What classifies a school as Ivy League?

 Ivy League colleges are the top eight colleges in the U.S. These colleges include Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Penn, Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth; which are located in different cities and states of the country. They vary in their QS World rank with Harvard holding rank 3 and Dartmouth, rank 203.  Here we will see about What classifies a school as Ivy League?

What classifies a school as Ivy League?

Why are they called Ivy League?

It is proclaimed that it was not until the 1950s that the term “Ivy League” was impeded into its official existence. During the NCAA division 1 conference held in 1954, the colleges with elite basketball teams were clubbed and considered to be the Ivy League colleges.

Another proposal given by many states that Caswell Adams, in 1937, used the term for the first time in the article he wrote. This triggered the formation of the Ivy Group Agreement, which set the academic standard and the football guidelines for the forthcoming matches. 

Although, there has been a lucrative number of stories that has surfaced on what gave it the name it has today, these two definitely surpass the others. 

University Background: 

Harvard University

The University was founded in 1636 and named after Rev. John Harvard after his death in 1639. It started as a school to teach the clergy but soon moved on to teach other subjects to the students around the country and is considered as pioneering as a university. It is known for its R1 research and doctoral programs over a wide range of subjects and streams. 

Princeton University

This baronial university located in New Jersey, was built in the mid eighteenth-century AD, and did not acquire the current name until the late twentieth century. Princeton Tigers have 35 diligent teams that play across 20 sports, and have won several NCAA leagues. 

Columbia University

This marvellously structured university was founded in the reign of king George II of England in the mid eighteenth-century. Although there were some conflicts regarding the religion that was followed during its initial years, it was soon resolved and there it was – the resolution was taken upon to make it a liberal university and hence has stood upon it. 

Yale University

In 2020, the acceptance rate at YALE was 6.5%, and this is one of the top universities that the international students choose to apply to. They have a variety of scholarships available and also the funds towards the sports team are generously allocated.

University of Pennsylvania

The University is a private university which was established in 1740, and is one of the nine colonial colleges that was chartered before the U.S. Declaration of Independence. It is not to be confused with Penn State University, which is also in located in the same state but is not an Ivy League college.

Cornell University 

This university is a very welcoming and inclusive university with support shown to a diverse range of people in the society ranging from black people to LGBT community to international students. It also offers a wide range of scholarships which has attracted over thousands of students from all over the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs to its students and is successful at making them excel in their chosen subject of study.

Brown University

Just like Penn, Brown university is also one among the nine colonial colleges. It was established in 1764. They have excellent and well-versed academics, and are one of the leading universities for research and innovative technology. 

Dartmouth University

After Harvard, it is Dartmouth that ranks second in the country in terms of its research-based programs offered at the University level. The university itself is in Hanover, New Hampshire. The university provides undergraduate training in 60 majors under 40 academic departments. Just like other Ivy League colleges, Dartmouth is strict in measuring the metrics while accepting an undergraduate with the acceptance rate being 6.24%.

What makes these colleges Ivy League?

Besides the athletic background, they are known for their centuries-long history and traditions which disparate it from other schools and universities. They also are funded well and hence the academics are among the best ones one can find all around the globe. These prestigious universities are considered to set a benchmark for measuring the quality of education provided.

Why choose the Ivy League?

Few of the points, not restricted to, that makes these a great university for you to join are:

  1. Intellectual Diversity: Only the top few get accepted into these colleges and plus the diversity you see in these top students would be vast and, hence, you would be able to learn and expand your connection.
  2. Elite Academics: The professors teaching in these schools are the best and would provide the best education.
  3. Higher Pay: Upon completion of studies, it is shown that the students from Ivy League colleges receive higher pay compared to a graduate in the same field from a non-Ivy League university. 
  4. Attractive Resumes: It is a bonus point and anyone with these colleges on their resumes would be highly regarded.


Afterall, the history behind their names doesn’t matter. They are all considered to be rendering impeccable students in terms of both sports and academics. Hence, they top the list of colleges in the world. Additionally, they provide extra benefits to its students which accelerate and boost their career. There are many noble and famous alumni of Ivy League schools including Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Anderson Cooper, Mindy Kaling and many more.  Once the student graduates, he is added to the alumni list, which again helps one connect with remarkable minds across industries. Hence, this is what makes the Ivy League unique.