The Top 15 Best Non-Ivy League Schools

What are Ivy and non-Ivy League schools? This question has been mind-boggling since some prestigious schools in the united states are regarded as Ivy league schools. Meanwhile, the best decision anyone can make for him/herself is to attend the right institution. Institutions that will contribute to the growth of your career and secure your prospects after school. No wonder there are many queries regarding Ivy and non-Ivy league schools also which is best to attend.

Meanwhile, there are many reasons why Ivy League schools are regarded extremely. Is it because of their alumni network that has deeply contributed to the growth of the US in terms of technology, law, or even engineering? Schools like Harvard and Yale have produced prestigious US Presidents likewise William & Mary. While schools like Stanford University are the bedrock of contemporary technology growth. The CEOs of companies like LinkedIn, Twitter, Hewlett Packard, etc all started at Stanford University. So which of these schools are Ivy and non-Ivy League schools. You are going to find out soon!

However, several other questions may be running through your mind like if you shouldn’t attend any institution that’s not an Ivy League school. Along those questions are the several queries we’ve received on our site which include;

  • What is the cheapest Ivy League school?
  • Which Ivy is easiest to get into?
  • Why is John Hopkins not Ivy League?
  • What is the smallest Ivy League school?
  • What schools are mistaken for Ivy League?
  • I want to understand what makes Ivy League schools so special?

So, on this note, we’ve highlighted the answers to this query herein. Hence, you are required to read through this content to the end to clear all doubts. We’ve also provided a detailed list of the best non-Ivy League schools herein.

The Top 15 Best Non-Ivy League Schools

What Are Non-Ivy League Schools?

For a better understanding of non-Ivy League schools, you need to understand how their counterpart emanated. Hence, in the former days, some groups of fortunate schools in Northeastern US started conferences which they called the Ivy League. The holds the fact that they were four schools playing the league. So using the Roman numeral they named it IV (Ivy). Meanwhile, to see the full history of the Ivy League schools read the article through the link below.

You will love this article on What Are the Ivy League Schools? List of Schools, Ranking, Acceptance Rates, and Scholarships

However, years later, 4 extra schools joined the Ivy League schools making them the right schools for the athletic competition. Subsequently, these sets of schools grew in academic strength and also became notable in their majors across the nation and globe. Hence, the popular Ivy League schools gained so much relevance including the name. Therefore, other schools that were not in the Ivy League but are also renowned and prestigious in their majors were termed non-Ivies, public Ivies, Hidden Ivies, Little Ivies, etc.

So, non-Ivy League schools or public Ivies are schools in the United States having similar or greater academic strengths and outstanding like the Ivies. They have a similar acceptance rate or even lower, are very selective, and have produced alumni that have contributed greatly to the country.

Additionally, it is good you know that non-Ivy league schools are very competitive to get admission. While Some have a lower acceptance rate than the Ivy League schools. They are also expensive. But having the interest of their students at heart they make several financial aids available.

Why Attend Non-Ivy League Schools?

If you are searching for good and valuable reasons to attend a non-Ivy League school, then you get a befitting one here. It will interest you to know that over 80% of the top 500 fortune countries in the US attended Public Ivy schools. Thus, this signifies that non-Ivy league schools demonstrate equal marks in terms of student satisfaction. Also, in extracurricular options, study abroad opportunities, and other metrics.

More or so, Ivy schools don’t consider the pockets of applicants. They are known as the elite schools so you are expected to be able to meet your needs as a student. Although, they provide need-based financial assistance in some cases. But more often, non-Ivy league schools provide both merit-based and need-based financial assistance to their students.

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Nonetheless, Public/non-Ivy schools are also very selective, but they provide an easier application process for application. So, students are required to aim for high scores in other to come kit outstanding in the selection process. Also, non-Ivies are less expensive compared to their Ivy counterparts. Although, their tuition is higher than the average tuition rate of public institutions across the nation.

Additionally, you will get a good education experience attending one of the best public Ivy schools. You’d be taught by professionals and experts. More or less, you’d grow your network and make good relationships that will help you improve in your career path.

Top 15 Best Non-Ivy League Schools

Many non-Ivy schools have claimed top spots in the US school rankings. Meanwhile, we’ve provided you with a good list of the top #15 best non-ivy League schools. You can check through them and visit any school that catches your interest. However, this compilation was carried out with reports from US News World and Report’s ranking of best national universities. 

#1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT ranks on the top list of Non-Ivy schools in the US. MIT has a mission to advance knowledge and educate students in technology, science, and other areas. Even scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. 

However, getting into MIT may quite be competitive, hence you’d have to show more academic achievement to have stronger admission consideration terms.

Location: Cambridge, MA

Acceptance rate: 7%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1500-1570 SAT, 34-36 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,602

#2. Stanford University

Stanford University has a longstanding prestige as one of the top non-Ivy schools in the US. The school has focused on liberal arts study and technology. The school’s devotion to academic excellence makes Stanford a world-known research university. 

Recent reports show that Stanford has a current acceptance rate of about 5.2%. Thus, this means that Stanford is very selective like other Ivy League schools. So, the school looks for students who take advantage of the opportunities available to them. Also, demonstrate academic ability, show curiosity, and a willingness to learn. 

Location: Stanford, CA

Acceptance rate: 4%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1420-1570 SAT, 32-35 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,087

#3. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago also has a strong reputation among the non-Ivy League schools in the US. It is a world notable school with a freeing academic philosophy. Thus, the University will teach you how to think instead of what to think. The goal of UChicago is to empower you to dispute traditional thinking in the pursuit of new ideas and solutions. The school also enriches lives through rigorous scholarship.

Furthermore, UChicago has an acceptance rate is 6.5%. Thus, diversity is important to the school. So the admissions board pursues to admit students with unique viewpoints and backgrounds. UChicago encourages critical thinking, so students who think outside the box are the best fit to enroll

Location: Chicago, IL

Acceptance rate: 7%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1490-1570 SAT, 33-35 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,552

#4. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a relatively small school. Having just under 950 undergraduates. However, Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that developed some of the world’s brilliant minds. Also, created the most innovative tools to deal with fundamental scientific problems and pressing societal challenges. Hence, it has a strong reputation for non-Ivy League schools in the US.

Location: Pasadena, CA

Acceptance rate: 7%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1530-1580 SAT, 35-36 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 948

#5. Duke University

Duke University also has a significant recognition as one of the top non-Ivy league schools in the US. The school has 10 schools and colleges, of which three offer undergraduate programs. They include;

  • Duke Kunshan Engineering
  • Pratt School of Engineering
  • and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.
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Location: Durham, NC

Acceptance rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1450-1570 SAT, 33-35 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,682

#6. Northwestern University

Northwestern University in Illinois holds the #9 spot on the list of national best universities. Hence, the school offers 112 different undergraduate degrees and is one of the notable non-Ivy League schools in the US.

Northwestern receives particular recognition for its journalism program, which boasts well-known alumni such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Lisa Gartner and author George R.R. Martin.

Location: Evanston, IL

Acceptance rate: 8%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1430-1550 SAT, 33-35 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 8,231

#7. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins has a significant reputation as a top medical school in the US. However, the school also offers highly valued programs in the social sciences and humanities. Having popular majors including International studies and public health. Thus, the school is one of the top non-Ivy league schools in the US.

Moreover, the school provides numerous financial aids to students. According to U.S. News data, the mean aid package totals $47,492, and the college’s alumni earn an average starting salary of $62,700.

Location: Baltimore, MD

Acceptance rate: 11%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1560 SAT, 33-35 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,064

#8. Williams College

Although lesser known as a liberal arts college, Williams is one of the best non-Ivy League schools in the US. The school has majors ranging from political science, economics, government, and history.

Additionally, Williams offers 60-70 courses in the style of the tutorial system used by Oxford and Cambridge.

Location: Williamstown, MA

Acceptance rate: 13%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1410-1550 SAT, 32-35 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,073

Also check our this amazing article on Is Penn State an Ivy League School? Understanding Penn State Vs. Penn

#9. Amherst College

Another liberal arts college located in the Bay State, Amherst ranks #2 on the list of best national liberal arts colleges. Considered one of the Hidden Ivies, along with Northwestern and Stanford. Amherst is one of the few open curriculum schools, meaning that there are no general education requirements.

Additionally, Amherst is part of the Five Colleges consortium, so students can take courses and participate in clubs at local schools like Smith and the University of Massachusetts. Amherst is known for its generous need-blind, no-loan financial aid, and the school promises to meet 100% of each student’s demonstrated need.

Location: Amherst, MA

Acceptance rate: 13%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1390-1540 SAT, 31-34 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,855

#10. UC Berkeley

A public university, UC Berkeley around California is one of the most affordable schools on this list. However, this doesn’t take away Berkeley’s prestige. The school lists over 90 faculty members and graduates who are Nobel Prize winners.

Also, UC Berkeley is known for attracting pre-med students. Undergraduates can choose from more than 150 majors.

Location: Berkeley, CA

Acceptance rate: 15%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1300-1530 SAT, 28-34 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 30,853

#11. Brandeis University

Brandeis, a study research university focuses on undergraduates. Hence, openness, justice, and inclusion are in its DNA. The school was established in 1948 by the American Jewish community. This was the time when the Jews and other racial and ethnic minorities, as well as women, faced discrimination in higher education.

You can learn more about Brandeis by visiting the school link. Thus know that it also has a strong reputation as a non-Ivy League school in the US.

Location: Waltham, MA

Acceptance Rate: 31%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1390-1500 SAT, 30-33 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,600

#12. Carleton College

Carleton college focuses on liberal arts and encourages broad, deep, and dynamic learning to make sense of the interesting messiness of life. Thus, the school can be found in Minnesota with its beautiful structure and well-paced. So, it is among the top non-Ivy league schools in the US. 

Location: Northfield, MN

Acceptance rate: 20%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1320-1530 SAT, 30-34 ACT

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Undergraduate enrollment: 2,000

#13. Colgate University

Colgate has a befitting edifice as a campus in the heart of upstate York. The school focuses on developing wise, thoughtful, and critical thinkers and leaders who will impact the world and make a difference.

Hence, to accomplish its mission, Colgate requires all students to finalize a course by the end of their sophomore year in each of five areas of its Core Curriculum;

  • Legacies of the Ancient World
  • Challenges of Modernity
  • Communities and Identities
  • Scientific Perspectives of the World
  • and Global Engagements. 

Location: Hamilton, NY

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1370-1500 SAT, 31-34 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,900  

#14. College of William & Mary

The College of William & Mary is an exclusive public research school found in historic and picturesque Williamsburg, Virginia. It provides undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and business. Established in 1693 by a royal charter issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, it is the second-oldest higher institution of learning in the United States. Hence, William & Mary is among the non-Ivy League schools in the US.

Location: Williamsburg, VA

Acceptance Rate: 37%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1320-1510 SAT, 30-34 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,300

#15. Connecticut College

Conn College is one of the outstanding non-Ivy league schools in the US. The school has its location on the hill overlooking Long Island Sound, across the street from the Coast Guard Academy.

Furthermore, “Connections” is the name of the school’s new approach to a liberal arts education. It is designed to encourage students to integrate their interests into a meaningful multidisciplinary curriculum or academic pathway.

Location: New London, CT

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1310-1450 SAT, 30-33 ACT

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,800

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Drawing the curtain here, if you carefully went through the list of non-Ivy Leagues schools above. You’d realize that many reputable schools are on the list. So why relegate a school worth whether Ivy or non-Ivy. The Ivy League school’s reign is a mere coincidence of schools protesting in a football game. So, what happens to schools far from the Northeast that couldn’t participate in the sports. So, don’t base your dream school based on historical sports game schools that ended up getting things right. More like every other school on the public Ivy list.

Hence, apply for that non-Ivy League school of your choice. It is a wise decision. We believe you’d be admitted. Meanwhile, if you have further questions regarding non-Ivy League schools, do well to reach us through our available platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Non-Ivy League Schools

What schools are mistaken for Ivy League?

Stanford, Duke, MIT, and many other well-known universities are often mistaken for Ivy League schools due to their superior academic reputations and high selectivity.

What is the cheapest Ivy League school?

The cheapest Ivy League school is Princeton University, with a $50,340 yearly tuition, and a net price (the average price students pay) of $16,192. Here are all eight Ivy League universities, ranked from least to most expensive.

Which Ivy is easiest to get into?

Based on the information provided above, you probably noticed that Cornell University has the highest acceptance rates out of all the Ivy League schools and can therefore be classified as the easiest Ivy League school to get into.

What is the smallest Ivy League school?

The smallest Ivy League school, Dartmouth, was established in 1769 in Hanover, New Hampshire. It received a large endowment of several billion dollars. In 1754, Columbia University began thanks to King George II of England. It is located in New York City.

Why is Johns Hopkins not Ivy League?

The sports teams at Johns Hopkins didn’t compete in the same division as schools like Princetown, Brown, and Cornell, hence Johns Hopkins didn’t join in with the Ivy League. Of course, nowadays the Ivy League is a signifier for much more than sports.

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