List of Ivy League Schools, Pros, and Cons

You’ve probably heard the term “Ivy League” before and probably associate it with a group of very expensive colleges in the northeast that are highly esteemed and hard to get into. You may have seen these Ivy League schools depicted in movies like Legally Blonde or Good Will Hunting as extremely prestigious, very competitive, and even a little bit elitist. There’s a lot more to Ivy League colleges than what TV and film depict them as though.

Did you know that when the Ivy League schools first came into existence, they were known for their highly competitive sports teams? That’s right. These schools that are now known for things like their highly ranked law and medical programs were originally known for their athletic teams. In fact, the term “Ivy League” is actually the name of the athletic conference that these eight schools are a part of.

This athletic conference was put together back in 1954, and since then, the schools have become less competitive over sports and much more competitive over academics. These schools are so competitive because graduating from any of them opens up a lot of doors to help further your career path due to their top of the line academic programs.

The eight schools that make up the Ivy League are Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, and University of Pennsylvania, and each school has its own unique history and area of academics that they specialize in.

 

List of Ivy League Schools

harvard uniiversity

1. Harvard University

Harvard University is located in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts. This Ivy League school was not only the first of the eight Ivy League schools to be established all the way back in 1636 but also the first higher education institution to be established in all of the United States.

Many presidents of the United States graduated from Harvard, including George W. Bush, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson. This school started out with only nine students and one professor and now has over twenty thousand students and a large group of faculty members to teach them.

Harvard is best known for their highly ranked law school, but they also offer a variety of other academic units including medical school, design school, and business school. Between its rich history, highly esteemed academic programs, and beautiful tree-lined campus, Harvard is an excellent choice to receive your higher education at.

yale university

2. Yale University

Yale University is located in New Haven, Connecticut and was established in 1701. This school is very dedicated to improving both the community and economy of New Haven, as well as improve the human condition of people all across the globe. It prepares its students to become the next leaders of their generation so that they can go on to leave a mark on the world after graduation.

Yale offers a wide variety of academic programs but is best known for its social sciences, cultural studies, drama, and music programs. Yale encourages its students to explore different fields of academics so that they leave the school more well-rounded and knowledgeable in more than just one field of study. This school strives to create a community for its students so that they feel welcome and at home when they are on campus.

This is definitely a more liberal school, and although they do offer a wide variety of academic programs, some of them being in the science field, it isn’t a top school when it comes to engineering or sciences. If you are pursuing a liberal arts degree though, then this is definitely a fantastic school to study at.

princeton university

3. Princeton University

Princeton University is located in Princeton, New Jersey and was established in 1746. Princeton is best known for their research, as well as their engineering and science programs. This school is committed to improving upon the state of humanity and even has this unofficial motto: “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity”.

This school is staffed with highly dedicated, intelligent faculty members who push their students to produce their best work and become eager to learn. All undergraduate students at Princeton are required to write a senior thesis which is unique to this school. They truly want their students to get the most out of this college experience and help them learn as much as they can.

Princeton also has an amazing financial aid program that ensures that all students who are accepted receive whatever financial help they need in order to be able to afford attendance. They truly do not discriminate on who they accept and believe that if you have the intelligence, drive, and creativity that the school values in its students, then you deserve to attend the school no matter what your financial situation is.

Columbia University

4. Columbia University

Columbia University is located in New York, New York and was established in 1754. This school is most well known for its science programs. This includes social sciences, biological sciences, computer sciences, engineering, and more.

Columbia has a core curriculum that requires all students to take classes in philosophy, literature, history, science, art, and music. This curriculum encourages students to broaden their horizons and learn about things outside of their main field of study which in turn, helps students become more knowledgeable and well-rounded. They also keep these classes at a capacity of twenty-two students or less to ensure that all students receive enough attention and one-on-one time with teachers to get the most out of their learning experience.

The location of this school is unique because the campus is right in the heart of New York City. This means that students have the opportunity to live in a more urban setting with tons of restaurants, museums, nightlife, and shopping to keep them entertained when they aren’t at school. Being in such a major city also provides a lot of internship and job opportunities for students attending the college. If you are looking for a more traditional college campus though, then this school may not be ideal for you.

 

Brown University

5. Brown University

Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island and was established in 1764. This school is most known for its highly ranked research and science programs. They strive to have an impact on the world and help educate and guide students so that they can leave their mark on the world as well.

One issue that Brown and its students dedicate themselves to making the world a better place by working on things like fixing the nation’s opioid crisis, advising the world’s leaders and politicians, and planning the next Mars landing site. The school has state of the art research facilities and puts them to good use on helping out humanity and making positive changes in the world. The school welcomes new outlooks and ideas with open arms and pushes students to question things and work towards finding solutions to difficult problems.

This school has something called open curriculum which is pretty unique and not common in most other schools. The open curriculum allows students to choose classes based on what they want to learn about and study, so everyone has a personalized schedule made specifically for them and their needs. This differs greatly from the core curriculum approach that Columbia uses. Rather than requiring students to take certain classes, they give them the power and the freedom to choose on their own.

This approach helps prepare students for life after college by forcing them to think creatively and solve problems on their own. Brown aims to elevate its students’ roles so that they are equipped with the life skills that they will need after graduation.

 

dartmouth college

6. Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire and was established in 1769. This school is most well known for their science programs, including social sciences, biological sciences, computer sciences, engineering, and more. Their Greek organizations are a huge part of the students’ social life, and approximately sixty percent of students are members of Greek organizations.

Even though this school is so well known for its science programs, art is a huge part of Dartmouth College as well. They have an art district that is home to the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Hood Museum of Art, and the Black Family Visual Arts Center, as well as many organizations and academic programs for artists. They have tons of other student organizations in a wide variety of other areas of interest as well, making it easy to socialize and network with people who you share similar interests with.

Dartmouth College has a diverse student body so that you can meet and learn with people from all different ethnicities and backgrounds. They are extremely welcoming to all students and are staffed with a highly intelligent, dedicated faculty who all strive to prepare their students to be successful after graduation. They make sure that the students work hard, while also providing extracurricular and social activities so that students can have fun and make new friends too.

Cornell University

7. Cornell University

Cornell University is located in Ithaca, New York and was established in 1865. This school is most well known for its research and highly ranked law, engineering, and management programs. It also has a very big Greek life and over one thousand student organizations, so students have plenty of opportunities to socialize and fraternize at this school.

Cornell strives to provide students with the education and skills necessary to not only succeed and better their own lives but to also make an impact on the world to make life better for people all around the globe. They want to push students to become leaders and innovators, but this thirst for knowledge and drive to succeed definitely makes it one of the more highly competitive schools of the Ivy League.

Ithaca is a pretty small town, so it doesn’t have all of the amenities that a larger town does. However, the wide variety of sports teams and school organizations give students plenty of extracurricular activities to keep busy with.

University of Pennsylvania

8. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was established in 1740. This Ivy League school is most well known for its education, science, medical, and law programs, although it does have a pretty reputable design program as well.

Being located in a major city such as Philadelphia means that there are tons of restaurants, museums, shopping, and nightlife for students to explore. It also means that there are ample internship and job opportunities. The school is located in the University City part of Philadelphia though, so it does still have a traditional college campus feel even though it’s in the middle of a major city, giving students the best of both worlds.

In addition to their wide variety of highly ranked academic programs, the University of Pennsylvania also has many different extracurricular activities so there is always something fun to do both on and off campus. They have many different sports teams and even offer sports clubs that are recreational instead of competitive.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ivy League Schools

1. Harvard University

Pros:

  • Many employers will want to hire you if they see that you’ve graduated from Harvard thanks to its rich history and highly esteemed academic programs
  • The faculty members are all highly qualified and extremely knowledgeable about the topics that they teach
  • This Ivy League school is very cultured and has a theater, arboretum, and art museum on campus
  • All of the students who get into Harvard are extremely intelligent, so you will be surrounded by bright minds for you to learn from and feed off of
  • Harvard University has a wide variety of sports teams as well as state of the art athletic facilities
  • Beautiful campus with many historic buildings
  • Located in Boston which is a major city, so there is always something fun to do

Cons:

  • Large class sizes reduce the amount of student-teacher interaction and make the learning experience less intimate and focused
  • It is very difficult to get accepted into
  • The on-campus environment isn’t as community oriented as some other Ivy League colleges
  • The campus is rather large, so many classes are spread out far apart and many dorms are a trek away from certain classes

2. Yale University

Pros:

  • This Ivy League school has a strong sense of on-campus community that makes students feel at home
  • Yale University cares about the wellbeing of not only its students but all of humanity and strives to improve the human condition of people globally
  • The student body is culturally diverse and very welcoming of people from all backgrounds
  • They care about the health and wellbeing of their students and provide them with fitness programs, on-campus counselors, and medical centers
  • They offer a wide variety of sports teams and student organizations
  • They have world renown liberal arts programs such as drama and music
  • They offer smaller class sizes so that students receive more one-on-one time with teachers

 

Cons:

  • It is very difficult to get accepted into
  • New Haven is not a major city, so it can be difficult to get to if you are from out of town and it also does not have the amenities of a major city
  • Not the best option if you are looking to study science or engineering

3. Princeton University

Pros:

  • They offer a great financial aid program to help you afford attendance no matter what your financial situation is
  • They offer smaller class sizes so that students receive more one-on-one time with teachers
  • They are driven to contribute to and help out their community as well as humanity in general
  • Princeton University was ranked #1 in National Universities, Best Undergraduate Teaching, and Best Value Schools
  • The research program here is ranked extremely high, making this a wonderful school to study science or engineering at
  • They offer something called zee group system where they designate one junior or senior RA to each group of twenty freshmen and host social events for them to help them get to know each other better and have a fun way to socialize and interact with each other

 

Cons:

  • Princeton is not a major city, so it does not have all of the amenities that major cities such as New York or Philadelphia have
  • They have a zero tolerance discipline policy that results in a year’s suspension even on your very first academic offense which leaves no room for any mess ups
  • Their support staff isn’t very committed to helping out students with issues such as roommate conflicts, creating your class schedule, or choosing your major and focus most of their attention on more extreme issues instead

4. Columbia University

Pros:

  • Columbia University offers smaller class sizes so that students receive more one-on-one time with teachers
  • Top rated science and engineering programs
  • Located in New York which is a major city, so there is always something fun to do and there are lots of internship and job opportunities there as well
  • Their core curriculum helps students become knowledgeable in a variety of subjects, making them more well-rounded
  • They have a wide variety of athletic teams and student organizations

 

Cons:

  • The on-campus environment isn’t as community oriented as some other Ivy League schools
  • Very difficult to get into
  • Since it is in a large city, the crime rates and violence here are higher than some other schools with a more traditional campus

5. Brown University

Pros:

  • Highly rated research and science programs, as well as state of the art research facilities
  • Brown University strives to make real changes in the world and improve the human condition for people globally
  • This Ivy League school offers smaller class sizes so that students receive more one-on-one time with teachers
  • Their open curriculum gives students the power and freedom to curate their own class schedules, helping them learn to think strategically and creatively, as well as gain the ability to solve problems independently
  • They have a wide variety of athletic teams and approximately 400 student organizations
  • The vibe here is more laidback and less competitive than some of the other Ivy League schools, but students are still very driven and hardworking
  • Brown University has a strong on-campus sense of community

 

Cons:

  • Students are required to live on campus for their first six semesters of school which may not be ideal for some students who prefer to live off campus
  • The open curriculum may be a tough concept for students who do need a little bit more guidance or aren’t completely sure what they want to major in yet

 

6. Dartmouth College

Pros:

  • The student body is very culturally diverse, and Dartmouth College is very welcoming to students of all ethnicities and backgrounds
  • They have highly ranked research facilities where students and faculty work hard to discover new solutions that will help the good of humanity
  • They have a wide variety of sports teams and student organizations
  • The on-campus sense of community is strong to make all students feel at home here
  • This Ivy League school has top-ranked science programs while also having some really great liberal arts programs and organizations, making it the best of both worlds

 

Cons:

  • Dartmouth College runs on a quarter system rather than a semester one which means that classes are shorter and go by quicker so you don’t have the opportunity to get to know your professor or fellow classmates as well as you would in a semester-long class
  • Hanover is not a major city, so it can be difficult to get to if you are from out of town and it also does not have the amenities of a major city

7. Cornell University

Pros:

  • This Ivy League school has many different areas of study to choose from and is highly ranked in a few different areas
  • Cornell University has over one thousand student organizations along with a wide variety of sports teams
  • The faculty is dedicated to equipping students with the knowledge and skills to take on leadership roles and make positive changes in the world
  • The campus has a lot of hills, trees, and natural beauty

Cons:

  • Ithaca is not a major city, so it can be difficult to get to if you are from out of town and it also does not have the amenities of a major city
  • It is a highly competitive school

 

8. University of Pennsylvania

Pros:

  • They have lots of different highly ranked areas of study rather than only specializing in one, giving students more to choose from
  • Located in Philadelphia which is a major city, so there is always something fun to do and there are lots of internship and job opportunities there as well
  • They offer a wide variety of sports (both competitive and non-competitive) teams and student organizations
  • The campus is small enough that all of your classes are fairly close together and easy to walk to

Cons:

  • Since it is in a large city, the crime rates and violence here are higher than some other Ivy League schools with a more traditional campus
  • Very competitive

 

I hope that this article about Ivy League schools was helpful. If you want to, visit uscollegeinternational.com for scholarship information for these Ivy League Schools!

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