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What’s in an Ivy?

By May 9, 2023No Comments

Before I begin, I want to ask how many of you wear only top-branded clothes? Well, a few, I think. And even if we don’t, we are still happy and comfortable in our daily lives. Now you will wonder what branded clothes have to do with colleges. Well, how many of you want to send your child to a top-brand college aka an ivy league college, I think most of us do. But how much do we actually know about them?  If I ask you to name the Ivy schools, many parents say – Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, Rice, etc.

Let us understand what an Ivy school is first.

The term “Ivy League” originally referred to the athletic conference formed by 8 private schools in the northeastern United States in 1954. With time these institutions became known for not only their competitive athletic program but academic excellence, highly selective admissions process and needless to say their remarkable faculty and resources. One may think that because I am studying at an Ivy, success is guaranteed but it’s not that simple. One has to put in the hard work, determination and commitment to succeed. Did you know that there are many successful individuals who did not attend an Ivy League school? Can you name a few?

The Ivy schools offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in different academic fields like arts, sciences, humanities, engineering, business and law. Some of the most popular majors are Economics, Computer Science, Political Science, Business/Management, Engineering, Biology, Psychology, History, English Literature, and Mathematics.

Each Ivy institution comprises multiple schools and colleges which specialise in different academia. Eg. Harvard University has Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and many more.


The eight Ivy schools are

Brown University

Columbia University

Cornell University

Dartmouth University

Harvard University

University of Pennsylvania

Princeton University

Yale University

The average cost to study in an Ivy school is $59,961 per year. Columbia University has the highest undergraduate tuition of $66,139 and Harvard University’s tuition is $57,261
They meet 100% of demonstrated need-based aid and one can always write a financial aid appeal letter if the package is not sufficient.
If one really wants to go to an Ivy School, it is important to have a road map. One starts their journey in Grades 6/7 or 8 and slowly works toward their way for these ivies. It’s important to understand that their mission must align with yours and vice versa.

Ivy Schools value

Ivy schools receive thousands of applications each year and they have some key factors they consider while evaluating the application

Academic Achievement

– Community colleges offer two-year associate degrees that help students to transfer to a fouThey place a high value on academic achievement and look for high grades and challenging courses in an application.

Intellectual Curiosity

– They value intellectual curiosity and appreciate students who have a passion for learning. They look for students who have pursued academic interests outside of their classroom like competitions and research.

– They seek students who have demonstrated leadership through activities, volunteer work and other such experiences.
– They look for all well rounded students with strong character and personal qualities like integrity, resilience, and a commitment to social justice.
– They value diversity and inclusion of applicants from different backgrounds as they bring a range of experiences and perspectives to the campus.

It’s important to note that while these are some of the qualities that Ivy League schools may consider when evaluating applications, each school has its own unique admissions process and priorities, and there is no one formula for getting accepted to these highly competitive institutions.

Not everyone can go to an Ivy school but everyone can go to the “Right Fit” college which aligns with our individual needs, interests, and goals and makes you a happy person.

Ruchi G.Saran