The Ivy League Colleges

The Ivy League Colleges

August 27, 2019 43 By Stanley Isaacs


It is interesting to note that the term ‘ivy
league’ originally referred not to academics but to sports. The original Ivy League brought
together not minds, but football teams. That said, these eight universities have some educational
and institutional traits in common beyond their athletics programs. All are long-established,
private universities; all are in the Northeastern U.S.; all benefit from sizeable endowments
and generous alumni financial support; all are highly selective – and all provide need
blind aid that often make them less expensive than in-state public colleges.
Is an Ivy League school right for you? If so, which one? That’s a question only you
will be able to answer. Factors to consider are the differences among Ivy League members
(some are located in large cities, and some in small towns; some have religious affiliations,
and some do not). A more important factor is what you want to get out of your college
education. Although Ivy League schools generally deserve their good reputations, some of their
programs are stronger than others. If you’re interested in engineering, for example, you
probably want to look beyond these eight universities. Only a few Ivy League schools have top-rated
engineering programs – and (like any school of engineering) they are stronger in some
areas of engineering education than others. Keep in mind that the qualities that make
for a good education are not limited to the Ivy League. You can look for (and find) features
like a low student-to-faculty ratio, high teaching standards, and strong research support
at other universities as well. Moreover, non-Ivy League schools might offer things that are
important to you and that you could not find at the eight universities listed above – for
example, a climate that doesn’t include ice and snow.
An Ivy League education has undeniable benefits. A degree from an Ivy League school will always
draw attention to your resume, and you’ll have entry to a valuable alumni network. You’ll
also receive instruction and mentoring that can help position you for competitive graduate
programs and prestigious awards like the Rhodes Scholarships. But Ivy League educations come
at a price – both in the tuition you might pay, and in anxiety over the schools’ highly
competitive admissions. If an Ivy League university is the right choice for you, you’ll be happy
to endure the application process. But even in that case, you will probably be more comfortable
with having made that decision if you first go through the process of considering other
viable options as well. If you are looking for a competitive advantage
in the admission process to a stretch school (Ivy League or otherwise), please give us
a call at 703.242.5885. We have the expertise and we’re here to help.