Jul 28

What Are Ivy League Universities? How Are They Important?

Ivy League Campus

If you’ve seen most of the movies depicting college life in America, you’ll notice that most of them are set on a prestigious, elite campus. All of these films—Animal House, Legally Blonde, A Beautiful Mind, and Good Will Hunting—showcase the bizarre happenings that take place within these prestigious universities.


Often referred to as the “Ivy League,” these elite and highly selective universities have a fascinating history that is significant to American higher education. Here are some crucial details regarding these Ivy League Schools that you should be aware of if you are thinking about applying to one of these schools in the United States.


Do you want to improve your chances of getting into a top-tier university? Schedule your consultation with Tokyo Academics today!

Which American universities belong to the Ivy League?


Ivy League universities were founded as an association of eight colleges with intense athletic competition, namely: 

  • Harvard University (Massachusetts)

  • Yale University (Connecticut)

  • Princeton University (New Jersey)

  • Columbia University (New York)

  • Brown University (Rhode Island)

  • Dartmouth College (New Hampshire)

  • University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania)

  • Cornell University (New York)


As their athletic teams began to attract more funding and gained popularity, the standards for student performance and admission became increasingly more demanding and rigorous.


As a result, these Ivy League universities and colleges have developed a well-deserved reputation since the 1960s for turning out graduates with strong academic records, social standing, and bright futures in their fields. Even now, these universities continue to uphold their reputations, and several of them may be found among the top American universities.


Stanford, M.I.T., and Caltech, which are not Ivy League universities but often have a comparable reputation and social standing, are joined in this position by the other colleges mentioned.


Why should I be interested in the Ivy League schools?


These universities are likely to catch your interest first when you start looking for undergraduate and graduate degrees for a variety of reasons.


First off, they employ a lot of resources to draw students from all over the world who are intelligent, motivated, and career-minded. Second, it goes without saying that these institutions support students heavily in their professional pursuits. The Ivy League universities really excel in a variety of subjects, ranging from law and medicine to electrical engineering and business. You will have many opportunities in the future if you earn a degree from one of these institutions.


However, with tuition costs averaging between 55,000 and 60,000 USD per year, these institutions also frequently rank among the most costly ones in the United States. For its brightest students, they fortunately also provide excellent financial aid in the form of scholarships. Perhaps you are one of them.


American colleges and institutions that are excellent but not Ivy League


While the following universities are not considered ivy league, they are still good options to consider because of their high international ranking and more affordable tuition fees.


While getting admitted into one of them won’t be easy, it may still be less difficult than getting into the more well-known and demanding Ivy League Schools.


In the end, getting the education that best suits your future ambitions is important because education is not a popularity contest. The average annual tuition expenses for each of these institutions are listed below, along with their rankings in the 2021 editions of the Times Higher Education and U.S. News World University Rankings.


  • University of California, Berkeley  – 26,500 USD/year, 7th in THE, 4th in U.S. News  

  • Northwestern University – 37,000 USD/year, 24th in THE, 24th in U.S. News

  • University of Texas at Austin – 13,000 USD/year, 44th in THE, 38th in U.S. News

  • University of California, San Diego – 32,000 USD/year, 33rd in THE, 21st in U.S. News

  • University of California, Santa Barbara – 27,600 USD/year, 68th in THE, 56th in U.S. News

  • University of Boston – 57,600 USD/year, 176th in THE, 57th in U.S. News


Three things to consider before applying to an Ivy League university


  1. You’ll need to meet criteria that are substantially higher than those at any typical public institution because admission to these premium colleges is extremely hard. For instance, the 2020 admission rates overall were lower than 10%.

  2. Keep in mind to thoroughly review the entrance standards, which may include SAT and GPA scores, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and other academic accomplishments. They matter.

  3. However, you should keep in mind that there are thousands of institutions of higher learning in the United States, and some of them rank highly in university rankings while charging less in tuition. This is the reason you should look for the ideal fit that meets your individual demands when looking for universities.

The Ivy League is definitely your best choice if you want to head a large firm, hold a public position in the government, or obtain a significant competitive advantage in research and innovation.

High achievers have long thrived in these institutions, with several Nobel Prize winners having previously attended Ivy League universities. However, it is acceptable to enroll in other public or private schools in the US. Many additional institutions are well known for providing high-quality education.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, new course offerings, and success stories from our graduates.