What are Ivy League Schools: A Complete Guide


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 08 April 2023 & Read Time 6 minutes



When you think about the Ivy League, imagery of elite institutions, state-of-the-art facilities, and a modern learning environment comes to mind. In fact, Ivy degrees are considered synonymous with academic excellence, selective admission processes and unparalleled employment opportunities. This blog will explore what exactly Ivy League colleges are and why they are some of the most sought-after educational institutions.

What are Ivy League Universities

Ivy League schools include eight private research universities in the North-eastern United States, but, interestingly, what binds them together is their passion for athletics. Their history dates back to 1954, when the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) athletic conference for Division I was established, which is considered to be the highest level of intercollegiate athletics in the United States. While the initial elitism of these universities originated in the realm of sports, they gradually emerged as renowned global institutions for academics. Now let’s have a look at the list of all the Ivy League schools:


Ivy League
  • Cornell University

  • Harvard University

  • Princeton University

  • Yale University

  • Columbia University

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • Brown University

  • Dartmouth College

Why choose Ivy League colleges

As students, we all envision pursuing our academic futures at accredited institutions as the quality of education is a major stepping stone towards a secure future. Ivy League colleges in USA check all the boxes. From offering courses in diverse disciplines taught by world-class professors to collaborative learning environments; they have it all. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, let’s take a glance at some of the main advantages that Ivy League schools have that give them a competitive edge over other higher education institutions:


Gateway to Opportunities

It goes without saying that education and work opportunities go hand in hand, and Ivy League colleges have stellar alumni networks to help you succeed. As a result, scholars receive a tremendous support system, industry-driven mentoring and a world of job opportunities.  Consequently, it provides them with just the right kind of head start to advance their professional life.

Lucrative career

Ivy League universities come with globally acknowledged degrees, highly accredited institutions, and pioneering academic faculties. Ivy League institutions have built a legacy of alumni from all streams, ranging from presidents such as Barack Obama and John Adams and Nobel Prize winners like Michael Kremer and T.W Richards to ace athletes. Thus, graduates are hired directly from the source by leading global companies with brilliant salaries.

Plethora of resources

Imagine getting access to research crafted by brilliant minds, strolling through enormous libraries or getting space to practise your Broadway performance. That's the Ivy League’s inclusive educational environment for you, wherein scholars get access to a plethora of resources to discover their hidden capabilities and find their sense of belonging and individuality.

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Key criteria for Ivy League applications

Ivy League universities have selective admissions procedures in which students are evaluated on various criteria. To get into these prestigious universities, you must stay ahead of time and remain alert. But don't worry, we've noted down some important points of applications to prepare you in advance:


GPA scores

One of the essential factors universities screens is your GPA scores, where at least a minimum GPA of 4.0 is required. Although it’s a significant pre-requisite, other aspects of your performance also play a key role. So be mindful of allocating your time to other criteria as well.


SAT/ACT scores

Although SAT/ACT scores are significant, they don’t hold major weightage in your application. In fact, many universities allow you to skip the test scores, but this doesn’t mean you can completely neglect these criteria. In order to strike a balance, you must ensure that the other prerequisites are met.


SOP (Statement of Purpose)

The statement of purpose gives the selection officer a brief glimpse of your authenticity. So try to make it personal with mentions of your passions, life experiences and main motivation to join the university. Remember, it’s not all about grades. What matters is how you can contribute to the whole environment and if you can be a harbinger of positive change.


Extra-curricular Activities

Ivy League colleges choose scholars from a broad perspective, and your extracurricular reflect your skillset and strongly determine your keenness towards your passion. Furthermore, universities support scholars to pursue their palettes of passion and hone themselves holistically.

Requirements for International Students to Get into Ivy League Colleges

With their notorious acceptance rates, securing a seat at Ivy League institutions can appear to be a mountain to conquer at first. However, your odds of getting into Ivy League colleges increase if you move ahead with careful management and alertness. Plan ahead of time, shortlist the universities you want to attend, stay updated on admission criteria, and keep an eye on deadlines.

Although admission criteria differ from university to university, here are some basic requirements for International Students.

  • Standardised Test scores in IELTS/TOEFL

  • Academic Transcripts for all grades from class 9th and upwards

  • Recommendation Letters

  • Impressive Essay

  • Proof of your finance

  • Valid Passport and Visa


Studying in Ivy League colleges allows you to explore state–of–the art facilities, learn from pioneering professionals and build networks with like-minded individuals. Additionally, studying in USA gives you exposure to American education and its inclusive culture. As a result, graduates emerge as versatile individuals with broad perspectives.

We hope this blog helped you grasp the key aspects of the prestigious Ivy universities in the US. If you’re thinking of unlocking the door to a world of top-notch academic institutions, then start your journey towards your dream study destination with Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC) today. Our team of expert counsellors is always available to assist you in choosing the right programme, navigating the application process and helping secure your place at one of the best Ivy League Colleges in USA.  Moreover, you can avail the facility of our free online counselling service through our website. Our dedicated counsellors will ensure you have a hassle-free experience with the best guidance and support. Please do not hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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