Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Oxford and other top brands have long been considered the most coveted and toughest universities to get into. Those who are not aware, often mistakenly refer to these as the revered Ivy League Universities.
That confusion also prompts a lot of questions:
What does Ivy League mean? How many schools are there in the list? Is Stanford / MIT / Duke an Ivy League school? What are the top ivy league schools in Canada / UK / India?
There are 8 universities in the Ivy League: Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College and University of Pennsylvania.
Try a Google search on the origin of Ivy League universities and you’d be inundated with various theories about the origin of the term. According to one such school of thought, the word ivy in Ivy League comes from the ivy growing on the walls of the buildings that all of these schools share in common (yes, go ahead and check out the buildings in Google images).
Another theory is that there was an athletic association of four big schools, which was referred to as IV in Roman numerals. These were Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University and Yale University.
Later on, four more schools joined them and they became the Ivy League. The late joiners include Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College and University of Pennsylvania.
The official formation of the big 8 took place in 1954 when the Council of Ivy Group Presidents came into being with the headquarters of Ivy League at Princeton University. It is now the ‘most diverse intercollegiate conference’ with over 8,000 student-athletes from the member institutions competing every year. Today, the Ivy League institutes represent the epitome of scholastic achievement and academic prestige.
Most common features among them are that these are located in Northeast of the United States, all of them are privately owned institutes and it is not easy to get admission in these.
The admission process is highly selective and for many who get into one of these, it is a matter of pride and celebration as not everyone can get through. So when you read about wonder kids who get through all Ivy Leagues, each of those stories is special.
Here are some statistics to add clarity on the selectivity. The statistics below are for acceptance to the 2020 undergrad class.
|University Name||Applications received||Applications accepted||Acceptance rate|
|University of Pennsylvania||38,918||3,661||9.40%|
Among the big 8, not all offer MBA. In fact, only six universities in this list have a business school. Brown and Princeton Universities are the only ones that don’t have a business school to their portfolio.
According to the Global MBA Rankings by Financial Times (FT), here’s how these Ivy League schools are placed:
|Relative Rank||Business School||University|
|1||Harvard Business School||Harvard University|
|2||The Wharton School||University of Pennsylvania|
|3||Columbia Business School||Columbia University|
|4||Yale School of Management||Yale University)|
|5||Tuck School of Business||Dartmouth College|
|6||Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management||Cornell University|
Going by their dominant position in the world of MBA aspirants, the Ivy League B-schools use the same to dig deeper and sift the best of the lot. When you say best, it refers to people who are not only at the top of their game with their GPA and GMAT scores, but also portray a picture perfect image of theirs.
There is no pretence, it is ultimately the real you out there when you meet the admission committee. And armed with glowing recommendations (you don’t just get such a recommendation, you earn it by the way!), you’d want you to shine bright, isn’t it?
All Ivy League universities have the reputation of being very choosy in terms of their student pool. Securing an admission here would be really tough for sure, but at the same time all these universities also compete with one another when it comes to attracting the highly qualified students. The admission officer at the university does not know you so she would rely on what you are in your file.
Your GMAT score, high school accomplishments, common application essay, recommendations, extra-curricular activities and the like, are what give the admission officer an insight of what to expect from you. And, all these things need time.
As pressing as it sounds, the preparation really must start early. Improve your high school grades, study hard to clear your GMAT with a certain desirable score with which you can apply at all the Ivy’s.
Show your other side to the admission committee with your extra-curricular activities. But don’t go for just any activity like a sport or art alone. Take up something that you really believe in, something that would define you or be an extension of your thoughts be it volunteering or NGO work or even sports, just about anything that is close to your heart and gives you happiness.
Most importantly, build up the trust of people you want should recommend you. That comes with consistent performance. So you see, you ought to start early in life.
And if anyone asks you any of the earlier questions, let them know:
MIT and Duke are not Ivy League colleges. There are no Ivy League schools in Canada, UK, India. In fact, outside the 8 that we’ve talked about, there are no ivy league schools anywhere else in the world.
Read these related articles on Ivy League colleges:
– How to get into Harvard Business School from India
– All about Tuck MBA Admissions
– All you need to know about the Wharton MBA Dual Degree
– Q&A with Brown University Computer Science Professor
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 | Image source