For an international student looking to study in the United States, the American Dream loosely transforms into getting admitted into an Ivy League University.
But what exactly are these? A common misinterpretation is that the term ‘Ivy League Universities’ refers to the best universities in the US, which is parenthetically true, but the name actually has got more to do with sports than academics.
These Ivy league universities consistently rank among the best in the country, and the world, with Harvard being the dream destination for a lot of university aspirants.
These universities also tend to have the highest endowments of any educational institution in the world, owing to their rich history and an extremely close-knit alumni network of highly successful people from different fields.
Let’s take a look at each of these Ivy League Universities, describing the courses offered, fees charged, most famous alumni, key achievements throughout their history, and the impact they have had on education in the United States, and in the world.
Starting with the juiciest apple in the crate, Harvard University is hands-down the most renowned educational institution in the world. Named after its first patron, John Harvard, it is the oldest institution for higher education in the United States, being founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, over 140 years before the country gained its independence.
10 faculties are offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs in fields differing from professional fields like law, medicine, and business to degrees in liberal arts and social studies. Being a private university, it is more costly than many well-ranked public universities in the United States.
The university has produced 48 Nobel laureates, 8 Presidents of the United States, 24 other heads of states, and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners. Except this, 110 other Nobel laureates also have had some sort of affiliation to Harvard, in several capacities as alumni, current professors, research scholars, or visiting faculties.
If you are someone who believes that they are destined for much greater things than the general masses, Harvard will be the perfect launching pad for your endeavor to shoot for the stars.
Yale University, founded in 1701 as a collegiate school started by a group of Calvinist missionaries, makes it the third-oldest institute of higher education in the United States. Yale remains to be the top destination for numerous students across the globe.
The name was formally changed to Yale College to honor British East India Company governor Elihu Yale, who donated generously to the school as it moved to New Haven, Connecticut. 14 schools are providing a host of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level across a wide spectrum from the law, business, medicine, music, and drama.
The school is again fairly pricey, costing $67,480 for tuition, room, and board. Needless to say, it offers need-based financial aid to a healthy percentage of candidates to promote inclusiveness across class categories.
If you decide to apply and get admitted, you’ll join a list of 61 Nobel laureates, 5 Presidents of the United States, 5 US Supreme Court Justices, and 6 other heads of states whom the university is proud to call its own.
Often overshadowed by its two renowned Ivy League Universities mentioned above in public opinion, Princeton University is considered to be at par with the other two Universities.
Princeton is one of the best colleges in the world to study in and has competed for the top position in US university rankings with Harvard. Founded in 1746 in the town of Elizabeth, it was originally known as the College of New Jersey. It moved to Newark a year later, and then finally to its current site in Princeton, New Jersey nine years later.
The fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States was renamed Princeton University in 1896. The school costs more than both Harvard and Yale, with the expected cost being $73,450, inclusive of tuition, lodging, and boarding. Average financial aid to the tune of $53,100 is usually offered to students based on their needs.
Princeton had produced 65 Nobel laureates, 2 U.S Presidents, 12 U.S Supreme Court justices, in addition to 15 Field medalists and 13 Turing Award laureates. Even Albert Einstein had strong ties with the university as a result of his frequent visits and lectures. Think about this if you’re still doubtful, you’ll be wandering the same halls in which arguably the brightest man in history did.
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University of Pennsylvania
Founded in West Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin as a private research university in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania considers itself to be the fourth-oldest institute of higher education in the United States.
Pennsylvania was one of the first American universities to establish the multidisciplinary model as seen in numerous European colleges and made important breakthroughs in the evolution of education by forming the first business school in the US i.e. The Wharton School, the first school of medicine in North America i.e. The Perelman School of Medicine and the first student union building and organization in the United States.
With over 21,000 students admitted, the University of Pennsylvania has been one of the most sought-after institutes since its commencement. It has 11 schools offering a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs from all streams like law, business, medicine, arts, and sciences.
Although Pennsylvania has only one US President to show for as compared to the other three Ivy League Colleges above, it does have the unusual distinction of having 8 signers of the United States Declaration of Independence. Also, the University has produced 14 heads of state and 3 United States Supreme Court Justices while also being affiliated with 35 Nobel laureates.
For foreigners who have viewed the US only through the lens of movies and popular culture, life in an American city automatically translates to living in New York. Any company, firm, or restaurant is said to have made it big in America only when it opens its first branch in Manhattan.
For all those F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Seinfeld, and HIMYM fans who have dreamed of living in the Big Apple while also studying at a renowned University, there’s Columbia. An Ivy League university ranked 12th in the world, Columbia was established as King’s College in 1754 and was affiliated to the Church of England.
The fifth-oldest institute of higher learning in the United States, and the oldest in New York, it was formed by royal charter of George II as a response to the establishment of Princeton in New Jersey. It was renamed Columbia College following American independence, and further to Columbia University in 1896.
It offers a wide range of degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level and was the first university in the United States to award the M.D degree. It typically has the highest intake among the Ivy Leagues Universities, with 22,900 students currently enrolled.
Columbia has produced 5 Founding Fathers of the United States, 96 Nobel laureates, 3 Presidents of the United States, 29 other heads of state, and 10 Justices of the United States Supreme Court. The University also administers the prestigious Pulitzer Prize every year, having produced 125 winners itself.
So that was all about the best Ivy League Universities in the US. While other Universities are just as excellent, like Stanford, UCLA, and MIT, the fascination of the Ivy League Universities is something that draws numerous students towards these legendary institutions.
Getting admitted to one of the Ivy League Universities is a mutual dream shared by thousands of college applicants worldwide.
1.What is the Ivy League?
The Ivy League is comprised of the eight most prominent and oldest universities in the United States. This group was founded in 1954 and represents academic achievement as well as social prestige.
2.What is the ranking of universities within the Ivy League?
To be precise, there is no definitive list of Ivy League rankings that everyone relies on, owing to the fact that they all have different strengths. Forbes, Niche, US News & World Report, and The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, however, present the four most often cited lists. Each set of rankings places a varied emphasis on different characteristics depending on their primary focus, which inevitably impacts the order.
3.Which are the Ivy League colleges in the USA?
Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Dartmouth University, and Cornell University are the 8 prestigious universities that form the group of Ivy League colleges in the USA.
4.What Ivy League is the hardest to get into?
The ‘Big Three’ —Harvard, Princeton, and Yale—have traditionally been the most difficult Ivy League colleges to get into. Columbia has joined them in the top half of the Ivy League colleges in terms of selectivity in recent years.