An Ivy League School is no alien term to a candidate aspiring to study abroad- especially one who chooses the United States as their dream destination. To those who’re still unaware about the term, the Ivy League group of universities constitute of eight highly competitive athletic American colleges, with high prestige and bright career prospects. These universities are considered eight of the Top Ranked Universities in the world- not only in terms of their curriculum and their alumni, but also in terms of their fee, often charging an average of around $55,000-$60,000. The Ivy League Colleges are namely:
- Harvard University
- Princeton University
- Columbia University
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Brown University
- Dartmouth University
- University of Pennsylvania
But lately, there has been quite a buzz about something known as the ‘Hidden Ivy’.
The ‘Hidden Ivies’ are other colleges in the US, which although not as reputed as the Ivy league, are still at par with them in terms of academics, athletics or other career opportunities. These universities are usually smaller in size, with a majority of curriculum catering to the students of liberal arts.
The term ‘Hidden Ivies’ is originated from a guide published in 2000 by Howard Greene and Matthew Greene, titled ‘Hidden Ivies: Thirty Colleges of Excellence’.
In this book, the authors evaluated (using the same criteria used to evaluate Ivy League Schools) thirty American universities and Liberal Arts Colleges that were either comparable, or even slightly better than the real Ivies. The second edition to this guide was published in 2009 titled ‘The Hidden Ivies: 50 Top Colleges – From Amherst to Williams – That Rival the Ivy League’, and the third in August 2016, titled, ‘The Hidden Ivies: 63 Of Americas Top Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities’ highlighting 63 universities and examining the schools on the basis of academics, financial aids, admission process, career opportunities and student experiences(you can find the full list of included colleges here).
So what’s the big deal with hidden Ivies? Do people aspire for these?
In one word, absolutely. All of the schools listed under the Hidden Ivy, (or other lists such as the Black Ivy, Seven Sisters, Little Ivy, etc.) have outstanding curriculum, with exceptional faculty and unlimited opportunities.
If you’re expecting wholesome goodness of Ivy leagues in these bad boys though, I’d ask you to slow down a little bit. These colleges, of course,are different from the Ivy League schools in a lot of aspects. Students who apply to these colleges have completely different reasons to do so- some are concerned with the cost of tuition, some with the state they’re in, and some only worry about the environment. Meanwhile, others choose their school based on a strong major in the field they’re interested in.
A candidate will no doubt seek top notch education while he spends a bomb- hence, rather than just inspecting the aforementioned aspects, many others such as key interests and strengths also play a major role.However, what the children need to understand before applying redundantly to the ‘top notch Ivies’ is that even they don’t promise a bright future or guaranteed success after you graduate. Success requires constant effort, and a clear path towards your goals.
Conduct your own research on your dream schools, ask for mailings, and read their reviews on uni.go (note: there’s an inherent selection bias in the reviews), look at the CC sub forums for the various schools. Remember- any school that admits less than 30% of its applicants is not a hidden Ivy.