What IS the Ivy League?

What IS the Ivy League?

The Ivy League, founded in 1954, is an athletic conference that covers 33 men’s and women’s sports in the NCAA Division I. The Ivies are some of the oldest colleges and universities in the United States. While the schools of the Ivy League were primarily distinguished in sports, they have come to be much more than that to the prospective college student’s eye. The Ivies are now more often known as universities of very high academic prestige, and are less commonly associated with the actual athletic conference that supplied such a well-respected namesake for the group of colleges. The schools of the Ivy League are as follows:

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University

So what’s the big fuss about?

When I got my college acceptances (and rejections), I had a lot of people telling me to go to Cornell. “It’s an Ivy!” Okay, yes, that is true. But what does that really mean? Looking back at what the Ivy League actually is, the fact that Cornell is an Ivy should not have had a great impact on my choice not to go there. And it didn’t. I certainly did not plan on going to college for sports, so that aspect of the Ivy League is, was, and always will be completely irrelevant to me.

My point is simply this: while the Ivy League is now known as an elite, selective group of schools, it is no more than a name and an athletic conference. I am not denying the fact that these are colleges of academic excellence; I am, however, negating the popular belief that the Ivies are superior. There are just so many other incredible schools that it is impossible to have such a small list of “the best colleges” or “the most selective.”

Also, not every school is right for everybody. Just saying.