Everybody has a dream school. Whether you are a fun-loving party animal, a bookworm or a future scientist, there is an ideal school out there for everybody. Of these schools, there are a select few that rank amongst the best in the world, also known as the Ivy League.

The Ivy League is a collection of eight of some of the best private schools in the country. Furthermore, they boast an impressive roster of alumni and networking opportunities for students.

Now, let’s dive a little deeper into Ivy League schools.

What is the Ivy League?

Established in 1954, the Ivy League is, by definition, an athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. However, Ivy League schools are known more for their academics than their athletic prowess. While Harvard boasts some impressive Basketball teams, they are undoubtedly known for the quality of their education.

Also known as the Ancient Eight, Ivy League schools rank amongst some of the best in the world. All eight schools were placed in the top 17 schools in the country according to US News & World Report’s 2020 rankings. Moreover, 4 of the schools are placed in the top five of that same list.

However, you might be wondering; where are these schools? What are Ivy League schools like?

Top Ivy League schools

We’ve covered quite a bit about the history of the schools, but where are these schools and what are they like? Let’s start with some of the top-ranked schools in the country.

Princeton University

Located in New Jersey, Princeton University currently sits atop the list of the country’s best schools. Founded in 1746, the Ivy League university has a total enrollment of 8,419. Now, these students can cheer on their Princeton Tigers, which housed some of the country’s best lacrosse teams over the years.

Conversely, Princeton is best known for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and its School of Engineering and Applied Science. With a tuition cost of $53,890, the school is certainly expensive. However, graduates benefit from an extensive alumni network and high job prospects.

Harvard University

As it is undoubtedly one of the most prolific schools in the world, Harvard University educated some of the world’s most well-known public figures. Housed in Cambridge, MA, Harvard is the country’s oldest Ivy League university. The brick-laden campus was established in 1636 and ranks at the number two spot of the country’s best universities.

Harvard has a brutal acceptance rate of 5 percent, meaning that only the best and brightest students find their way into Harvard’s prestigious ranks. Furthermore, Harvard houses the nation’s third-best law school. Also known for its social and biological science programs, Harvard is one of the best Ivy League schools, and even offers HarvardX online courses on the edX learning platform.

Columbia University

Located in the sprawling New York City, Columbia University comes in as the United States’ third-best school. Established in 1754, Columbia hosts some of the best undergraduate programs in the country. Although it’s $64,380 tuition is steep, the Ivy League university is home to 24,408 students in total.

For academics, Columbia is best known for its business, law and educational programs. Moreover, the college boasts an impressive medical and dental institution, as well as one of the best journalism schools in the country.

Overall, Columbia offers a lot to students. As close as it is to the city, the opportunities for long-term success are endless.

Yale University

Unless you are a history buff or a nutmeg salesman, you probably don’t know that Yale University resides in the “nutmeg state.” However, it is more widely known as the great state of Connecticut. 

Tied for the fourth-best school in the country, Yale University provides excellent education since its conception in 1701.

Yale houses some of the best drama and music programs in the country, making it a perfect Ivy League school for artists. However, the school also boasts an impressive law school, management school and nursing school.

Honorable mentions

Above, we highlighted the top four Ivy League schools in the country. However, there are a few more schools that we have to mention. So, what are Ivy League schools we didn’t mention above? Let’s check them out:

University of Pennsylvania

Founded in 1741, the Philadelphia school ranks as the eighth-best school in the United States. Known as “Penn,” the school houses about 22,000 students with well-regarded schools in education, law and medicine.

Cornell University

Located in Ithaca, Cornell provided exceptional education in upstate New York since 1865. Tuition is right in the ballpark of other Ivy League schools at $59,316. Moreover, Cornell is best known for its management, law, veterinary and engineering programs.

Dartmouth College

As the northernmost school in the Ivy League, the 13th best school in the country hosts impressive programs. Tuition comes out to about $60,000, right on par with the other schools. Furthermore, Dartmouth has some of the best engineering, management and medical programs in the country.

Brown University

Now, we arrive at the last Ivy League school on the list, Brown University. Founded in 1764 in the great city of Providence, Rhode Island, Brown is one of the most historically-significant schools in the nation.

Yet, Brown boasts excellent English and history programs compared to the other Ivy League schools.

How to study at Ivy League schools

Whilst Covid-19 has driven a lot of education online, Ivy League schools like Harvard and Cornell have been offering online courses for nearly a decade.

Whilst you may not be able to get a Harvard MBA or a Yale law degree online, the Ivy League schools offer a wide range of free and paid courses to help you learn something new.

For example, HarvardX offers data science courses, Cornell offers executive education and leadership certificates, and Dartmouth even offers digital transformation courses.