Why should we look at the “Ivies” instead of just the Ivies


US News

The Harper Memorial Library at UChicago, a popular study building for most students.

Anvi Bhagavatula, Photojournalist

Four schools have the same, if not lower, acceptance rates than the Ivy Leagues and produce just as many credible alumni while hiring some of the best professors from around the world are Washington University at St. Louis. Tufts University. The University of Chicago. So why does nobody talk about them? Of course, the eight names that have entered the ears of most people, specifically those applying or who have applied for college, are Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale, Princeton, UPenn, Brown, and last, but not least, Harvard. Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have also made their way onto the golden beam that the Ivies hang so firmly onto, but what about the colleges that couldn’t? In the spirit of college applications season, here’s a list of “the Ivies” that aren’t the actual Ivies of. 

Tufts University is the first college under the spotlight. Sitting charmingly among the lush green trees of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, it’s not the first liberal-arts college to influence millions based on its pleasant, small atmosphere. With this comes a competitive environment though, because as of 2021, its acceptance rate is fifteen percent, just five above Cornell’s (US News). Unlike some of the Ivies, such as UPenn for Business, Tufts isn’t known for anything specific because its majors are equally adored by its current and potential students. Still, there are popular majors that specifically fall under the “Liberal Arts” category; political science, psychology, and literature. For students looking for graduate research programs, The Carnegie Foundation named Tufts a university with “very high research activity.”(The Carnegie Foundation)Following this, the university also has very hands-on learning, similar to a private academy or high school. This is because about 67 percent of classrooms at Tufts have around twenty students. This university encompasses majors for everyone, from biomedical engineering to French. Although it doesn’t carry the Ivy League name, it’s still an amazing option for incoming college applicants.

Washington University at St. Louis is next on the list. Although sometimes confused with UDub (the University of Washington at Seattle), their only similarities are their names. Washington University is located in St. Louis, Missouri, rather than the state of Washington. WashU’s ranking, as of last year, is around 14 percent as opposed to UDub’s 51.8 percent (Niche) (Ipeds). Famous for its Medical School, US News put its few places above Cornell, at number 11. (US News)Even though it’s hidden in the fields of St. Louis, its education should definitely be considered by students now and in the future.

Finally, The University of Chicago dichotomized to the small-town charm that Tufts carries, the University of Chicago sits along the gorgeous skyline of the North Shore in Chicago, Illinois. ThoughtCo stated last year that out of the 34 thousand applicants, UChicago only took 6.2 percent. (US News). UChicago not being an Ivy League school hasn’t stopped it from making headlines, especially because former President Obama taught law there before running for Senator. UChicago’s law program, both undergraduate and graduate, carry a big name for their alumni of multiple United States Attorney Generals as well as senators and ambassadors. It’s ranked at number four on US news, sitting just above UPenn and UC Berkley. UChicago doesn’t just thrive in law as US news ranked it number three in Business, placing it right below Stanford and UPenn and two places above Harvard. UChicago, although not heard of by all, is a university that should be making it on everyone’s applications list this upcoming winter.

“Colleges are on a spectrum,” Former YLHS student Ian Putcha said when asked about the Ivy League “supremacy”, “A lot of people I knew in high school thought that the list of the best schools only pertained to the Ivy Leagues, and it definitely took people some time to figure out that that’s not the case.” The Ivies, although seemingly set in stone in an elite league of private universities, are not the only option for college applicants that are aiming for the best. To expand their options, students should take a quick look at this list to understand how great other schools can be as well.