Ivy League Universities

Ivy League Schools, Ivy League Colleges, Ivy League

Did you know that seven of the eight Ivy League universities were founded prior to the United States of America?

When parents ask us about the admissions process to Ivy League universities, they often inquire about universities like Stanford, Caltech, MIT, and Duke. While to some people, this may be obviously wrong, many think that highly competitive universities like a Stanford or an MIT must be members of the Ivy League on account of their competitive admissions rates. But that’s not the case. Stanford, Caltech, MIT, and Duke are not any more a part of the Ivy League than is Nassau Community College. So we’re clear, Nassau Community College admits anyone with a pulse.

The Ivy League consists of eight member institutions – Harvard University, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Yale University, Columbia University, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell University – and the league was founded as a football league in 1954. The term was initially coined earlier by a sportswriter when he wrote, “A proportion of our eastern ivy colleges are meeting little fellows another Saturday before plunging into the strife and the turmoil.”

Seven of the eight Ivy League universities were founded during the colonial period. The only Ivy League university founded thereafter was Cornell University, founded in 1865. Harvard was founded first in 1636, Yale in 1701, Penn in 1740, Princeton in 1746, Columbia in 1754, Brown in 1764, and then Dartmouth in 1769. So seven of the eight member institutions of the Ivy League were indeed founded before even the American Revolution! To give you an idea of this significance, Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900. Caltech was founded in 1891. Rice University was founded in 1912. So, unlike other universities in the United States, the Ivy League colleges are older than even the United States of America!


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  • JC says:

    Why does anybody care about the Ivy League?
    Nobody would seriously claim that the Ivy League schools are the Top 8 schools in the country or world.

    Let me name some non-Ivy League schools that are every bit as good or better than the Ivy League. In fact, the Super Ivy League Schools (as in better than the Ivy League) would consist of Cambridge, Oxford, University of Chicago, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, and Berkeley.

  • Susan says:


    On that same note, why would anyone care about the ACC come NCAA tourney time? And yet they do! The article referenced above doesn’t state that Ivy League colleges are better than Caltech or Stanford. It just describes the history of the founding of the Ivy League and it clears up which schools are and aren’t members. Because, believe it or not, there are plenty of people who think Stanford is an Ivy and Columbia is not. They’d be wrong to think so.

    Susan Sheridan

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