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What are the New Ivies?

Last week, Forbes Magazine published a list of twenty so-called “New Ivies”: ten public and ten private universities that it declared now provide as good an education as the so-called “Ancient Eight” of the well-known Ivy League colleges (Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University).

So, who are the New Ivies? What do the New Ivies offer? Are the New Ivies really as good as the traditional Ivy League schools?

According to Forbes, the days of the Ivy League’s position at the top of the hierarchy in American higher education are over. Now, Forbes maintains that traditional Ivy League schools are not the best at preparing students to succeed in the modern workforce, both professionally and financially. Forbes survey thousands of hiring managers and found that employers seek students with a range of skills that are not traditionally taught at the Ivy League schools.

What Are the New Ivies?

Using a combination of surveys, median earnings after graduation, tuition prices, financial aid, admission rates, and other specific excluding factors (see below), Forbes identified ten public and ten private universities that they consider at least as strong as Ivy League schools in educating students and preparing them to succeed in their careers.

Note that Forbes excluded schools with fewer than 4,000 students, schools that do not use test scores in admissions (most significantly, the University of California system), military academies, and a few “Ivy+” schools, such as the University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford, and Duke, that the study considered to already be unofficially part of the traditional Ivy League.

First, Forbes named ten state universities that “attract high-achievers and turn out hard-working, highly-regarded employees.”

The New “Public Ivies” (in alphabetical order):

  • Binghamton University (New York)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland – College Park
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • University of Texas – Austin
  • University of Virginia – Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison

Meanwhile, Forbes identified ten private schools that it claimed “are attracting the smartest students and praise from employers.”

The New “Private Ivies” (in alphabetical order)

  • Boston College (MA)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
  • Emory University (GA)
  • Georgetown University (DC)
  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Rice University (TX)
  • University of Notre Dame (IN)
  • University of Southern California (CA)
  • Vanderbilt University (TN)

Are the New Ivies Really Better than the Traditional Ivies?

At Spark Admissions, the right college for one student won’t be the right one for another. Furthermore, students from every university in the country can and do become successful adults who find fulfilling careers, financial independence, and personal happiness. College rankings can offer important perspectives for students and families, but every system has limits and flaws, and what’s more important is finding the right educational and personal fit for each individual student.

At the same time, the Forbes list is a good reminder that the Ivy League does not have a monopoly on excellence in higher education. Whether you’re interested in a big public school like the University of Wisconsin or a smaller, private university like Emory University, there are many excellent schools outside the Ivy League where students can get a great education.

If you’re a high school student or parent wondering what these rankings mean for you, or how to become a competitive applicant to these top schools, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation with one of our expert college admissions counselors!

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