The Ivy Coach Daily

March 22, 2024

The Benefit of the Ivy League Alumni Network

A student walks on The Green at Dartmouth College on a fall day.

Some people, particularly those who did not attend Ivy League schools, question the benefits of attending these institutions. Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Are the ever-rising tuition costs worth it? Could students be just as successful in their careers if they attended lower-tiered schools? What are the advantages of attending one of the eight Ivy League schools?

What Is the Ivy League Network?

First, it’s essential to understand what the Ivy League network means in practice. While every school has a vast alumni network, each of the eight Ivies has a unique approach to connecting its graduates.

Several of the Ivies, for instance, have physical buildings that house alumni clubs. For instance, there’s The Harvard Club of New York City and The Yale Club of New York City. And while not every Ivy League school has its own physical alumni club (Princeton had its own until 2021, when the club defaulted on its mortgage), they often share the spaces of their peer institutions. For instance, Dartmouth alumni can be members of The Yale Club. Princeton alumni can now be members of The Penn Club of New York.

Beyond the physical spaces for their alumni, the Ivy League schools — much more so than less selective institutions — boast alumni clubs in virtually every major city. They also have affiliated alumni organizations for underrepresented groups, like LGBTQ+, Black, Jewish, and Latino alumni. They also have special interest groups, such as entertainment, law, and real estate professional groups.

The Ivy League Network for Career Development

Ivy League Grads Don’t Have to Prove Their Smarts

One of the most significant benefits of attending an Ivy League school is that its graduates don’t have to prove they’re intelligent, especially when interviewing for internships during college or early jobs. After all, their interviewers tend to give them the benefit of the doubt — they assume they’re smart because they attended such a selective institution.

Of course, that’s not always the case since some not-so-bright students earn admission to top schools, but this benefit of the doubt can go a long way to securing that early career opportunity on which all subsequent opportunities are based.

Ivy League Grads Help Their Own

Ivy League grads, overwhelmingly, also tend to like to give back to their alma maters. And they don’t only give back by donating money (it should be noted that the Ivies, and especially Princeton and Dartmouth among the Ancient Eight, typically lead America’s colleges in the percentage of graduates who give back financially).

They also show that same kind of support by helping more recent graduates of their alma mater secure internships and early jobs. They may land them an interview. Or they lobby to hire a young alum who recently interviewed for a position.

Attending an Ivy League School Matters

At Ivy Coach, we have never argued that an introductory psychology course is much different at an Ivy League school compared to a large public university. In fact, we’ve never even argued that the in-classroom education is much different at an Ivy League school compared to a top public university.

But, for years, we have argued that the out-of-classroom experience at the Ivies is incomparable. After all, Ivy League students go to college with future captains of industry — finance, medicine, entertainment, law, and many other fields. As such, they become friends with these future captains of industry, and suddenly, the big world becomes much smaller and more connected.

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