Being in an Ivy League school has always been the dream of many students. For some students, it has been met with some level of futility.
Not because they are not fit academically, or for some financially buoyant; but because they lack the insight on how to scale through.
If you are such an individual, you are on the right track – because you are better than the person who never tried.
With this article, you will gain better insight into Ivy League schools that you can exploit, to become an Ivy League student.
Why are they called Ivy League schools?
Various theories abound about the naming of some schools as “Ivy League.”
Given below are some theories:
A school of thought opines that the Ivy League is an American athletic league that was formed in the 1950s and consisted of eight members: Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Columbia University, and Brown University
The above-listed institutions held similar strong beliefs about the priority of academics over athletics and agreed that they would not offer athletic scholarships.
Their athletic teams mostly, but not exclusively, compete against one another. The members then chose the name “Ivy” for the team.
Another school of thought opines that the Ivy League is called the Ivy League because of an alliance that exists between Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Penn, known as the Ivy League after the Roman numeral four.
One theory also suggests that the name is a misnomer for the IV League, being the four original schools – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth. However, there hasn’t been enough evidence to back up this claim.
More plausibly, the term is attributed mainly to Caswell Adams, a fervent Fordham graduate.
They used it in 1937 in his contempt for not having been assigned to cover his alma mater. Adams complained to his boss about covering the “Ivy-covered” universities instead of his alma mater.
Writing about that Columbia/UPenn game, Adams then referred to these universities as the Ivy League. This name has stuck to this day.
Economic importance of attending Ivy league schools
The economic importance of attending Ivy League schools is great. But a few that stand out would be given the advantages and disadvantages of attending an Ivy League school.
Advantages of attending Ivy League school
1. Powerful Networking Opportunities
A man’s network can automatically translate to his net worth. The alumni association of Ivy League schools ensures the support of recent graduates.
When seeking internships too, Ivy League alumni do reach out to Ivy League students – who may be interested in the internships.
2. World-class resources
The name Ivy League has earned Ivy League schools great reputations. And these reputations can only be made solid by a system that provides world-class materials to her students.
At Ivy League schools, world-class resources are provided to students, to make them produce better results.
3. Higher starting salaries
The reputation built and maintained at Ivy League schools has led to Ivy League students landing jobs with very good starting salaries.
With a high starting salary, you can easily become a notable individual in society too.
4. Prize-winning professors
Unlike other schools, Ivy League schools have a lot of erudite professors, and these professors teach both undergraduate students.
As an undergraduate, being taught by an erudite professor boosts your self-esteem and helps you learn better.
5. Competition to fuel you
Imagine being in a class where students of high academic standing are present. You would be pushed to develop yourself better.
This is what Ivy League schools afford you.
6. Having a resume that employers will find irresistible
When people seek jobs or internships, they are also scrutinized based on the high school or college they attended.
Attending an Ivy League would place you on such a pedestal. This is because of the reputation that has been built over years and the display of academic intelligence by the alumni.
The disadvantages of Ivy League schools
The disadvantage associated with Ivy League schools is insignificant, compared to the advantage.
But, it is also worthy to be stated.
Good things don’t come cheap. If they come cheap, then you should be wary.
Attending an Ivy League school can be very expensive. This is because you would be offered world-class teachings by an erudite.
Not just the teachings, a good teacher-to-student ratio has also been offered at Ivy League schools. And this contributes greatly to the high cost of Ivy League schools.
But, it is also worthy of note that Ivy League schools offer loads of scholarships and grants, to ease the burden of schooling for some students who may not be able to afford the cost.
2. Highly Competitive with Low Admission Rates
Another disadvantage of Ivy League school is that it is highly competitive, and with low admission rates.
This competition is because the best of the best has to be admitted, to retain the reputation of the schools.
Even if one gets into Ivy League schools through their parents or alumni, one still needs a good academic capability to scale through.
Ivy League school list
People do ask “How many Ivy League schools are there”?. Currently, there are eight (8) Ivy League schools.
The list of Ivy League schools is given below.
- Cornell University New York, Ithaca.
- Brown University Providence, Rhodes Island.
- Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire.
- University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Yale University New Haven, Connecticut.
- Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Columbia University New York, New York.
- Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey.
Cornell University New York, Ithaca
- Founded in 1865 and is the youngest Ivy League school.
- As an Ivy League school, its mission is to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge, produce creative work, and promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community.
- Cornell’s two largest undergraduate colleges are the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
- Graduate schools include the highly ranked Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Weill Cornell Medical College, College of Engineering, and Law School.
- It is also known for its top-ranked College of Veterinary Medicine and esteemed School of Hotel Administration.
- It offers more than 100 fields of study and has campuses in Ithaca, New York; New York City; Geneva, New York; Doha, Qatar; Washington, D.C.; and Rome.
Brown University Providence, Rhodes Island
- This is a private research institution that embraces an open curriculum to allow students to design a personalized course of study while becoming creative thinkers and intellectual risk-takers.
- This open academic program for undergraduates comprises a rigorous multidisciplinary study in more than 80 concentrations, such as Egyptology and assyriology; cognitive neuroscience; business, entrepreneurship, and organizations.
- Its highly competitive program in liberal medical education allows students to complete an undergraduate degree and a medical degree in a single eight-year program.
Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire
- Dartmouth College is the birthplace of the programming language BASIC, which gave way to other computing innovations.
- The college includes the highly ranked Tuck School of Business, which houses the world’s first graduate school of management, as well as Thayer School of Engineering and Geisel School of Medicine.
- Dartmouth established one of the first Native American programs in the country to begin actively recruiting students and has more Native American graduates among its alumni than any other Ivy League institution.
- The college has more than 50 research-focused centers, institutes, and groups in areas ranging from medicine and the arts to engineering and business. With a 7-to-1 student-faculty ratio and more than 60% of classes with fewer than 20 students.
- Dartmouth allows students to learn in an intimate setting. More than 50% of students study through off-campus programs for an immersive, global, and hands-on education that doesn’t interrupt their academic plan.
The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- This University was developed in part by Benjamin Franklin. The University of Pennsylvania offers a mixture of world-class liberal arts coursework and preprofessional education.
- It has the most international students of all the Ivy League schools: Of the undergraduate and graduate population, 12% of students are international and come from more than 100 countries.
- Also, more than 2,500 students each year participate in international study programs offered in more than 50 countries worldwide.
- Penn’s highly ranked graduate schools include the Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the education and law schools.
- Penn’s other notable graduate schools include the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and the School of Dental Medicine.
- Also, it has more than 300 student groups spanning political action efforts, performing arts, sports clubs, and student publications.
Yale University New Haven, Connecticut.
- Yale University is known for its drama and music programs at the well-regarded Yale School of Drama.
- In addition to Yale College and Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the university has 12 professional schools, including the country’s top-ranked law school and highly ranked schools of medicine, management, art, and nursing.
- Undergraduate students at this research institution have made strides in many fields, discovering new species, and patenting products.
- The most popular majors at Yale include social sciences; biological and biomedical sciences; history; mathematics and statistics; and engineering.
- It was the first university in the U.S. to award doctoral degrees, and the Yale School of Public Health is one of the first of its kind.
Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- This Ivy League school was founded in 1636.
- It is the oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. and one of the most selective in the Ivy League.
- As a private research institution, Harvard has more than 100 research centers on campus. Harvard includes 13 schools and institutes, including the top-ranked U.S. medical school and highly ranked business, graduate education, engineering, and law schools, as well as the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- The university also has one of the highest freshman retention rates in the nation. Students can access more than 445 extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic organizations, in addition to academics.
- Harvard’s extensive library system houses the oldest national collection and the largest private collection worldwide. Committed to sustainability,
- It offers green living programs for undergraduates, graduates, and community members.
Columbia University New York, New York.
- Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in the state of New York.
- Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of New York.
- It is the birthplace of many significant technologies and platforms, including FM radio, the nation’s oldest literary magazine, the first Black student advocacy group on a multiracial campus, and the first college gay rights advocacy group.
- The university is made up of three undergraduate schools: Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies.
- Highly ranked graduate and professional schools include the business and law schools, the Teachers College, and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
- The university emphasizes research and teaching on global issues to create cross-cultural academic relationships.
- Columbia has nine global centers that create opportunities in research, scholarship, teaching, and service around the world.
- Students can access many academic resources on campus, including 22 libraries; more than 200 research institutes, centers, and laboratories; thousands of internships offered through the Center for Career Education; and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey.
- This university was established more than 270 years ago and is the fourth-oldest college in the country.
- Princeton offers first-rate academic resources, from specialized libraries to state-of-the-art laboratories and even an art museum on campus.
- Nearly 100,000 works reside in the collections at the Princeton University Art Museum.
- The most popular majors at Princeton University include social sciences; engineering; computer and information sciences and support services; biological and biomedical sciences; and public administration and social service professions.
- With a 4-to-1 student-faculty ratio, the university allows students to benefit from small class sizes and one-on-one advising relationships.
- The institution also has one of the highest four-year graduation rates in the nation. Home to Rhodes scholars and high-achieving students, Princeton has educated past U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, Olympic medalists, and Nobel Prize winners.
Ivy League school acceptance rate
Ivy League schools have varying acceptance rates. This is due to various factors; such as ranking, and the number of student-to-teacher ratios they can accept per time.
Below, we would take a look at the acceptance rates of Ivy League schools.
|Ivy League University||Acceptance rate (%)|
|University of Pennsylvania||7.7|
No Ivy League school can be classified as easy to get into. Though admission rates may differ, it is not the only indicator of your admissions chances.
Though Cornell University may have the highest admission rate, its standards are still kept high.
On good record, only 25% of Cornell’s matriculants were in the top 10% of their graduating class, compared with Yale’s 92% or Columbia’s 95% in the year 2021.
With this, it is obvious that the “easiest Ivy League school to get into” is simply a relative measure of number.
Ivy League schools for various disciplines
Various Ivy League schools offer an option for various disciplines. Below, we will take a look at some.
Ivy League school for Law
Various Ivy League schools do make law provisions. Studying law at an Ivy League school would give you a better chance at the bar.
This is because prominent individuals in society graduated from the same school. And having them as alumni would fast-track your call to the bar.
1. Yale University School Of Law
Yale Law school is an Ivy League that offers J.D., LL.M., M.S.L., J.S.D., Ph.D., and L.L.M degrees in law and is home to numerous centers of legal scholarship.
Yale Law school also offers corporate and commercial law, constitutional law, criminal justice, human law, and International law.
So many prominent figures graduated from Yale Law school. To mention a few are Gerald Ford (1941), 38th President of the United States, 1974–1977, Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, 1993–2001, etc.
Worthy of note is that there is no minimum GPA or LSAT (Law school admission test )score for applicants; the lowest GPA and LSAT scores received by a member of Yale Law School’s class of 2022 were 3.32 and 155 respectively.
Students admitted with very low GPA or LSAT in Yale Law school usually have other parts of their applications that stand out.
For example, they could have a better statement of purpose or better undergraduate performance.
But for an increased chance of getting into Yale Law school, work hard to make at least a score of 173 or even a 175 and above.
2. Harvard School Of Law
Harvard Law School is also a reputable Ivy League school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1817. It offers a J.D program, an LLM, and an SJD degree.
Students can enroll in either the full-time or part-time program for three years, after which they are awarded the Juris Doctor degree.
Applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.5.
To have a chance of admission to Harvard Law, students will have to have made excellent grades and top scores on the LSAT.
A lot of prominent figures attended Harvard Law. To name a few, Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States, Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, etc.
3. Columbia University School Of Law
This Ivy League was founded in 1858 as the Columbia College Law School. It offers J.D., LL.M, Executive L.L.M, and J.S.D. law degrees.
Each year, the Law School educates over 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from more than 60 countries around the world.
Columbia Law is especially well known for its strength in corporate law and its placement power in the nation’s elite law firms
4. University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law
University of Pennsylvania Law School is an American law school located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The University of Pennsylvania Law School was established in 1836 making it one of the oldest law schools in the country.
It offers the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Comparative Laws (LL.C.M.), Master in Law (M.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.).
The school has produced many notable alumni including Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former FCC Chairman Newton Minow as well as actor Vincent D’On.
To have the best shot of getting into this Ivy League school, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1560 SAT or a 35 ACT. You should also have a 3.9 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.
5. Cornell Law School
The law school at Cornell University is the oldest in the state of New York. It was established in 1887 as Cornell’s Department of Law.
The school today is one of the smallest top-tier JD-conferring institutions in the country.
Today, the students continue that legacy by building on the Law School’s unique strengths in areas such as intellectual property, human rights, environmental law, and international law.
It offers four law degree programs, JD, LLM, MSLS, and JSD.
Ivy League schools for medicine
Do you desire an Ivy League school for medical students?
Then, you can pick from the host of medical Ivy League schools listed below.
1. Harvard University Medical School | Cambridge, MA
This Ivy League University is one of the oldest medical colleges in the United States, and it has trained lots of Nobel Prize winners, CEOs, University presidents, etc.
For one to study at Harvard medical school, one needs to have a 3.91 GPA, with 35 on the MCAT.
This Ivy League school pursues research projects dealing with environmental changes, global pandemics, gene therapy, etc.
2. Princeton | Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton medical school is another elite University that forms part of the Ivy League medical schools in the USA.
Notable alumni of this ivy league elite college are President Woodrow Wilson, Michelle Obama, actress Brooke Shields, etc.
3. Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia University ) | New York, NY
Columbia University is yet another Ivy League University located around the Washington Heights district of downtown, Manhattan.
Students attending this Ivy league medical school have a median Grade Point Average of 3.91 and 521 MCAT median scores.
Programs offered include anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry, and surgery.
4. Perelman School of Medicine (University of Pennsylvania) | Philadelphia, PA
The Ivy League University of Pennsylvania is the nation’s oldest and one of the most important medical schools.
Since its inception in 1765, it has birthed four Nobel Laureates recipients, two Medal of Honor recipients, and several decorated doctors.
This Ivy League Medical University has had a breakthrough in the study of heart failure in pregnant women.
Programs offered include anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry, and surgery.
To join this program as a future doctor, you’ll need a GP of 3.91 on average and a median MCAT score of 521.
5. Yale University School of Medicine | New Haven, CT
The Yale University School of Medicine also belongs to the group of Ivy league medical Universities in the U.S.
It has carried out University research on Tourette’s Syndrome, Lyme disease, and other disorders.
6. Weill Cornell Graduate University of Medical Sciences | New York, NY
This Ivy League University of Medical Sciences was founded in 1952.
Weill Cornell University of Medicine sciences admits only 5% of its applicants with an average GPA of 3.5 and a median MCAT of 520 scores.
7. Alpert Medical School (Brown University Warren ) | Providence, RI
Alpert Medical School is the 7th Ivy league medical school in the USA.
To gain admission into this Ivy league medical college, you must have a GPA of 3.66 with a median MCAT score of 511 accompanying it.
This may sound like a high bar to reach but to be sincere, it is worth it.
Moreover, being a student at the Alpert Medical School means you will be under the tutelage of gynecology pioneers like Eli Adashi.
8. Geisel School of Medicine (Dartmouth College) | Hanover, NH
All of the Ivy league Medical Schools in the USA have excellent faculties publishing only respected academic journals.
Geisel School of Medicine, however, is the only Ivy medical college to house a Lifeline literary journal.
Furthermore, the Geisel School of Medicine only accepts top-notch students with GPAs of 3.65 and 515 composite MCAT scores.
Similarly, Medical students in this school are studying under great luminaries like astronaut/doctor/politician Jay Clark Buckley, Ira Byock who is a best-selling author, and Lienhard award winner, John Wennberg.
All these excellent doctors are products of Geisel Ivy league Medical School and thanks to them for using their $6 billion endowment grant judiciously.
Ivy League schools vs. regular universities
The difference between Ivy League schools and regular universities is not much, but worthy of note is the under listed factors:
|Factor||Ivy League Schools||Regular Universities|
|Average teacher to student ratio||4:1||18:1|
|Alumni body||Well structured||Less structured than Ivy League’s|
How to get into Ivy League
To secure an Ivy League admission, you would need to note a few tricks that can land you one.
Let’s dive in!
To secure an Ivy League admission, you need
Excellent Academic Transcripts for all classes from class 9 and upwards
As a parent or a friend seeing this, you “may” have missed out on this. But don’t let the same happen to your loved one.
Encourage them to study hard and make excellent results, if they intend to attend an Ivy League school. Not just for the Ivy League school though.
Exceptional Standardized Test Scores in GMAT/ GRE or ACT/SAT
Before seeking admission into an Ivy League school, ensure to prepare twice as hard for these exams.
It may seem difficult, but in the long term, it would be worth it.
High scores in TOEFL/ IELTS as proof of proficiency in the English language
Not all schools require prospective students to take the TOEFL/IELTS test.
But if the test is required for an Ivy League admission from your region, ensure to prepare very well, and make a high score
When seeking a recommendation letter for an Ivy League school, it would be in your best interest to seek it from distinct academics.
And it is not enough to seek a recommendation letter and sit back. Ensure to follow up on your recommender to guide him on what is required.
To gain admission easily into an Ivy League school, one needs to write a concise essay.
The mistake most people make when applying is that they fail to write more about their strengths, and how they make the best fit for admission.
A blunder such as the one above would cause one’s application to not be favored.
Proof of Finance
Finance always plays a barrier to prospective students seeking Ivy League schools.
Even if one gets a scholarship from an Ivy League school, it is still required one to have some amount of money.
To overcome this barrier, you can seek sponsors who you can pay back later.
Maybe a family, a friend, or you could even supplement with some menial jobs and save up.
Valid Passport & Visa for International Students
A valid passport and Visa for International students would also be required from one sourcing an Ivy League. So ensure to get one before your admission clicks.
This does not apply to all Ivy League schools. But if perchance, yours requires it, ensure to practice public speaking, if possible, reach out to some current students, for guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Ivy League schools better?
Yes, they are better than most schools. But being better is relative.
You can attend other schools and still get the same education, develop yourself, and become outstanding.
Are Ivy League schools expensive?
Yes, Ivy League schools are expensive. This is because of the conducive learning environment, and seasoned academics present in Ivy League schools.
Can Ivy League schools give athletic scholarships?
Yes, a few. Harvard does not offer it, but Yale does.
Can a school become an Ivy League?
No, they can’t. If it were possible, a lot of schools would want to be an Ivy League; which may cause the name to lose its reputation.
Ivy League school online?
Yes, you can get into an Ivy League school online. This would save you more time and help you focus on other works that may need your physical presence.
Having understood the background and requirements that can land you an Ivy school, do well to apply and not be scared of rejection.
Rejection is not so bad too, because it helps you learn better and see things from a new perspective.