List of the Top Ivy League Schools and a Comprehensive Detail of Each School

“The Ivy League Schools” always stand out among the world’s over 25,000 universities and nearly 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States alone. In this article, we’ll take a look at a list of schools that are considered “Ivy League Schools.” We’ll also show you why these schools deserve your attention. Please prepare yourself for an educational, insightful, and entertaining journey. Please read this article all the way to the end. To begin with, you might be unsure what “ivy league” means. Allow me to quickly explain.

What Is The Ivy League All About?

The Ancient Eight is another name for the Ivy League. It is an American collegiate athletic conference made up of eight private academic universities in the Northeast. Aside from athletics, the term “Ivy League” is commonly used to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with academic excellence, admissions selectivity, and social elitism in mind. In the United States and around the world, Ivy League universities are frequently regarded as the gold standard of higher education. 

Ivy League colleges and universities are among the most prestigious and sought-after in the United States and around the world. At its most basic level, the Ivy League is an athletic association made up of eight private schools and universities. The Ivy League, on the other hand, encompasses much more than just college sports. The Ivy League is made up of universities that have a long history, tradition, and reputation. Except for one, all of the Ivies in the Northeast predate the American Revolution. Harvard University, for example, was founded in 1636, making it the country’s oldest university.

However, it was not until three centuries later that the term “Ivy League” was coined. After writing about the football season at the “ivy schools” in 1933, sportswriter Stanley Woodward coined the term “ivy schools.” After a two-decade wait, the sports conference was established in 1954. As these institutions’ athletic teams drew more funding and popularity, the standards for student performance and admission became more stringent and rigorous. As a result, these Ivy League schools and colleges have earned a reputation for producing graduates who excel academically, have social status, and have bright professional prospects since the 1960s. 

These colleges have maintained their reputation to this day, and they have a significant presence among the nation’s top universities. Most people today associate the term “Ivy League” with highly competitive, prestigious universities and use it as a criterion for determining high-quality education. Let’s take a closer look at the eight schools that make up the Ivy League now that you’ve been updated on the Ivy League.

Top Ivy League Universities

1. Brown University 

Brown University is a private research university that offers students the opportunity to design their own course of study while also learning to think creatively and take intellectual risks through an open but challenging and flexible curriculum. It was founded in 1764 and is located in Providence, Rhode Island. This open undergraduate program offers a rigorous multidisciplinary education in over 80 majors, including Egyptology and Assyriology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations.

The school is extremely selective, with only 8% of applicants being accepted, and the average student must have an SAT score of 1440-1520 or an ACT score of 32-35 to be accepted.

2. Columbia University

Columbia University is a private university in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. Columbia University is the state’s oldest higher education institution. It was founded in 1754. The university’s three undergraduate schools are Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies. The graduate and professional schools, as well as the Teachers College and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, are all highly regarded. 

Despite having about 8,221 undergraduate students and typical SAT scores of 1450-1560 or ACT scores of 33-35, Columbia University is very selective, with a 6% acceptance rate.

3. Yale University

Yale University is a New Haven, Connecticut-based liberal arts and research university. Yale University was established in 1701. It is ranked first among American colleges with the best professors and first among history schools. The drama and music programs at Yale University’s prestigious Yale School of Drama are well-known. In addition to Yale College and Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Yale University has 12 professional schools, including the country’s top-ranked law school and highly ranked schools of medicine, management, art, and nursing.

The most popular majors at Yale are social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, history, mathematics, and statistics, and engineering. The university holds a number of firsts, including being the first university in the United States to offer doctoral degrees and having one of the first schools of public health. It accepts students with an average SAT score of 1460-1570 and an ACT score of 33-35 and has a low acceptance rate of only 6%, with 6,092 undergraduate enrollment.

4. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a public research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Nursing, economics, and finance are among the most popular degrees at Penn, which is ranked as the best business school in the country. It is a large school with an average of 10,000 undergraduate students, and it is competitive. The University of Pennsylvania, which was founded in part by Benjamin Franklin, offers a unique combination of world-class liberal arts education and pre-professional training.

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Penn’s top graduate schools include the Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the education and law schools. Two more prestigious graduate institutions at Penn are the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and the School of Dental Medicine. The School of Engineering and Applied Science is known for its outstanding faculty, cutting-edge research facilities, and multidisciplinary programs. 

Penn has 11,872 undergraduate students and an acceptance rate of 8%. The average SAT score is 1420 to 1550, and the average ACT score is 32 to 35.

5. Princeton University 

Princeton University is a New Jersey-based private research university. The university was founded in 1746, making it the country’s fourth oldest. Most National Universities list place Princeton, a world-renowned research university, first. Princeton University has outstanding academic resources, including specialized libraries, cutting-edge laboratories, and even a campus art museum. With approximately 5,000 undergraduate students, it is a medium-sized university. 

The most popular majors at Princeton University are social sciences, engineering, computer and information sciences and support services, biological and biomedical sciences, public administration, and social service professions. For political science and public policy analysis, it is ranked as the second-best college in the country. Princeton has a 5% acceptance rate, which is extremely low. The SAT ranges from 1440 to 1570 points, while the ACT ranges from 32 to 35.

6. Harvard University 

Harvard University is the most well-known Ivy League institution. Cambridge, Massachusetts is the location. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the country’s oldest and most prestigious Ivy League institution. With approximately 7,000 undergraduate students, it is a medium-sized university. Harvard University is a private academic institution with over 100 research facilities. Harvard University has 13 schools and institutes, including the United States’ top-ranked medical school, as well as highly ranked business, graduate education, engineering, and law schools, as well as the John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Furthermore, the university has one of the highest rates of freshman retention in the country. Harvard is a similarly difficult school, with only 5% of applicants being accepted. Accepted students’ SAT scores typically range from 1460 to 1580, with an ACT score of 33 to 35. Harvard is the best college for biology and political science, according to Niche’s 2020 Best Colleges.

7. Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is a Hanover, New Hampshire-based private liberal arts college. The college houses the Tuck School of Business, the world’s first graduate school of management, as well as the Thayer School of Engineering and the Geisel School of Medicine. It is the best school in New Hampshire. The college has more than 50 research-focused centers, institutes, and groups in fields ranging from medicine and the arts to engineering and business. When compared to other Ivy League colleges, it is a small school with just over 4,000 undergraduate students. 

Dartmouth accepts students with SAT scores ranging from 1420 to 1560 and ACT scores ranging from 31 to 35, and has a 9 percent acceptance rate.

8. Cornell University

Cornell University, located in Ithaca, New York, is a large university with approximately 15,000 undergraduate students. It was founded in 1865, making it the newest Ivy League school. Biology, business, and computer science are all popular majors. In Niche’s 2020 Best Colleges, it was ranked #1 in Best Colleges for Agricultural Sciences in America and #3 in Best Colleges for Architecture in America. With average SAT scores ranging from 1390 to 1540 and ACT scores ranging from 32 to 34, Cornell University has an admission rate of 11%.

Ranking of Ivy League Universities

Major publications release the Ivy League schools ranking every year, much to the delight of students, alumni, and college staff whose schools have risen, and much to the dismay of those whose schools have fallen. Many journalists, media representatives, and educators downplay the importance of these ivy league school rankings by citing methodological issues and prejudices. However, it does not deter high-achieving applicants and parents who want to know which Ivy League school is the best in the long run.

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The Ivy League is known for having a low acceptance rate, being selective, and being one of the most powerful universities in the world. In other words, not only are Ivy League admission rates extremely competitive and among the lowest in the country, but each school also has a strong brand that alumni carry with them throughout their education, professions, and careers. We’ve compiled a list of Ivy League schools along with their rankings. However, none of the schools in this article should be dismissed based on their rankings. 

Most people agree that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are the Ivy League’s most prestigious and elitist universities. Some schools may be more suitable than others based on your child’s interests, preferred environment, and opportunities; therefore, your criteria should not be solely based on rankings. The Ivy League schools are ranked in the table below, with official platforms ranking them based on a variety of factors.

Princeton UniversityPrinceton, NJ$1
Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA$2
Columbia UniversityNew York, NY$3
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT4 (tie)
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA8
Dartmouth CollegeHanover, NH$13
Brown UniversityProvidence, RI14 (tie)
Cornell UniversityIthaca, NY18

Why Should You Pay Attention to Ivy League Schools?

These universities are likely to be the first to catch your eye when looking for undergraduate and graduate degrees for a variety of reasons. To begin with, they invest heavily in attracting bright, hardworking, and career-minded students from all over the world, including you. Second, it goes without saying that these institutions help students succeed in their careers. The Ivy League universities truly dominate in a variety of professions, ranging from law and medicine to electrical engineering and business. A degree from one of these colleges or universities will open many doors for you in the future.

These colleges, however, are among the most expensive in the United States, with tuition costs averaging between 55,000 and 60,000 USD per year. Fortunately, they also provide excellent financial assistance to their top students in the form of scholarships. Perhaps you’re one of them! These universities are likely to catch your attention first when looking for undergraduate and graduate degrees for a variety of reasons. The first is that these universities’ resources are what they use to attract young, hardworking, and enterprising students like you from all over the world. 

The second point is that these are prestigious institutions that will assist any student who graduates from one of them in reaching the pinnacle of their professional careers. With the resources these prestigious schools provide, you can aggressively advance your career in law, medicine, electrical engineering, business, and other fields. When it comes to producing world-class students in the fields mentioned above, Ivy League universities truly dominate. You will be extremely valuable after graduation if you pursue those degrees at any of the Ivy League colleges.

It’s also crucial to understand that these schools are not inexpensive. They are, in fact, among the most expensive schools in the country; if you want to attend one of these prestigious institutions, expect to pay between $55,000 and $60,000 per year. Fortunately, they also provide a lot of financial aid in the form of scholarships to the best students. One of them could be you!

An Ivy League College’s Average Cost

The average tuition fee for an Ivy League school in the 2021-22 school year is US$56,746. The tuition fees charged by each of the eight schools, as well as the total estimated fees, are listed in the table below. These universities are ranked from cheapest to most expensive in terms of tuition.

Ivy League School2021-22 Tuition2021-22 Average Attendance Fees
Harvard College$49,653$76,479
University of Pennsylvania$53,166$79,635
Princeton University$53,890$83,241
Dartmouth College$57,796$79,525
Cornell University$58,586$77,952
Brown University$59,254$80,448
Yale College$59,950$77,750
Columbia University$61,671$80,339

4 Ways to Choose the Best School for You

If you decide that one of the Ivy Leagues is the right fit for you, the next step is to figure out which institution best suits your needs and goals.

1. The School’s Location

When deciding between Ivy League schools (or any school), the location is the most important factor to consider. Consider whether you want to attend school in the city, the country, or the suburbs. Dartmouth and Cornell are good options if you want a rural setting surrounded by nature and a small, close-knit college community. Meanwhile, if you require the hustle and bustle of cities as well as a large number of job opportunities, Columbia or Penn may be a better fit. 

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Brown, Harvard, and Yale are all located in smaller cities, so they could be good options for those who prefer a more tranquil city life. Finally, Princeton is the only school in the country that is located in a suburb, making it ideal for students who want a more private and quiet college experience while still being close to New York City or Philadelphia.

2. Academic Majors and Programs

Each Ivy League school has its own set of degrees and programs, as well as academic requirements. Cornell, for example, has a program specifically for those interested in business management with a focus on hospitality. Different schools excel in different areas and majors, so make sure the school you’re considering is a good fit for your interests and academic or career goals. 

Another consideration is that some schools require a comprehensive core curriculum, whereas others are more lenient with their general education requirements. Though it may not be a deal-breaker for some, it is worthwhile to check the requirements for each school so that you are aware of what you are agreeing to.

3. The School’s Size

The size of the school, like its location, may be an important consideration. It makes sense to look at the larger institutions if you want a vibrant and busy college atmosphere. A smaller institution, on the other hand, would be ideal if you prefer a more intimate community with fewer distractions.

4. On-Campus Culture

Last but not least, each school and campus has its own culture and attracts students from various backgrounds. Visiting the campus, meeting students, and taking a look around is the best way to see if you’ll fit in with the culture. Alternatively, you can read what alumni have to say about their school and campus experience on school forums and reviews.

5. Consider the student body at an Ivy League school.

Another important factor for your child to consider is the student’s body size. Six of the eight schools have between 4,000 and 7,000 students, while only two, Penn and Cornell, have over 10,000. Whether your child prefers a small or large student body at school can influence their overall happiness and social opportunities. After all, campus culture differs from one institution to the next. For example, Harvard’s boarding system fosters close student relationships, while Brown is widely regarded as the Ivy League’s most progressive institution.


To summarize, the list of Ivy League schools should provide you with a good understanding of the various institutions, their highlights, and their competitive nature. When deciding whether an Ivy League school is right for you, the competitive nature of the Ivy League will be a major factor. Finally, when deciding between Ivy League schools, it’s critical to consider your own needs and academic goals. And now you’re familiar with all of the Ivy League schools. 

These institutions are one-of-a-kind in their own right. It’s critical that you get to know them; this will help you find a college to attend. We hope you found this article helpful. Apply what you’ve learned here to your search for an institution.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the most expensive college in the United States?

The University of Chicago is America’s most expensive university. Each year, a University of Chicago student pays $81,531 in tuition. It is the most expensive four-year university in the country.

Why is Stanford University, not an Ivy League university?

Stanford is an undeniably prestigious college with a national ranking and selectivity rate comparable to Ivy League schools; however, it is not an Ivy League school simply because it is not a member of the Ivy League.

Is it true that there are 12 or 8 Ivy League colleges?

There are eight Ivy League schools, not twelve. Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University are the names of the institutions.

What does the Ivy League entail?

The term “Ivy League” is commonly used to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with academic brilliance, admissions selectivity, and social elitism associated with them.

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