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Why the Ivy League May Be Overrated?

If you are an aspiring student who cares to know what an Ivy League school is all about and why the schools may be Overrated? Then this article is for you because we will be discussing in it the factors that make ivy league schools look overrated in this article. We suggest you read the article to the end.

There is nothing inherently superior about ivy, but the “Ivy League” has become synonymous with academic excellence and social prestige. Check if Johns Hopkins is Ivy League School.

Originally, the name referred to the ivy-planting tradition that began in the 1800s at member colleges Harvard, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Only by the 1930s did “Ivy League” begin to refer to these and five other schools as a national collegiate athletic conference, which averages 35 varsity teams per school.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia invented the rules of pre-NFL football in 1876. Today the Ivies are best known for churning out the world’s top innovators, thinkers, creatives, leaders, and businesspeople.

Getting into an Ivy League is not a guaranteed marker of success, but it does open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

Few non-Ivies match the learning, service, and research opportunities available at Ivy League colleges. See How to Get Into an Ivy League School.

The Ivies are also known for their low acceptance rates; whoever gets in must have an eye-catching application.

Are the Ivies overrated?

This question is a crucial one, especially for a future student looking for a school to apply to or someone with a background in higher education.

We will be giving an answer to this question today.

Looking at a number of factors evaluating a higher education institution, let’s see how other schools stack up against the Ivies.

1. The Prestige Factor

Is school reputation important? Yes, it is, especially if you are looking for a job after college – which is nearly everyone who goes to college.

No matter how much research comes to light, changing widespread public perception is pretty much impossible on any topic – at least in the short term.

Go to any local professional – lawyer, doctor, engineer, musician, artist, entertainer, marketer – anything at all, and tell them you attended Princeton or Harvard.

You will get preferential treatment. I know this as I see the treatment colleagues with Ivy League credentials get.

The automatic status that comes along with the prestige of an Ivy League is overwhelming, in a good way.

It’s not an automatic success marker, but it is absolutely a positive status symbol to have an ivy league name on your resume.

So how important is that really?

Well, it may be the best argument for objectively attending an Ivy. However, we are talking about education here.

The point of education is not just to help a student get a job, but “finish” their education as well – from both social and humanities perspectives.

And to that end, the Ivy League may be the best fit for some students. But for the majority, Quality options are endless.

2. Research Factor

In terms of research, are ivies the Best for Research? A recent label in higher education has been the Carnegie Classification.

Essentially, in the Carnegie Classification, schools are divided into categories by their expenditure. The more you spend on research, the higher your Carnegie Classification Rating.

This is not necessarily an indication of the quality of research an institution creates; that metric is more subjective and could be analyzed with any number of criteria.

However, what it does measure is the availability of a school’s resources. And, more resources tend to correlate with higher prestige.

To that end, not just the Ivies, but other very traditionally prestigious schools are ranked in the highest tier by the Carnegie Classification – they include schools like CalTech, Brandeis, MIT, and others.

Why is this point so important?

Well, in the top two tiers of the same ranking list are also institutions that are not traditionally placed among the top 50 schools nationwide.

Schools like the University of South Florida, UT-Arlington, Wayne State University are all in the same research classification as these Ivies.

Keep in mind that less than 2% of all schools in the country make the highest ranking here.

Even traditional metrics of evaluating a prestigious school may also tell us that other schools have equally good resources.

3. Employment Rating

Employment rating is generally defined as the percentage of students who are employed within a year of attending college or are studying in graduate school.

The Ivies do have excellent employment outlooks, no question, however according to, the top 10 schools nationwide for “Getting a Job” might surprise you.

At the top of the list? Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Quinnipiac is a great school, but how many people think of Quinnipiac when they think of the top-ranked schools in the nation?

But, when we look at objective data, perhaps we should start thinking of Quinnipiac as a top school nationwide.

After all, if a school like Quinnipiac has the best employment outlook nationwide, and maybe a much more realistic, and less expensive, option for most students and their families – why don’t we cherish and promote schools like Quinnipiac instead of the already-accoladed Ivies?

4. Extra-Curricular & Study-Abroad Opportunities

This category is objectively hard to measure.

Some of the world’s most famous extra-curricular exist at the Ivies. Maybe you know of Yale’s famed Whiffenpoofs, the oldest men’s collegiate choir nationwide, or Harvard’s widely circulated Crimson newspaper.

However, the opportunities at other schools can be equally good to an Ivy League, or better.

Speaking of student newspapers, one of the most important in the country is at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Their paper, known as The Nevada Sagebrush, has produced students who have worked at the United States of America Today, the Washington Post, and The Miami Herald. They have also won dozens of awards.

The point is not really to highlight Nevada, or really any one school or one extra-curricular program, but rather to shed light over a misguided conception, which is that the Ivies are better than other schools when it comes to opportunities.

Definitely, without question, all 8 Ivies have great programs and great opportunities. I don’t think any person would question this.

Are their opportunities really light years ahead of those of other schools?

Not really, in our opinion, While the opportunities at Ivies are life-changing, so are programs at other schools.

5. Return On Investment Factor

This is perhaps the most discussed data metric in higher education today. How do other schools compare to the Ivies when it comes to return on investment?

Return On Investment is the amount of money you make from a degree minus the cost of the degree.

There are different ways of calculating Return On Investment, however, one standard is the “40-year NET ROI,” which is the total money made by a school’s average alum minus the expense of the degree after 40 years of graduation.

Considering 40-year NET ROI, Business Insider tells us the top 5 schools nationwide are Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, MCPHS (another pharmacy school), MIT, and Stanford.

In fact, in the same top 20 list, only two schools are Ivies – Harvard at #8 and the University of Pennsylvania at #16. See Black Ivy League.

Ahead of Harvard are not just pharmacy specialty schools, but also a small business school in the greater Boston area called Babson, a college specializing in entrepreneurship.

So, one trend we see in college ROI is schools specializing in high-paying fields, such as health sciences (pharmacy), business, engineering, etc.


This is the end of the article, were you able to see those factors that may like to make ivy league school becomes overrated in it? You can send your response to us via the comment section.

Last Updated on July 16, 2023 by Admin

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