Ivy League Education

Ivy League Education

For many parents, especially those who reside in​ the northeastern United States as​ well as​ other places, the pinnacle of​ education is​ found in​ Ivy League schools. Their cherished dream and life-long ambition is​ to​ send their sons and daughters to​ these schools, believing that the higher standards of​ education and social connections available there will likely set up their offspring for life. They are impressed no end by the Ivy League, with its connotations of​ academic excellence and its reputation for social elitism, and with good reason.

The term Ivy League can trace its roots to​ 1935, but the term really gained national attention starting in​ 1954 with the formation of​ the NCAA Division I athletic conference. With the dearth of​ professional sports at​ the time, people became rabid supporters of​ their favorite college teams and the Ivy League schools were no exception. Today, the term Ivy League is​ no longer associated wholly with athletics but with educational philosophy as​ exhibited by the country's oldest schools.

There are eight private institutions that comprise the Ivy League: Brown University in​ Providence, Rhode Island; Columbia University in​ New York, New York; Cornell University in​ Ithaca, New York; Dartmouth College in​ Hanover, New Hampshire; Harvard University in​ Cambridge, Massachusetts; Princeton University in​ the Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, New Jersey; University of​ Pennsylvania in​ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Yale University in​ New Haven, Connecticut.

There are some characteristics common to​ Ivy League members, and these give credence to​ the perception that they are exceptional learning institutions. Ivy League schools consistently place among the top 20 in​ the US News college and university rankings; they rank among the top one percent of​ the world's academic institutions in​ terms of​ financial endowment; they are a​ haven for the country's top-tier students and faculty; and they are perceived to​ be socially elite.

All of​ the Ivy League institutions have financial endowments of​ over $2 billion each and are considered to​ be among the wealthiest private universities in​ the United States. Harvard, with a​ $25.5 billion endowment in​ 2018, is​ considered the wealthiest university in​ the United States and in​ the world. Incidentally, it​ is​ also the oldest university in​ the country.

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