on who you speak to) had set up a sort of conference called 4 league team. Instead of 4 league, people would say “Ivy League.” It’s not the preferred story, but it’s a fascinating look at how colloquialism can alter language.

If you’ve watched any of the American college movies, the vast majority of them take place at a big-name, prestigious college. Animal House, Legally Blonde, A Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting-all demonstrate the odd parties and characters that reside inside these highly regarded institutions’ walls.

Under the word ‘Ivy League,’ these prestigious and highly selective universities are frequently grouped, and their history is very fascinating and significant to American higher education. Here are some important stuff you need to know about these Ivy League colleges if you are considering applying for a Master’s degree in the United States.

Ivy League  History

Why Should I Care about the Ivy League Universities?

These universities are likely to be the first to draw your interest, for several reasons, when you are starting your quest for undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Firstly, they use a lot of resources from all over the world to recruit smart, hard-working, and career-minded students like you. Second, it’s no secret that students in their professional professions are strongly supported by these colleges. The Ivy League universities really dominate these categories, looking at many areas of study, ranging from law and medicine, to electrical engineering and industry. In the future, having a degree from these schools would open plenty of doors for you.

Tuition Fees for Ivy League Schools

With tuition rates ranging between $55,000 and $60,000 a year, these schools often happen to be among the most costly schools in the U.S. Luckily, in the form of grants for their best students, they still provide excellent financial assistance. Maybe you’re one of them!

What Qualifies You to be an Ivy League Student – Know Before You Apply

  1. For these prestigious institutions, the admission process is extremely competitive; you would need to meet requirements that are far higher than those of any normal public university. The admission rates in 2019, for example, were below 20 percent.
  2. Remember to carefully review the criteria for admission, including test scores (SAT, GRE, LSAT, GPA), recommendations, extracurricular activities, and other academic accomplishments. Oh! They matter!
  3. However you should bear in mind that in the U.S. there are thousands of higher education institutions, and many of them rank high in university rankings despite offering lower rates of tuition. This is why you should always follow the right match that fits your personal needs while looking for universities.

Note; The Ivy League is possibly the best choice if you dream of running a large company, holding public office in government, or having a clear edge in science and innovation. Scroll down to apply and click on each of the links from the Ivy schools to take you to the official website.

The Ivy league schools’ official websites are given here, click on any one of your choice; Brown University, Columbia UniversityCornell UniversityDartmouth CollegeHarvard University, University of PennsylvaniaPrinceton University, and Yale University.


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