Talk:Ivy League/Archive 1

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Growth of page via addition of colleges

This page is constantly being edited. I don't want to be a cynic, but I get the feeling people are coming along, and adding their university or college as one of the elite, or timming it so that the list includes their uni but in a smaller group so it looks more elite :) CGS 17:28, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC).

I too was apalled by the creeping list of universities considered "Ivy League." The only schools I know that are mentioned in the same league (pun intended) as the Ancient Eight are MIT and Stanford. While Georgetown, Northwestern, Duke and others are fine schools, they are not Ivy League, nor should they be construed to be. Fuzheado 17:43, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC)
In my opinion the only real value of the term is descriptive: it refers to the extensionally defined set of the eight Ivies, without implying a meaning for their inclusion or exclusion. If the article makes judgments about what schools are "equivalent" it will always be controvertible. (I've always heard MIT and Cal Tech for sciences, and Stanford and Duke for general universities, mentioned in the same breath, so these are my votes. I have no personal affiliation with any of these universities.) Rbellin 17:57, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC)
I went to an Ivy, and also taught at one (which shall go unnamed, so you don't think me a snob.) Perhaps it is due to the Northeast-orientation of the Ivies, but no one ever mentioned Stanford, Duke or Cal Tech when referring to the Ivy League on campus. Sometimes MIT, but only on occasion, and only when it made the admissions for the consortium look good. Many were also quick to dismiss the Ivy label too. Many folks would simply say, "Ivy Leauge: It's just a stupid athletic conference." Fuzheado 18:04, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC)

In England there's an even bigger problem. Nowadays any institution seems to be able to call itself a university (not just a college - a full university). Look around at some English university sites, they _all_ say that they're one of the elite, one of the top... It's really stupid. If you added up all the undergrads at the self-proclaimed elite universities, I recon we'd have a quarter of the population. CGS 20:21, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC).

I think I'm going to remove all extraneous opinon about who's on a level with the Ivy League and just stick to the Ivy League proper. CGS 20:26, 8 Sep 2003 (UTC).

This is why I removed the references to British universities and left it as a link. As for keeping Stanford and MIT in there, they are clearly not part of the Ivy League, but it is informative to note Ivy Plus, which you can find on Google and other Ivy League alumni associations. It is a real term that is used and accepted by Ivy League schools. This is far clearer and more accurate than the previous text, which explicitly claimed the "ivy league[sic]" title. The older version, which is not accurate:
The term "ivy league" is sometimes also used broadly to apply to several other highly-selective American universities, such as MIT, Stanford University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, and Georgetown University.
Fuzheado 09:08, 9 Sep 2003 (EDT)

I moved the text added by User:Fuzheado into a separate article, Ivy Plus. CGS 19:17, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC).

The relative "prestige" of the Ivy schools themselves has not yet specifically been discussed here, though the consensus has clearly been to avoid discussing the prestige of other schools relative to the Ivies. I feel this page should refrain from making any such judgment. If anyone can present clear factual information on this subject which avoids charges of elitism, boosterism, and POV bias, please add it and cite your sources. -- Rbellin 07:18, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I agree we should avoid trying to rank them on this page. H/Y/P indeed do have good brand recognition, but then you'd be surprised that overseas Columbia often has more brand recognition than Princeton. It really depends. So unless you can cite specific studies and poll numbers, it's best left off this article. Fuzheado 07:49, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Fuzheado does have a valid point in saying that Columbia sometimes does have better recognition overseas than Princeton. However, I am going to put the comment about prestige back in with one modification: that H-Y-P has more prestige in the United States than all the other Ivies. There are specific statistics available to back this up: (1) The YIELD rates (% accepted students matriculating at that college) for HYP are much higher than Columbia or any other Ivy (>65% at HYP vs. <55% at Columbia, and less at all other Ivies -- this claim can be verified simply by accessing Admissions sites at these schools); (2) A quick search on Lexus-Nexus will reveal that prestige is most often associated with HYP (vs. Columbia et al.) For example, take a look at this site: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are listed as the top 3 institutions sending undergrads to top graduate programs. There are dozens of articles similarly placing HYP at the top prestige-wise, so it's pretty clear that there is a really big gap between HYP and the rest. (3) It is also worth taking a look at statistics relating to the choice a student will make if he or she is accepted to multiple schools within the Ivy League. It is generally known, for example, that more students choose Harvard over Yale (~3:1 ratio) given the choice to attend either. When it comes down to HYP vs. Dartmouth/Cornell, there's almost no contest--almost all students accepted to both HYP and D/C choose HYP. Therefore, I am justified in putting my original paragraph back in. This is not a matter of elitism or boosterism; it's about certain truths being made available to the public, which is the purpose of Wikipedia.Acornlord
This seems to be a pretty obscure distinction, and as in the article on Dartmouth, I would opine that the material in question is too subjective belong in a relatively short article. The focus should be on describing what the Ivy League is, rather than ranking the schools. The article on Harvard is the place to discuss it's being one of the most prestigious of U.S. universities. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 18:34, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
No, I disagree with the above post. It is of great interest to the public to know which schools are considered better than others. Why do you think U.S. News and World Report is so popular? Also, the material is not subjective either. If you believe it is subjective, you should cite data stating that some people feel Dartmouth is higher in prestige that HYP. I contend that you will not find any such statistics. Acornlord
Acornlord, the statistics you cite justify only two conclusions: (1) that H-Y-P are popular choices with their admitted undergraduates and (2) that H-Y-P place well in graduate admissions (though there is a problem of circular reasoning in your claim that "top schools" place well into "top graduate programs"). "Prestige" is too nebulous a claim to be supported by either of these. Among other things, perceived quality of the institution varies widely from field to field. For instance, and here I speak from personal experience, certain departments at Princeton are merely good-to-above-average, not "elite" or "prestigious." There are at least a dozen non-Ivy universities whose departments in certain fields are significantly more "prestigious," that is to say esteemed in their field, than any Ivy school's you care to name. And to take your example, Dartmouth's CS department is at least as "prestigious" in this sense as any of HYP's. General, school-wide prestige of universities is too ill-defined and subjective to be indisputable, factual, or encyclopedic. -- Rbellin 00:55, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Rbellin, no one is comparing Dartmouth's CS department with HYP's CS departments, nor is anyone saying that Dartmouth's CS is lower than HYP's. That earlier statement I had put in referred to the overall perception of members of the Ivy league universities. In general, HYP is more widely recognized as a whole and within the general population than is Dartmouth or any of the other Ivies. If you think this is somehow "nebulous" or "ill-defined", then you are mistaken. Grab any college guidebook and you'll find HYP at the top. You also miss the point when you say that "there are at least a dozen non-Ivy universities who...blahblah". This article is about Ivy league universities; I had specifically written "all Ivy league universities are prestigious, but some are more so than others". No where did I imply that HYP is "better" or more "prestigious" than non-Ivy leagues schools. Although I conclude that your arguments are invalid, I will let things stand as they are for the sake of preventing further disputes. --Acornlord 06:08, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
There's a reason the term "HYP" exists. Whether Harvard-Yale-Princeton is actually better than the other Ivies may be debatable, but in the popular perception of people in the United States, those three Ivies tend to stand above the rest, which is why the sentence should be allowed to stand. --Lowellian 03:34, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
Actually, YPH or HYP does NOT exist - see discussion below. Harvard is obviously the oldest and richest, and Yale a top producer of recent Presidents and Senators. But the research that does exist on undergraduate learning says Princeton and Dartmouth are in a class of their own. Where do you get HYP as any kind of designation? Most people agree that the well-rounded learning experience is found at PD not HY or the others, where undergraduate education is relatively dismissed. Sure, lots of interest in HY in numerical applications, and has had some high (quant) scores, but MIT and CalTech are leeching those students off. Furthermore, MIT is NOT an Ivy, not only is it not construed as an Ivy but it is obviously not in fact an IVY. So here ends the response to that bit.

Prestige heading renamed to reputation

I've modified the area of Prestige, renamed it reputation and tried to stick with the facts. I've also moved the mention of Cornell being partially public funded down, so that it's discussed after listing the constituent universities. Fuzheado 02:16, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I've made an edit to Prestige -- it used to say HYP was the most selective and well known "in general", but I've changed it back to "undergraduate", and added that other schools had a better reputation for their higher degree programs. This is especially true of Yale, which has good programs, but other Ivies have higher reputations in this regard such as U Penn (Wharton business, medicine, engineering) and Columbia (business, law, medicine, journalism, science/engineering). But going down this road of one-upsmanship is questionable in the first place. Fuzheado 00:59, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Again, Fuzheado, undergraduate education is best at Princeton and Dartmouth, and most competitive (admissions) at all four, if you insist on including Harvard and Yale. Your comment that Dartmouth has a good business school is well taken, but obviously H and Y are best in graduate programs. They suck, relatively speaking, (to P and D) in undergraduate education. Therefore, your commentary should be edited to reflect that... if we have a vote or have enough consensus (I'm all for merit based democratic voting!).

Yale-Harvard and Ivies

I'm cross posting this from Yale University because this question of Ivy League, Yale, Harvard, Stanford and others has been festering for a while:

I've tried to put the Yale-Harvard language in better perspective, while still trying to keep the taste of traditional rivalry. However, it is important to note that unlike Oxford-Cambridge, the United States academic setting is much more rich and multipolar than in the UK. There are plenty of excellent schools and academic circles in the United States that flourish outside the "Harvard-Yale-Princeton" triumvirate that keeps getting pushed as the "elite" in the US. Whether it's because of sports, land grant public universities, or just the sheer competitiveness of academe, the dominance of these and other Ivy League schools has been on the wane for years. So it's important to keep this in perspective. And I can say this honestly, as an Ivy League graduate myself. :) Fuzheado 02:38, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

IVY-LEAGUE IS AMERICAN OXBRIDGE. Oxford and Cambridge have many subordinate colleges with separate traditions. Likewise, the loosely organized Ivy League and more generally, top tier of American universities all have similar prestige. In essense, IVY (plus) universities ARE America's Oxbridge. Anyone who has attended the different colleges of Oxbridge can tell you of their differing histories, etc.

Regarding Harvard's preeminence, well it is the oldest and not inconsequently given compounding tax free compound growth rates of assets and endowment, the richest. Princeton still has southern and suburban associations, Dartmouth is "America's College" competing well with the big boys and Williams, Amherst, Oberlin, etc., and is really in it's own class because it is so damn small and perfect (but still larger than the separately "ranked" USN&WR smaller colleges). Yale is impressive in imbuing students with establishmentarian. Brown, UPenn, Columbia and Cornell are quite good. All play a role in the Ivy League.

The so-called H-Y-P that is being hyped belongs in it's own entry, if at all. Most people have never heard of that "entity" (more have heard of IVY Plus). It seems it doesn't much exist except in the minds of an Ivy or Cottage member. Many people would say that H-Y are their own historic class (Princeton?, nah), or Harvard, alone, as eldest. Still, all those Yale Presidents...

Princeton, by the way, has the most impressive similarity to Oxford or Cambridge in its suburban or exurban (county seat) setting in green, southern New Jersey. Yale (ugly New Haven) is the most unappealing of universities, yet still distant from civilization unlike Harvard and Columbia.

The biggest threat to the Ivy League dominance is either financial speculation (and losses) or politically correct marketing which leaves any particular school in a leftist ideological ghetto; have they yet crossed lines, no - is it possible they step out too far on the limb and their admissions or alumni support breaks, yes, it is possible.

Regarding Stanford, Northwestern, or Duke - excellent, excellent schools, each produced by one American region. Oberlin, University of Chicago, Georgetown, etc. all have excellence among others, as well. As a poster said above, a very competitive marketplace. The so called Northeastern Ivy League achived an early oligopoly on prestige, and an early head start in wealth. Further the West and Midwest have poured money into public universities, advancing democracy but crowding out private schools there. The South is still recovering from anti-intellectualism. So, yes, the IL currently dominates university prestige, over the past several generations... but the worm turns.

Anonymous Kramned Americanus, May 27, 2005

Acorlord and others, it would be more productive if you discussed the changes rather than simply reverting. I've added specific instances of other programs that are world class, and balance out the HYP dominance here. There is no questioning that they have world class and top ranked undergraduate programs, but if you want to go to higher or professional degree programs in engineering, business, medicine or journalism, then HYP is not the dominant trio as with undergraduate programs. For example, based on imperfect but useful USNews rankings the Ivies rank like this:

  • Business: Harvard, Wharton, Columbia; Dartmouth, Yale
  • Law: Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Penn
  • Medical: Harvard, Penn, Columbia, Yale
  • Journalism/communications: Columbia, Penn (not from USNews)
  • Engineering: Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia

The article is much better off reflecting information that shows more accurately the balance of the schools. Fuzheado 00:44, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Some additional differentiation
  • Undergraduate education: Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia
  • International Affairs (schools): Princeton, Harvard, Harvard/Tufts (Fletcher)

U Penn Founding

The page said that Penn was founded in 1755. But the University celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1990 (see [1]) and, although one can certainly dispute the "founding date", I don't think it can be argued that the University was founded later than 1751 (see [2]). -- Dominus 18:13, 24 May 2004 (UTC)


Is there any chance anybody could cook up a map depicting the locations of the Ivies along the Eastern Seaboard? jengod 21:59, May 24, 2004 (UTC)


As for the sentence where IV starts for the 4 original schools playing sports against each other, they are: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. Just look at old football stats and you'll see.


Harvard/Yale/Princeton are best known for their undergrad schools? Hmm. I've always heard that Harvard's undergrad wasn't the strongest, but their graduate schools that are their real strength. Perhaps this would be difficult for something as subjective as "reputation", but (in the spirit of avoiding "weasely terms") can we get a source or survey or something for this? (I went to an Ivy -- none of the above-mentioned schools -- and this doesn't mesh with my experiences.)

I agree with this comment and think the "reputation" stuff should be toned down and restricted to clearly objective and well-sourced facts. It seems to veer close to partisanship at times. -- Rbellin 18:58, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think that an encyclopedia has to recognize the fact that the Ivy League is still a prestigious term in American society. From the US News site:
The athletic conference that boasts academic powerhouses Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. Acceptance to an Ivy League school is considered the brass ring of the application process, although many argue that an equal–if not better–education can be achieved at many other non-Ivy League schools.
I would think that this article would be negligent to merely categorize the Ivy League as a collection of schools with no social or prestige connotations whatsoever. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 19:28, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)
As an Ivy League student, allow me to weigh in. First of all, HYP are not known for their undergraduate schools, which are average at best. They're known for their graduate schools, as well as their research institutions. Furthermore, while the Ivy League article should make some mention of prestige and elitism, the prestige of the Ivy League is truly on the wane, and should not be pushed. Each institution has to be examined from what it is meant to offer.--AaronS 19:51, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Seven Sisters?

There's no connection between the Seven Sisters colleges and the Ivy League. The only connection I see is that they are a collection of colleges. For that matter, we might as well list the UC school system, or the Claremont colleges. I'm removing the link. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 18:42, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, there's a longstanding cultural connection between the two groups of schools. It dates back to the pre-coeducational days, when Ivy men would often visit Seven Sisters schools for dances, dates, et cetera (and not always nearby: in the '50s and '60s Dartmouth men I know often drove several hours to get down to Smith and Mt. Holyoke). [3] from the U.S. Dept. of Education suggests that the Seven Sisters were so called "because of their parallel to the Ivy League men’s colleges". I think the link is historically and culturally important. -- Rbellin 18:58, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Can you perhaps work that into the historical part of the article, then? I guess it just seems silly to me because the ivies are all co-ed now, and some of the colleges listed as the Seven sisters have been absorbed (radcliffe). However, unless there are real analogues of certain schools to certain sister schools, shouldn't the actual affiliations go in each school's article (i.e. Columbia->Barnard; Harvard->Radcliffe)? It's not like there was a cartesian product of all the schools or something. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 19:24, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)


Ok the reputation thing as been bothering me. Obviously the ivy league schools have a great reputation, and some more than others one could argue. But, for instance, noting that HYP are noted for their undergraduate institutions while others are noted for their graduate schools seems a bit misleading or inaccurate. Harvard for instance is noted for many of its grad schools, Med Law Education etc, while others are known for their undergrad programs, cornell for instance for its many unique programs or dartmouth, whose undergrad program is really a lot of the focus monatarily speaking, and Columbia's Core Curriculum surely makes its undergrad program a highlight. The only school the previously mentioned statement might apply to well is princeton, which is largely an undergraduate school, having a small graduate program compared to most of the others. I really think this might want to be struck out altogether, or at least watered down to a more NPOV level. Your thoughts are of course solicited... Sean 18:03, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC) Slw2014

Your statements are accurate. Perhaps you could incorporate them into the article.
Acegikmo1 19:29, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Competetiveness (athletics) ?

An unknown user just changed part of this article stating that the ivy league schools are less competitive because they do not grant athletic scholarships. What does s/he mean by competitiveness? The attraction of college athletes? Competition for admitttance? or strenght and rigor of the competition between rival schools? If it is the latter I would like to see some evidence towards this as I have been to many an Ivy League game, and have seen plenty of heated competition between the schools that could rival any other...

Sean 18:03, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ivy Plus

After the constant reverts removing and reinserting Duke in the passage about the term "Ivy Plus", I decided to investigate yet again. My reasoning behind using Google hits is that we are concerned with how often the term "Ivy Plus" includes each of these schools. The following are search results for pages that contained both "Ivy Plus" and variations on the schools' names. I included "Caswell Adams" as a term to exclude, because the only pages that contain both this and "Ivy Plus" are from Wikipedia and its mirrors.

  • MIT: 237 hits using "ivy plus" "massachusetts institute of technology" OR mit -"caswell adams"
  • Oxford: 192 hits using "ivy plus" oxford -"caswell adams"
  • Stanford: 191 hits using "ivy plus" stanford -"caswell adams"
  • Cambridge: 177 hits using "ivy plus" oxford cambridge -"caswell adams"
Note: Cambridge is often referred to as just "Cambridge", but Cambridge often refers to Cambridge, Massachusetts (especially when it appears with "Ivy Plus"). Thus it is difficult to construct a search query to identity whether "Cambridge" refers to the cities or the university. I ran the above query because Cambridge is often mentioned along with Oxford in pages about the "Ivy Plus". Compare with the following search:
125 hits using "ivy plus" "cambridge university" OR "university of cambridge" -"caswell adams"
  • Duke: 99 hits using "ivy plus" duke -"caswell adams"
  • Chicago: 75 hits using "ivy plus" "university of chicago" OR "u of chicago" -"caswell adams"
  • CalTech: 55 hits using "ivy plus" "cal tech" OR caltech OR "california institute of technology" -"caswell adams"
  • Johns Hopkins: 34 hits using "ivy plus" "johns hopkins" OR jhu -"caswell adams"
  • Michigan: 24 hits using "ivy plus" "university of michigan" OR umich OR "u of michigan" -"caswell adams"
  • Northwestern: 23 hits using "ivy plus" northwestern -"caswell adams"

Then I was curious how often the term "Ivy Plus" itself is used:

  • 1250 hits using "ivy plus" -wikipedia -encyclopedia -"caswell adams"

My conclusions are that the term "Ivy Plus" isn't that notable and that mentioning any more than the top 4 hits of the above schools as recurring in "Ivy Plus" lists is superfluous.

--MementoVivere 06:47, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It appears that MementoVivere did not apply the same standard to the Universities of Chicago and Cambridge. Another user (not me) has added Chicago to the list and I agree that this is an accurate representation based on MementoVivere's method. It also seems to me that 99 hits is more than enough for Duke to be included, but I have not taken it upon myself to add Duke at this time. Someone else can take up their cause if they wish. I don't feel that 55 hits justifies Caltech being included, however.
  • Chicago: 165 hits using "Ivy Plus" Chicago -"Caswell Adams"
Note: Chicago is often referred to as just "Chicago" in academic writing, but Chicago often refers to Chicago, Illinois. Thus it is equally difficult to construct a search query to identity whether "Chicago" refers to the city or the university. Compare with the following search:
80 hits using "Ivy Plus" "University of Chicago" OR "UChicago" OR "U of Chicago" -"Caswell Adams"
Switzerland 21:17, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Did you notice that the first query for Cambridge ("ivy plus" oxford cambridge -"caswell adams") included Oxford? Here, some slightly revised queries and updated hits for all:
  • Total: 1500 hits using "ivy plus" -wikipedia -encyclopedia -"caswell adams" <- more exclude terms to eliminate outdated mirrors and such
  • MIT: 261 hits (17.4%) using "ivy plus" "massachusetts institute of technology" OR mit -"caswell adams".
  • Stanford: 206 hits (13.7%) using "ivy plus" stanford -"caswell adams".
  • Oxford: 200 hits (13.3%) using "ivy plus" oxford -"caswell adams".
  • Cambridge: 259 hits using "ivy plus" cambridge -"caswell adams" <- Upper-bound: Includes references to Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cambridge, England.
127 hits using "ivy plus" "cambridge university" OR "university of cambridge" -"caswell adams" <- Lower-bound: Does not contain references to U of Cambridge under "Cambridge".
193 hits (12.9%) <- Just took the mean as the estimate
  • Chicago: 177 hits using "ivy plus" chicago -"caswell adams" <- Upper-bound: Includes references to Chicago, Illinois.
77 hits using "ivy plus" "university of chicago" OR "uchicago" OR "u of chicago" -"caswell adams" <- Lower-bound: Does not contain references to U of Chicago under "Chicago".
127 hits (8.5%) <- Just took the mean as the estimate
  • Duke: 106 hits (7.0%) using "ivy plus" duke -"caswell adams".
  • CalTech: 60 hits (4.0%) using "ivy plus" "cal tech" OR caltech OR "california institute of technology" -"caswell adams".
  • Johns Hopkins: 33 hits (2.2%)using "ivy plus" "johns hopkins" OR jhu -"caswell adams".
  • Northwestern: 30 hits (2.0%) using "ivy plus" northwestern -"caswell adams".
  • Michigan: 23 hits (1.5%) using "ivy plus" "university of michigan" OR umich OR "u of michigan" -"caswell adams".
Kind of arbitrary, but I suggest a cut-off point of about 10%. The gap of 4.4% between Cambridge and Chicago (based upon my fairly rough methodology) is the greatest between consecutive results and thus makes it a convenient cut-off point, terminating the list at 4 items.
--MementoVivere 08:48, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

University of Chicago and Northwestern are definitely IVY Plus, but Duke and Johns Hopkins are not often included. By the way, the Seven Sister schools are almost always included, especially in IVY Plus alumni events. This addresses the key point: ivy alumni socializing in different regions (in Europe, in Texas, in Wisconsin, in Florida...) often involves non-specific cross-collegiate invitations, whimsically adding Northwestern or MIT, etc. Since IVY Plus is not really an entity that exists, I suggest removing it, with a bottom link, if you wish, to another page. Ivy Plus is clutter to an Ivy League page, with very little to do with the league, mostly interesting wannabies. Also, the NYU entry is totally fraudulent and laughable boosterism. Someone please remove...

Is there a term for the other five?

This sentence was recently added:

Due to the fact that Harvard University, Yale University, and Princeton University are usually the three most highly ranked among the eight Ivy League members, the remaining schools in the Ivy League are sometimes referred to as the lesser five.

I couldn't find any evidence to back this up. Not a single Google hit for "lesser five" was in reference to Ivy League schools. Is there any reason why this sentence and the page it links to shouldn't be deleted? Nohat 17:08, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree, it should be removed. No such term exists. However, the author brought up a relevant aspect of the Ivy League culture, namely that the highest ranked schools of the Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, Princeton) tend to look down on the remaining members, and especially on Cornell because it is the lowest ranked and has the highest acceptance rate among the Ivy League. For this reason I added a few sentences about this sentiment. Whether or not people agree with it, I can confirm from friends at these three schools that this sentiment certainly exists.
The sentiment may exist, but is it worthy of mention in an encyclopaedia article?AaronS 20:03, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree that no term should exist in article. No such terminology exists, and even if it were to be created (by Yalies?) and perpetuated, there should not be much emphasis on this page other than a link to that term's own site. What this really is a political campaign to create a pretended "sub-grouping" which doesn't exist, and even if it did, does not create any "other", "remaining", "lesser" or "relatively poorer" grouping; in other words, even if there is an "Ivy League", there is no such wikipedia set described as the "lesser American colleges" defined as "non Ivy league" other than that negation. Furthermore, lesser is a POV term and even if links to such descriptions existed, they would apparently be POV sites.

College rankings

I was asked to comment on why I inserted these rankings into the article an then deleted them at a later date. When I first inserted them, I intended to also insert other rankings to show the entire picture of college rankings. Obviously, only the U.S. News rankings do not paint a sufficient picture. The choice here is either to include assorted rankings or none, and I feel that the Ivy League can stand on its own merit without need of mentioning statistical rankings. If anyone feels differently, please comment here. Uris 19:05, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It's relevant, factual, and verifiable information. It should be included on that basis only. Nohat 19:54, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How factual or verifiable are they? They didn't stand the test of peer review, and the numbers they collect are not verifiable even by U.S. News and World Report. So I am inclined to disagree with your assessment. Other opinions welcomed though! Uris 05:55, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You misunderstand. It's a verifiable fact that U.S. News ranked the schools in the orders given. That is all. No assertion is made that the schools actually are "good" in that order, just that U.S. News ranked them so. The order that U.S. News ranked them is a simple, verifiable, and relevant fact for which I don't see any reason to exclude. Nohat 06:41, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough... it's fine by me to leave it if you feel so strongly about them. Uris 00:36, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Cornell lowest ranked

There should be a section that discusses Cornell's inferiority among the Ivy League schools. Let's face it: Cornell is the ONLY school that is not private (it is part public), the ONLY school that wasn't founded during the colonial era, by far the highest acceptance rate (almost 30%!), and it is consistently ranked the lowest of the Ivy Leagues. People should know this about Cornell -- going to an Ivy League school is generally regarded highly, but not in the case of Cornell.

Thanks for your insightful comments. Unfortunately, the facts you claim are irrelevant and/or untrue:
  1. I don't see how the fact that Cornell is not entirely private should have any effect on its quality or reputation. There's nothing inherent about being partially publically-funded that makes a school less good.
  2. I don't see how the fact that Cornell is younger than the other schools should have any effect on its quality or reputation. It's been around since 1865, which at 140 years is plenty of time to establish itself as one of the best schools in the country—which it did.
  3. The claim that Cornell is consistently ranked the lowest of the Ivy Leagues is untrue. For example, in the U.S. News 2000 rankings, Cornell was ranked 11th while Dartmouth was ranked tied for 11th and Brown was ranked 14th. So the claim that Cornell is consistently ranked below the other Ivies is just not true.
  4. Cornell is a larger school than the other Ivies and so has more room for its applicants. Harvard's incoming class is only 1650, whereas Cornell's is 3000. Both Cornell [4] and Harvard [5] report receiving around 20,000 applicants per year, but since Cornell has a larger incoming class, it can admit more applicants. I don't see how having a larger incoming class should have any effect on the school's quality or reputation.
In sum, I see no evidence that Cornell is quantitatively or qualitatively inferior to all the other Ivy leagues. All I see is inflammatory misinformation. Please see Wikipedia:Avoid academic boosterism and medidate on how that might apply here. Nohat 00:07, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"one of the most prestigious universities in the world"

This phrase (or something like it) is on several of the Ivy League colleges' individual pages (I havent checked all of them, but it's on Brown and Yale, and not on Dartmouth). There is currently a slow-moving edit war on the Cornell page to include the phrase "one of the most prestigious universities in the world". I think it's a fair and neutral comment to make this statement about all of the Ivy League universities. Although prestige is certainly something that is hard to measure objectively, and certainly it would be very difficult to draw a line between those institutions that would and those institutions that wouldn't be considered "one of the most prestigious universities in the world", I personally think that pretty much all reasonable people would agree that the ivies are squarely within the category. Perhaps adding "widely considered" would be better to couch the rating neutrally.

However, it is quite reasonable to dispute this, and I guess there will probably be those who attend non-Ivy but very prestigious universities as well as those who were snubbed by the Ivies (by being rejected, etc.) who will not want to have this phrase describing the universities. I can't really argue with that position from the standpoint of neutrality, although I would hope that those who would prefer to exclude the statement look within themselves and ask if the reason they want to exclude it is truly based on a desire for neutrality, and they truly believe it is non-neutral to make a positive affirmation of the high prestige of these universities, or they are simply acting out of jealousy or whatever.

In any case, I hope that everyone agrees with me that the statement should not occur on only some of the ivies' articles but should either be on all or none. So, let's have a straw poll to gauge people's opinions.

Poll: each of the Ivy League universities' articles should contain a phrase like "widely considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world".


Nohat 15:43, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC). I think we do our readers a disservice by not pointing what many consider to be obvious, but which in fact is not obvious to a great many people.
LoudNotes 05:27, May 14, 2005 (UTC) I don't see why it's a problem to include this sort of information. Ivy league schools are prestigious. There are rankings out there to substantiate it. Some maybe more so than others, but I really think it's without debate for someone to say something like, "Columbia is widely considered one of the world's best universities." I think you would see a lot of debate and the phrase would be inappropriate if it said, "Columbia is the best..." etc. But really, who would deny that there is not a significant body that considers each of the Ivy League schools to be "among the world's best"??? And yes, that's true of Stanford, MIT, etc. too. Save the prestigious-or-not debate for the institutions that are really more on the borderline.
YES. I agree that all Ivy League colleges, like all the constituent colleges of the Oxbridge system, have world class prestige. If we are to include Oxbridge (the two universities with all excellent and above average colleges), then we should include Ivy League colleges. In other words: for UK, Oxbridge, for US, Ivy League - it is the measure to which Stanford, MIT etc. reach and the shorthand for world class educational excellence. -Anon.


  1. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:37, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC). The university's article should simply state that it is in the Ivy League. The Ivy League article can address issues of "prestige." In any case, being in the Ivy League, while it certainly represents high prestige in the U. S., does not automatically make a university "one of the most prestigious in the world" (unless you define "one of the most" broadly enough to make the statement vacuously true." And any statements about prestige anywhere should be sourced. If everyone thinks Harvard is prestigious, it shouldn't be all that hard to find someone other than a Wikipedia editor who says so. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:37, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC) P. S. I do think it would be interesting to have an article on academic prestige itself. What people seem to avoid explaining is that the Ivy League schools have social prestige. Less so than a hundred years ago, but this is a social stratification issue, not simply a question of Nobel-prize-count. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:40, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC) P. P. S. I haven't got time to check right now, but I betcha the Britannica does not have such statements in its university articles. I'll bet a nickel that all it says about Harvard is "oldest." Dpbsmith (talk) 16:41, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  2. Agreed. The last thing we need is more academic boosterism.jdb ❋ (talk) 18:23, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  3. Changing my vote to "no". Nohat 19:48, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC) I agree with Dpbsmith in that claims of prestige, if included, should be sourced. We compromise our neutrality if we make claims about the prestige of some schools and not others, particularly when the extent of that prestige is disputed. I personally would cast the net fairly wide, and include most of the top 20 U.S. colleges among the admittedly vague-sounding "most prestigious universities in the world", but apparently there are people who would cast the net quite narrowly and only include Harvard and perhaps one or two other U.S. colleges. I personally think Stanford, Caltech, and MIT are more prestigious than Yale, but that's just my opinion. The Stanford article cites its claim, so I'm going to leave it in for now, we should come to some kind of consensus about how large "most prestigious universities in the world should be". Since it's disputed, claims about what is and isn't in the group must be qualified by information about who is including them and exactly what is meant by "most prestigious universities in the world".
  4. In complete agreement with Dpbsmith. Claims of prestige should be sourced and/or made more specific and concrete. Competitions to boost and/or disparage like the one discussed here are simply not in keeping with the neutral point of view; so far, we've been counting on each institution's partisans to balance out the other ones', but that approach doesn't seem like it will stay viable forever. I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion (below) that fuller and better-documented institutional histories will help to address this problem. -- Rbellin|Talk 20:39, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


  1. AJD Despite the comment "I hope that everyone agrees with me that the statement should not occur on only some of the ivies' articles but should either be on all or none," I don't agree in principle, because I think it's not at all clear that being in the Ivy League automatically makes a university one of the most prestigious in the world. I think it does make a university "one of the most prestigious in the United States", and each of the articles on Ivy universities should say that much; but "the world" should only be for universities which actually are very well-known and well-regarded the world around. Harvard probably is; Dartmouth may not be. (BTW:, anyway, describes Harvard as "one of the nation's most prestigious.") AJD 17:08, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. That comment is out-and-out wrong: the prestige conferred by Ivy League membership is largely U.S.-specific. If we want to call places "the most prestigious universities in the world" (a title that we probably should limit to (in the English-speaking world) Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard, in my estimation), we should decide on a school-by-school basis. (Personally, I think these debates are rather silly; the energy spent on them could be better spent improving the anemic sections on the history of each school.). jdb ❋ (talk) 18:16, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Listen - as we say below, OXBRIDGE is really organized differently than the IVY LEAGUE. In the UK, Oxford and Cambridge are really two separate "holding companies" granting general degrees on top of specific colleges which are totally differentiated and unique: some are elitist, some are old or rich, some are excellent or terrible places to learn. OXBRIDGE, therefore, is best compared to the IVY LEAGUE, a non-degree granting loose association of 8 colleges and universities. Clearly, IVY LEAGUER is a term with the same national (empire?) status as OXBRIDGE used to have (or still has). But to compare Harvard and Oxford is really not quite right. Better to compare Princeton or Dartmouth or Harvard undergraduate "colleges" with the various colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. A junk-college Oxford degree is ABSOLUTELY less prestigious and valuable than a general Princeton BA degree. Therefore, while Harvard may be the only world class university in America (ok ok, many are world class), an IVY LEAGUE college degree is really equivalent to an OXBRIDGE associated degree. In other words, let's be careful about comparing differently chartered differently structured institutions! - Anon.
  1. Agreed. While the average resident of Hong Kong may regard Harvard as prestigious, he may well not have the same feelings about UPenn or Brown. For my money, an encyclopedia that fails to identify Harvard, Yale, Mit, Caltech, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, etc. as 'among the most prestigious universities in the world' pretty early on in each school's article isn't worth consulting. Gzuckier 20:49, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Regarding Sorbonne, it's kind of an also ran, huh? Isn't the new French socialist meritocracy adopting Polytec... etc as their chosen schools?
  1. For reference, the international ranking at [6] doesn't include Sorbonne in the top 100, and Yale is below UC Berkeley, Princeton, Columbia, and Chicago. And Cornell is just 1 below Yale. Of course I'm not saying that this list alone specifies "prestige", but just that there is nothing unambiguously "great" about Yale compared to the other ivies. Nohat 22:01, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  2. Could we perhaps get a complete and authoritative list of all universities in the world counted "among the most prestigious in the world"? Then we could easily use a bot and put in an identical standard sentence in each one of these articles and be done with it. </irony> The people who waste so much time on this could then perhaps go and learn something about their precious alma maters and add some useful information; the history sections of these articles are in most cases underdeveloped. Generally speaking, I feel that there is far too much of a local undergraduate perspective in the US university articles, and far too little thought of what would be of interest to a reader somewhere else. / Uppland 18:24, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC) (PS. Got into an edit conflict when posting this, but I see now that jdb ❋ says more or less the same thing. / Uppland 18:24, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC))
    The only thing worse than wasting time on unimportant issues is whining about wasting time on unimportant issues. The status quo is inconsistent and people have been arguing about this for ages. Perhaps we should find a conensus and move on, rather than complaining about how there are much more important things to write about. Obviously many people care about this issue, and that should be sufficient justification of its importance. Nohat 18:35, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    What a ridiculous comment! If you ask for opinions, you will have to accept people expressing them. / Uppland 19:12, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    I accept your comment, whatever that means. I was just pointing out that it's not a particularly useful or helpful one, and instead seemed mainly intended to make those who care about this issue feel bad for caring about it. Nohat 19:20, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    If contributors care more about pointless posturing than about adding factual information to articles, they should feel bad about it. I assume that e.g. the University of Pennsylvania has an interesting 18th century history and a significant place in U.S. history, but I wouldn't really know that from the article as it stands. My second point was that most contributors to university articles seem unaware of their audience; this is obviously true and certainly useful to point out. / Uppland 10:20, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

For the time being, I am removing the statements from the articles. Nohat 18:40, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I replaced it at Yale. A one-size-fits-all solution for the Ivy League is not particularly desirable. Yale/Harvard's etc. prestige doesn't stem from them being in the Ivy League; rather the Ivy League's prestige such-as-it-is stems from their membership in it. However you work out your difficulties with Cornell, you needn't involve other colleges. - Nunh-huh 19:04, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It doesn't seem obvious or transparent to me at all that "Yale/Harvard etc." should contain an attributed statement about prestige whereas the others should not. After Harvard and Yale, where does your "etc." stop? A line has to be drawn somewhere. My suggestion of all the ivies doesn't seem to be popular; however, your suggestion of "Yale/Harvard etc." is not particularly clear. I'm removing it again, and if you put it back, you will have to source it. Nohat 19:20, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've left a note for you where this discussion belongs, at Talk:Yale University. In short, if you remove the claim, please state a source which disputes it. (And wait until tomorrow, of course, as that would be your fourth revert). - Nunh-huh 21:54, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The old slippery slope argument returns. If we say that Harvard is prestigious, then we will have to say Yale is prestigious, and if we say that Yale is prestigious, then we will have to say that Duke is prestigious, and if we say that Duke is prestigious. etc. etc. etc. until we end up saying that DeVry Tech is prestigious. Well, if the differences between the schools are sufficiently obvious that we can get alarmed at lumping them all together when they shouldn't be, then the differences should be sufficiently obvious that we can figure out approximately where to start thinking about whether the sentence applies or not. When we get to that grey area, we can start giving a numerical score from whatever magazines publish rankings every year, but when you're talking about a school where you could stop ten people on the street and all ten would agree that the school is prestigious, it's just willfully dumb to require a reference. Or next the slippery slope will lead us to requiring a reference for things like whether men have a higher tendency to grow a beard than women do.Gzuckier 20:49, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So where do we draw the line? At Harvard and Yale? That's not particularly reasonable, because Yale is ranked lower than several other universities on at least two of the most well-known rankings of colleges. Rankings should be ignored because they're not useful? Well so than what do we rely on to support the claim that a university is prestigious? Google searches? Necromancy? Oh, I know: we can just ask Gzuckier. Gzuckier and Gzuckier alone is the one who can tell us if a university is prestigious. Enlighten us, Gzuckier: is Duke prestigious? What about Dartmouth? Or Cornell? Or Stanford? Or MIT? Or Caltech? Or Washington University? Or Chicago? Or Boston University? What about Boston College? What about Notre Dame? Nebraska State? Other than perhaps Harvard, it's all gray area. If you disagree, then it should be a very simple exercise to spell out exactly which are the schools "where you could stop ten people on the street and all ten would agree that the school is prestigious" and which are not, and then we can move forward from there. Nohat 06:37, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  1. May an Oxonian comment? I would say that, 'one of the world's most prestigious', interpreted in a narrow sense would mean Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale Princeton. The 'Holy Trinity' universities are seen as more prestigious than their other Ivy brethren, at least from my vantage point (Norwegian at Oxford, with friends from various (mostly European) countries). From my perspective, MIT and Caltech don't have the same all-encompassing prestige as the Ivies, as they lack that all-round social cachet, stemming from age and reputation in both humanities and sciences. In a broader sense, one could add the rest of the Ivies, Berkeley, and a few others in the US (I'm naturally not including liberal arts colleges, but a very few of them do have a reputation outside the US), and some of the London colleges (King's, UCL, Imperial, LSE?), and the Sorbonne, mostly because of its old reputation, rather than current rankings. Based on recent rankings, one might wish to include e.g. ANU as well, but I'm not sure. Tobyox 22:39, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

If one should draw the line, it should be Harvard, Yale, and Princeton in the Ivies. I'm not sure about all the other non-Ivies, but Stanford should probably be in the same 'league' as the three Ivies just mentioned. Prestige is an imprecise concept, but from a college student's perspective, I look at the caliber of students who attend the university (measured by things such as admission statistics, Rhodes Scholarships, etc.), their strength in the academic programs they do offer (as measured by rankings in several publications). These universities must have attracted great students and scholars for a very long time. Although admissions standards at the HYP Ivies may have been in some ways radically different in the past (for example, 'Jewish quotas' limiting the number of Jews and all-male admissions policies have been eliminated from HYP), but they have attracted great students and scholars for decades.

The fact that HYP are where all of America's socio-political elite send their undergrads does not make them prestigious. You've got to contribute something other than that to be considered as such. For that reason, it may be wise to distinguish between Harvard College and Harvard University. After all, the undergraduate programs of HYP are nothing really to get excited about. They're average at best. Indeed, if we're speaking in terms of undergraduate studies, then Dartmouth College, which is above all a liberal arts college, obviously has the strongest program of the Ivies, many of which are research institutions.
No, the reason that HYP are considered "prestigious" is because of their capacities as research institutions, not because of their undergraduate schools. They've invented and discovered many things, and the money that they funnel into research attracts many prominent professors and researchers. This is why they are considered "prestigious." It has nothing to do with students, e.g. alumni, etc.
For this reason, the "prestigious" comment should be removed entirely from all of the articles. It's strictly POV.--AaronS 19:47, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
Eh? Your last paragraph is a non-sequitur from your first two. The fact that Ivy Schools' prestige may not be deserved doesn't mean that it's POV. It's an objective fact that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are very well-known and widely regarded as excellent schools, graduate and undergraduate. Whether or not they are excellent schools is POV, but not that they have that reputation. AJD 20:30, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
All of this discussion is moot. None of the Ivy League schools' articles (should) make unsupported blanket claims about prestige. All claims should be backed up with evidence. See Harvard University for an example of how what some people feel to be "obvious" can be stated and supported with evidence in NPOV terms. Nohat 04:36, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Regarding Oxford and Cambridge, sure the institutions are old and English, but they risked becoming SSN's like MSU (Moscow State): havens for self-selecting socialist nitwits. Ha ha. -- More seriously, the Universities are actually many many colleges. As such, they resemble the Ivy League in general: old Harvard, the small classes of Dartmouth, domineering Yale, preppy Princeton, and of course mass at U Penn and Cornell. An Oxford degree is not like a Dartmouth or Princeton degree - much more broad than that. You have to ask, which college did you attend at Oxbridge. Ergo, I propose that any "inclusion" of Oxbridge in rankings must be made equivalent to entire Ivy League, and any individual Ivies must be compared to individual Oxbridge colleges: (oldest, most elitist, most "college-like", most cookie-cutter/massive...).

Dartmouth College's undergraduate education is best?

There has been a lot said that Dartmouth's undergraduate program is the best in America (teaching, campus, prestige, admissions, diversity, etc). Many in the public, within the Ivy League, and even on this page.


First, let me say I think Dartmouth's undergraduate program (college years) is very, very good, probably better than that at Harvard, Stanford and obviously Cornell, Brown, Columbia, UPenn etc in many ways.

Maybe Princeton's is better or as good simply because of its quality and because it's closer to cities (and life!). Similarly Williams, Oberlin, and in various niche or wedge comparisons, the four year experience is great at many places. For all considerations, though, quality of teaching (strongest in humanities), safety and campus (idyllic), and wealth and prestige (excellent), Dartmouth ranks high, of course I agree.

And yet the larger universities rank higher in US magazines - so I doubt it can really be said that Dartmouth is the best. And what nerdy kid when faced with a big boy Yale or Harvard admit letter would go to little Dartmouth - I think there's too much inertia to honestly put Dartmouth as number one in our article for undergraduate teaching.

Still, it might be true in our article to say the obvious, that Harvard and Yale's graduate programs reign supreme while their undergraduate program suffers; but since so many high school kids continue to apply to Harvard and Yale, is it fair to denigrate these undergraduate programs? To a certain extent, we must accept their decision making even if it's wrong. It may be best to say "most popular"; like certain McMansion suburbs in America where yuppies want to live and prices get bid up. These two are certainly the most widely marketed, having the largest number of applicants (lowering their admit rates in a circular reinforcing mechanism). Harvard and Yale, with help of US News & WR may be the McMansion universities in America - widely known, widely sought after, but altogether without the inner quality as advertised.

Let's face it, the scientific and sociological winnowing process of admissions is producing universities segmented as "luxury goods", and everybody knows that in America, Hermes and Jaguar and Harvard are luxxxxxurious! Gimmie some!

So let's simply be more methodical, and pick apart some of the reputational rankings with our own sense of not only quality but also received reputation:

So if we ranked programs generally:

Academic Graduate Programs:

Harvard Yale Columbia Princeton

Professional Graduate Programs:

Harvard Yale Columbia Dartmouth

Undergraduate Programs:

Princeton Dartmouth (and if we vote, ok to put in Harvard and Yale too: can't ignore continuing strength in admit numbers no matter the flaws in applicant choices, if any)

I don't think it's fair to the others to put Dartmouth in its own paragraph as being number one in undergraduate quality, especially since Princeton is a near twin in quality. I do think it's ok to segment out "teaching-college-undergraduate" experience if you want, or to address Harvard and Yale's undergraduate weakness. And until the admit numbers change, it would be unfair to exclude

Footnote: Harvard's university - richest, oldest, best in many graduate programs, is indeed best over all; my quibble is simply that they aren't KNOWN to have teachers in the undergraduate programs, just celebrities and research gnomes. Of course many of these perceptions are not actually true...

Anonymous Kramned Americanus, May 27, 2005

Dartmouth's undergraduate program is recognized as being the best, plain and simple. People go to Harvard for the (waning) prestige; people go to Dartmouth for the education.--AaronS 15:24, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with Anon. K. A. and agree with Aaron. If Dartmouth is really the best then let's say so and don't be so complicated.
Please see [7] to understand why Dartmouth pales compared to Stanford.
Please see [8] to understand Stanford and MIT are not exactly IVY LEAGUE, now are they?


This concept seems to be something that really only exists among people who go to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.--AaronS 15:26, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

I guess I disagree that we can convince people with certainty that Dartmouth is the best undergraduate learning experience (I agree that Princeton and Dartmouth give the Ivy's best undergraduate educations, and could assert that PHD (and maybe PHYD) are the best KNOWN or REPUTED undergraduate programs in Ivies).

Yes it's true that Dartmouth applicants in the past decade are as strong (or stronger if excepting carve-outs, alums, etc.), but there is no category for Ivy "most improved". Actually, all the "Ivies" are most improved, as admissions were not selective several generations ago but merely based upon adequacy (Latin, etc.), race/gender, and resources (give up income/pay tuition).

By the way, regarding Yale and Columbia - no matter how decent their undergraduate colleges are - they are primarily excellent research institutions and in dismal or heavily urban locations. The "Columbia" undergraduate experience is really the New York experience or the American experience, and while excellent, is really not like an Oxbridge undergraduate learning setting, like at Princeton and Dartmouth (or even Harvard).

Regarding SAT scores, well Oberlin beats practically all for humanities-interested applicants, and U. Chicago, MIT, CalTech etc take the quants.

But back to AaronS and his main comment that Y P H or some combination is not really a any kind of distinctive category except in their (Y H P alumni) minds. That's totally true, and I support his conclusion. And yet, if it goes on for very much longer, then I suppose it may become self-fulfilling... showing out how rabid, relentless competition in America's meritocray is not static but fluid.

I applaud AaronS for showing that these HYP or PHD categories are genteel PR shams, and for the purposes of this article (until a real "league" of 3 or 4 exists), that kind of reputation distinction is misplaced. At least the Ivy League has a kind of history and connotation, and our article should stick to what is provable and well-received.

Anonymous Kramned Americanus, May 27, 2005

This is the most ridiculous talk discussion...I read it and find myself nodding at the comments against "HYP" as something special, and agreeing that Harvard and Yale are overly marketed, not really that great, etc. and I agree. But then I read claims that Dartmouth really has the best undergrad experience or that Princeton is really something, etc. or that Columbia is in a dismal location, and I start disagreeing, and do you know why?

I'm a Columbia undergrad man myself. And I'll admit that upfront, because I think this whole discussion is far too subjective.

I can't buy the paragraph above about the Columbia experience. I think the Core curriculum that's central to Columbia College makes it superior to the undergraduate programs at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth and all the others. Is that really any surprise? And would anyone be surprised if a H,Y,P, or D partisan disagreed with me?

Can't we just agree that all the Ivy League schools are prestigious, and leave it at that?

LoudNotes 16:21, May 30, 2005 (UTC)

You're a Columbia undergraduate student, and you enjoy it. So what? Many people enjoy their experience at college. That does not change the fact that Dartmouth (and Princeton) are known especially for their undergraduate programs, which are considered to be the best in the nation. Columbia's graduate programs dwarf the undergraduate programs. It's 36-acre "campus" is in turn dwarfed by Dartmouth's 265-acre campus. Dartmouth is designed with the liberal arts and sciences undergraduate experience in mind; Columbia is a university that is geared towards research.
These are not subjective statements. They are facts.--AaronS 16:46, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
I tend to agree with LoudNotes that there should not be differentiation on this page with regard to the Ivy League; let Princeton defend itself on its own page, but letting its grads try to associate themselves with H or HY seems childish, and obviously the D and C grads will defend their schools. It sounds like we all agree that H has that something extra, but somehow does not quite meet people's expectations for undergraduate education. One other point - it appears that MIT or Stanford vandals are coming on this page to try to IVY-Plus themselves into the ivy league or alternatively, to tear apart the Ivy League leaving only Harvard and Yale (and thus fewer competitors). In reality, there are many, many different US colleges, and one loose VERY LOOSE association or league. The image of the league IS world class and prestigious, like someone wrote below for Oxbridge, and thus "prestige" or reputational quality terms should appear on ALL Ivy sites - it's a global brand, by the way (I for one do not know all Oxbridge colleges, but would assume any U. of Oxford graduate has a prestigious world class degree from any college). So yes, Columbia and all the others should be considered 'world class'. - Anon.

Stanford best undergrad experience ? MIT? Duke? Not Exactly IVY

I don't know what you're talking about. Stanford's undergraduate experience is amazing. It's like paradise. Fantastic environment. Relaxed, affluent. Creme of the crop faculty. Ok, so I go to Stanford, and thus I am biased. Fine. But how many people who don't go to Stanford say these things about their school? Anyone with a Dartmouth and Stanford offer in their hand would choose Stanford. Stanford is known worldwide. You'd be surprised to find that many people outside of the US haven't even heard of Dartmouth. To be honest, I didn't even know about Dartmouth until well into my college years. Dartmouth is a sort of 2nd tier school... it ain't up there with Stanford/Harvard/MIT.

I don't know why you're talking about Stanford. It's not even in the Ivy League, and so does not belong in the discussion. Regardless, the undergraduate program at Dartmouth has for decades been acclaimed as one of the best in the nation. Dartmouth does not market itself like Stanford or Harvard (indeed, both the student body and the alumni association are vehemently opposed to such marketization), but its undergraduate student bodies are still equally as strong (as far as testing and high school resumes go), its admission rate remains remarkably low, and it is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 schools in the country (indeed, in 2005, only two spots behind Stanford). Not extactly second-tier, now, is it? Furthermore, Dartmouth has one of the strongest alumni associations in the country, and has long been known for that. The reason? People so enjoy their undergraduate experience that they love to give back.
Stanford is a wonderful school, and no doubt more prestigious than Dartmouth. To call Dartmouth a second-tier school, and then claim that Stanford has the best undergraduate program, however, belies a certain level of bias an arrogance on your part. Stanford may be a better commercial product, but Dartmouth has the history, tradition, and reputation as offering the finest undergraduate education in the country. Dartmouth uses its billions of dollars of endowment to nearly coddle its undergraduate student body with great faculty, a beautiful campus, beautiful dormitories, delicious food, one of the largest selections of foreign-study programs in the country, 1-on-1 student/faculty interaction, extremely small class sizes, and more.
With a quick glance, you'll notice that Dartmouth's undergraduate population is nearly four-times as large as its graduate population. Stanford's undergraduate population, however, is smaller than its graduate population. The 581 faculty members at Dartmouth are almost entirely devoted to the 4,100 or so students at the College -- indeed, so much so that 40% of every sophomore class is given the opportunity to do a 1-on-1 research assistantship with a faculty member of his or her choice, allowing him or her to participate in groundbreaking research in both the humanities and the sciences.
Dartmouth is a college, Stanford is a university. It's a simple distinction.--AaronS 02:20, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
No offence to Stanford, but let's face it - the rich Californians have to go somewhere, and so Stanford gets disproportionately a lot of quality people. And the sun don't hurt! I like Stanford, but AaronS is right, it's not exactly Ivy League, is it? Further, AaronS has another good point, Dartmouth is a fine, small College, like Williams, mostly known among the In The Know. Stanford and its sports teams and researchers are behemoths, so of course, popularity-wise, it's sure got name recognition, like, say Notre Dame. So what. Regarding prestige, it's already been voted on that Dartmouth has the undergraduate excellence and prestige. We're talking liberal arts here folks, not brain science and nuclear research: go to the excellent state schools for that stuff. Regarding rankings? Yes, Stanford deserves a high place in overall university (+graduate) rankings, maybe even competing with Harvard and Yale (but Princeton and Dartmouth are still the most recognized undergraduate "college" programs. Regarding MIT? What the h? Who cares if the NERDS have such high quant scores... Are the actually making a move on Princeton and Dartmouth (or even Stanford)? Hello? MIT IS NOT IVY LEAGUE. Great institution, deserves its own league: MIT, Oxford, Duke, Stanford (the MODS : Ivy wannabies). As for pushing your own schools, whether Stanford or Dartmouth or MIT - let's stop with all that boasting and boosting, folks. - Anonymous Kramned Americanus

From UC: College SAT (mid 50%) ranges circa 1999

From the following (old) data, I conclude that the Technology schools (CalTech and MIT) get good scores, which is why they are ranking high on USN&WR. Prestige, however, is more qualitative, which is why we're having such hissy fits over where the ancient eight rank. Since good math scores can be found at any good State school, and we're talking mainly about undergraduate humanities or liberal arts programs (and since V and M are correlated anyway), I've ranked the schools by SAT-V (new series). Note the new SAT I V scores are about 50-80 points higher than SAT V's before 1994-5.

SAT I score ranges are from The College Board's College Handbook 2001 and are based on the freshman class entering in the fall of 1999.

SAT V (mid 50%) SAT M (mid 50%) I Harvard College 700 to 800 700 to 790 I California Institute of Technology 700 to 780 750 to 800 II Yale University 690 to 780 690 to 770 II Princeton University 680 to 770 690 to 770 II Dartmouth College 670 to 770 680 to 760 II Stanford University 670 to 770 680 to 780 III Pomona College 670 to 760 670 to 750 III Harvey Mudd College 660 to 770 730 to 800 III Massachusetts Institute of Technology 660 to 760 730 to 800 III Amherst College 650 to 760 650 to 740 III Rice University 650 to 760 660 to 760 III Brown University 640 to 750 650 to 740 III Columbia University 640 to 740 630 to 730 III Duke University 640 to 740 660 to 760 III Reed College 640 to 730 610 to 700 III University of Pennsylvania 640 to 730 670 to 760 III Northwestern University 630 to 720 650 to 740 IV Wellesley College 630 to 720 630 to 720 IV Georgetown University 620 to 730 630 to 720 IV Johns Hopkins University 620 to 730 660 to 760 IV Claremont McKenna College 620 to 710 640 to 730 IV Cornell University 620 to 710 650 to 750 V New York University 620 to 710 610 to710 V University of Notre Dame 620 to 710 640 to 720 V Washington University 620 to 710 650 to 730 V Tufts University 610 to 710 640 to 720 V Smith College 600 to 710 580 to 670 V Scripps College 600 to 690 560 to 607 V Boston University 590 to 680 590 to 680 V UC Berkeley* 580 to 700 620 to 730 V UC Los Angeles* 570 to 680 600 to 720 V Pepperdine University 570 to 670 580 to 680 V University of Southern California 570 to 670 590 to 700


SAT V (mid 50%) SAT M (mid 50%) I Harvard College 700 to 800 700 to 790 II Yale University 690 to 780 690 to 770 II Princeton University 680 to 770 690 to 770 II Dartmouth College 670 to 770 680 to 760 III Brown University 640 to 750 650 to 740 III Columbia University 640 to 740 630 to 730 III University of Penn. 640 to 730 670 to 760 IV Cornell University 620 to 710 650 to 750

Notice that Yale Stanford Dartmouth and Princeton all rank about the same, with Harvard leading the pack. The other Ivies rank significantly lower, with the tech schools fall in among Harvard-Dartmouth-Stanford etc.


I agree scores should be included since we need a quantitive measure of excellence at each of these schools