Is Drexel An Ivy League School?

Fresh out of high school, the step might be a college or university. And on a random day, you come across the term, ‘Ivy League schools.’ At that point, several questions bothering about its origin might run through your mind. No need to worry- you can bank on this piece to provide such answers and more. Lets find out is Drexel an Ivy League  school?

The Origin Of Ivy League Schools

Numerous theories aim to solve the mystery of how Ivy League schools began; two of them stand out.

The First Theory

According to the first theory, these schools are four in number- the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Princeton University, and Harvard University. So, the theory suggests that these universities came together to form a pact. The term ‘Ivy League schools’ was coined from the Roman numeral for the number four ( IV) since these league of schools (four) assembled to ally. 

The Second Theory

The next theory takes its stance from Stanley Woodward, a sports writer. The theory suggests that Woodward was the first person to mention the word- Ivy in an article he wrote in 1933. He used that word to describe the football meeting between the “Ivy colleges” and the weaker colleges. 

In addition, Stanley Woodward also named schools such as Yale, Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Cornell as Ivy League schools (he left out Penn). They are known as Ivy League schools due to an agreement they made. And that agreement guides their football activities.

Conclusively, drawing from these two theories, Ivy League schools began as an athletic association of eight schools. Though Stanley Woodward made the term famous, it did not become official until 1954. In that year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA)  Division I athletic conference attendants were named Ivy League schools. Over the years, these schools have developed several attributes. 

Some Features of Ivy League Schools

These eight schools are private universities and colleges located in the Northeastern section of America. Here are a few features of them:

  • They Are Widely Recognized For Academic Excellence

Ivy League schools receive enormous endowments and research grants, attracting students from wealthy backgrounds. Likewise, their alumni are known to be successful. For instance, 16 American presidents have graduated from Ivy League schools. As a result of the astonishing amount of endowments these schools receive, they usually help students whose circumstances hinder their learning ability. 

  • Their Admission Process Is Strict.

Ivy League schools receive tons of applications each year, making them the most demanded colleges (On average, close to 23,000 people apply to these schools every year). In the autumn season of 2020, Ivy League schools only admitted 7.6 percent of their applicants, and Cornell University reportedly has the most significant acceptance rate. 

Here is a breakdown of each school and its admission statistics according to the US news

  Ivy League Schools         Admission Percentage

Cornell University 11 percent
Brown University 8 percent
Dartmouth College9 percent
Yale University7 percent
Columbia University6 percent
Harvard University5 percent
Princeton University6 percent
University of Pennsylvania 9 percent
  • Networking Opportunities

As stated before, Ivy League schools have well-known alumni. As a result, students can easily take advantage of the opportunity. They can get jobs due to the robust alumni network. In addition, students can get exposed to internship opportunities. 

Finally, research by the U.S. Department of Education reveals that the graduates of Ivy League colleges are well-paid. For instance, on average, graduates possessing a bachelor’s degree earn $54,700 each year, and those with a masters degree or higher earn $65,000 yearly.  

Many people refer to Drexel University as an Ivy League school. How true is that?

Some Things You Should Know About Drexel University

As established earlier, Ivy League schools started due to an athletic association. So, Drexel University was not part of them. Therefore, the university is not an Ivy League school. 

Drexel University is a private university situated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school does share some attributes with the Ivy League schools, making people think of it as part of them. Here are some of the attributes:

  • Drexel University programs are widely recognized like those of Ivy League Schools.

Some of the university’s popular programs include – Computer and Information, Psychology, Visual and Performing arts, and Biological and Biomedical sciences. 

  • As mentioned earlier, Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

So, the school is close to the University of Pennsylvania, which is part of the Ivy League schools. It is not unusual to assume that the former is among. 

  • The Ivy League schools receive a lot of research grants and endowments. On the other hand, Drexel University also enjoys those benefits. As of 2017, Drexel University received $652 million in endowments, making it rank among the top 11 percent. Four years later, the endowment exceeded $1 billion, which means that the university could expand its research.

In addition, another factor responsible for Drexel University’s research prowess occurred in 2011. In that year, the Venerable Academy of Natural Sciences newly joined forces with Drexel University, which benefited from the former’s research reputation and history.

  • The Alumni of Drexel University are extremely successful like those of Ivy League schools.


Due to the factors mentioned earlier in this article, many people see Ivy League schools as a yardstick for academic excellence and quality education. Though Drexel University shares similar qualities typically associated with Ivy League schools, it is not among them.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What is the easiest Ivy League school to get into?

A: Based on the facts provided above, Cornell University.

Q: What can I do to get admitted to an Ivy League school?

A: Several things are involved, but the primary factor is getting excellent grades.

Q: Is Drexel University an Ivy League school?

 A: No, Drexel only shares some attributes with Ivy League schools.

Q: What is the best Ivy League school?

A: Based on rankings, it is Harvard University.