Around the 19th century, the American Collegiate Athletic Conference was formed, comprising sports teams from seven private universities in the United States and later after a few years the conference was joined by an eighth university. This group of eight institutions came to be known as the Ivy League. While this was initially to promote sports, gradually, the Ivy League became synonymous with an elite group of colleges, which have much more to offer than just lucrative sporting careers. Now, the Ivy League stands for academic supremacy, stringent admission process, and social exclusivity.
• Brown University
• Columbia University
• Cornell University
• Dartmouth College
• Harvard University
• The University of Pennsylvania
• Princeton University
• Yale University
Founded in 1764 at Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University is the seventh-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first to admit students irrespective of any religious affiliation. The engineering program of Brown, established in 1847, is the first among all Ivy League colleges.
Established in 1754, Columbia University is the fifth oldest institution of higher studies in the United States, having its campus at Morningside Heights, in the upper Manhattan area of New York City. It is consistently ranked as one of the top ten Universities in the world by various educational publications.
Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, at Ithaca, New York, Cornell University was meant to teach and contribute in all fields of knowledge. Ezra Cornell once stated that “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study”; and Cornell does stand as evidence to this motto. It serves this ideal through seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate schools at Ithaca campus.
Dartmouth College, established in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock is the smallest university in the Ivy League with an undergraduate enrolment of 4,276 and a total student enrolment of 6,342. It comprises a liberal arts college, the Geisel School of Medicine, the Tuck School of Business, and the Thayer School of Engineering, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences and is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States.
Harvard University, established in 1636, is a private Ivy League research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of study and research, and the Harvard Corporation is the first chartered corporation of academic institution of excellence. Consistently ranked as the numero uno institution of higher learning, not just in the USA, but across the world, its history, influence and wealth have made Harvard one of the most reputable universities in the world.
As one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States, the University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia. Propounding the ideals of its founder Benjamin Franklin, Penn accentuates on an educational program that focuses as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology.
Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton relocated to Newark in 1747 and then to Princeton, New Jersey, nine years later, where it was renamed as Princeton University in 1896. Princeton provides undergraduate and graduates instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
Established in 1701 at New Haven, Connecticut as the “Collegiate School” by a group of Congregationalist ministers and chartered by the Colony of Connecticut, Yale University is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Designed initially to train Connecticut ministers in theology and sacred languages, by 1777 the school’s curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences. By the 19th century, Yale gradually incorporated graduate and professional instruction in its syllabus.
Considered the most prestigious academic institutions of excellence, Ivy League schools rank among the top universities across the globe. According to the U.S. News & World Report (2019), Global University Rankings, there are three Ivies in the top ten and six in the top twenty universities, worldwide. Harvard tops the list in the first place while Columbia and Princeton are ranked in eighth and ninth position respectively. Apart from that, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report, all the eight Ivy League Universities are ranked among the top fourteen US National Universities, with four Ivies occupying the top three spots (Columbia and Yale are tied for the third spot).
Such prominence and popularity bring in aspiring students in droves. The Ivy League boasts of a colossal number in undergraduate enrolments much ahead of the liberal arts colleges in the United States. Undergraduate enrolments range from about 4,000 to 14,000 in these Universities. Total enrolments are also high with graduate students ranging from approximately 6,400 at Dartmouth to over 20,000 at Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Penn. The financial endowments range from somewhere between $3.5 billion for Brown to $34.5 billion for Harvard, which is touted as the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world.
So if you are looking for academic recognition, scholarly achievement and brilliant career opportunities look no further than these Ivy League colleges, because they have produced numerous Nobel Laureates, some of the most influential business leaders, iconic celebrities and outstanding public servants that include many Heads of States throughout their illustrious history. In fact, getting admitted in any of these universities itself is a matter of immense social prestige, let alone the plethora of opportunities that open up even before you graduate from them.
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