Who Are the Ivy League Schools?

The name of the ivy league originates from the appearance of ivy on old educational buildings.
The name of the ivy league originates from the appearance of ivy on old educational buildings.

The Ivy League is a group of eight prestigious institutions of higher education based in the Northeastern United States. They are considered elite institutions that are outstanding and are sought-after regarding acceptance and graduation. The term “Ivy League” was officially used during the NCAA athletic conference for Division One in 1954 and was used to refer to the elitism of these institutions in sports, particularly basketball. All eight schools are ranked among the best 15 schools in the US, with Princeton University ranked the best institution of higher learning in 2017. The undergraduate enrolment ranges between 4,000 to 14,000 which is larger than a typical private college but lower than an average state university. Their financial endowment is also among the highest in the world with Harvard University recording $37.6B in 2016. The following are the eight members of the Ivy League.

8. Yale University

Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut.

Yale University is located in New Haven, Connecticut and was established in 1701. It is the third oldest University in the US and was ranked the third best institution of higher education by the US News & World Report 2017. It is among the original members of the Ivy League alongside Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia who met in 1876 to formulate the laws to govern the football league which was gaining popularity. The institution's alumni includes five US presidents and approximately 20 living billionaires. The institution also boasts Yale University Library, the third largest academic institution in the country. As of June 2016, the institution endowment was valued $25.4 billion. The Princeton-Yale football rivalry is considered one of the oldest sports rivalries in the country.

7. Princeton University

The campus of Princeton.

The US News & World Report 2017 ranked Princeton University the best Institution of higher education in the US. The institution is located in Princeton, New Jersey and was established in 1746 as the College of New Jersey before being renamed Princeton University in 1896. It is among the four founding members of the Ivy League. In 1902, together with Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Yale, the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League was formed. After the admission of other teams, the league name changed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Among the institution’s alumni are 41 Nobel laureates and two US Presidents. Its most notable sports rivalry includes the Princeton-Yale football rivalry and the Princeton-University of Pennsylvania basketball rivalry.

6. University of Pennsylvania

College Hall building, Penn State.

The University of Pennsylvania, popularly referred to as Penn, was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, and prides itself as one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities. It was ranked the eighth best institution in the US by the News & World Report 2017. It is noted for its successful lacrosse and basketball teams that have amassed more than 25 NCAA Division I sports titles. The institution's alumni includes 14 heads of state (two of who were US presidents), 25 billionaires, and 30 Nobel laureates. It is among the founding members of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. The Princeton-University of Pennsylvania basketball rivalry is among the most notable sports rivalries in the US.

5. Harvard University

Harvard Memorial Hall at Harvard University.

Harvard University is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was founded in 1636. It is among the most sought after institutions in the world. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the US and is among the founding members of the Association of American Universities. The News & World Report 2017 ranked Harvard as the second best academic institution in the US after Princeton University. Its library, the Widener Library, is the largest academic library in the world with a volume of over 18 million. It participates in over 42 intercollegiate sports in the Ivy League, and the Harvard–Yale football rivalry has been nicknamed "the game" due to its fierceness. Its alumni includes eight U.S. presidents and 130 Nobel laureates.

4. Dartmouth College

Vines covering a part of Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire and was established in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock. It was ranked as the 11th best academic institution by the US News & World Report 2017. In 2016, Carnegie Foundation ranked it as the only institution with a very high research activity with a majority of undergraduates. Unlike most institutions of higher learning in the US that use a semester-based learning calendar, the institution runs on a quarterly system which operates around the year on four ten-week academic terms. Its alumni includes three Nobel Prize laureates, several governors, and 170 congressmen. It participates in 34 varsity sports in the Ivy League.

3. Cornell University

Cornell University, New York State.

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, was founded by Ezra Cornell and Andrew White in 1865. Its initial intention was to teach and contribute to science and applied fields of knowledge. It is the only member of the league that was established after the civil war. The US News & World Report 2017 ranked the institution as the 15th best national university, 6th best for veterans, and the 16th best value school. It participates in 36 events in the Ivy League and ECAC Hockey. It is the only university that has produced three female winners of unshared Nobel Prizes.

2. Columbia University

The library of Columbia University.

Columbia University in Upper Manhattan, New York, was established in 1754 and is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state. It was founded by George II of Great Britain as King's College before assuming its current name in 1784. It prides itself as being one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities and the first institution to offer a M.D. degree. It was ranked the 5th best university and the 6th best value school. It participates in 29 sports and is a member of the Ivy League and NCAA Division I. Among its notable alumni are the authors of the Declaration of Independence and three US presidents.

1. Brown University

Brown University, Providence.

Brown University in Rhode Island was established in 1764 and is the seventh institution of higher education established in the US. It was the first institution whose admission was not influenced by religion. The US News & World Report 2017 ranks it as the 14th best university and the 10th best value school. The school’s sports program called the Brown Bears is the third largest in the country and sponsors more than 38 teams in the Ivy League and the NCAA. Its notable alumni includes eight Nobel Prize laureates and four U.S. Secretaries of State.


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