Public Ivy League Schools
About the Ivy League
The Ivy League is a specific group of eight academic institutions. These schools are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale.
The Original Ivy League Schools
The original Ivy League was created in the 1940s by the presidents of the eight schools to encourage intercollegiate football competition in a manner that maintained the virtues of the game, while also balancing the primary purpose of attending college: academics.
The Ivy League name was created when a bored sports reporter at one of the schools to cover a football game, remarked on sitting there watching the ivy grow, in reference to the sprawling ivy that crawls over many of the old schools.
The Public Ivy League Schools
Public Ivy is a term first coined by the writer William Faulkner in describing the University of Virginia. He served there as Writer-In-Residence from 1957 to 1962. He used the phrase in the context of comparison to the eight prestigious Ivy League universities in the northeast. From at least the 1980s, there have been many universities referred to in the same way.
The writer Richard Moll expanded on this in his book Public Ivies: Americas Flagship Undergraduate Colleges in 1985.
Public Ivy League Schools are basically those considered to be of the same calibre in providing excellent academic education and collegiate life. There are quite a few of these public Ivy League schools, but, in comparison to the original Ivy Leaguers, they are much more affordable.
Following is a list of Public Ivy League Schools generally considered to be of comparable excellence to the original Ivy League schools:
College of William & Mary
Pennsylvania State University
State University of New York at Binghamton
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Maryland, College Park
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Summary
University of Virginia
University of Arizona
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Washington
University of California (campuses): University of California, Berkeley , University of California, Davis , University of California, Irvine Summary, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego , and University of California, Santa Barbara
Great Lakes & Midwest Region
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Texas at Austin
Other Public Ivies
Other schools are often referred to as Public Ivies as well, partially as a result of the acceptance of the phrase into popular culture and in other cases because of marketing efforts by the colleges and universities themselves. Though not listed above, Murray State University includes the phrase “Kentucky’s Public Ivy University” on its official school logo.
Academic comparisons: Public Ivy League Schools vs. the Original Ivy League
Many of the institutions categorized as “Public Ivies” have a large number of their faculty, or alumni, who have been awarded prizes for their achievements in their particular field including the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal and the Pulitzer Prize .
Several schools considered as “Public Ivies” are consistently well ranked among the top schools in the plethora of surveys on American colleges and universities, for example, U.S. News and World Report rates the mechanical engineering program at the University of California-Berkeley in the top three, and the University of Washington medical school has been consistently rated as the top program for Primary Care and Medicine. The law school of the University of Michigan is always ranked in the top ten.
Athletic comparisons: Public Ivy League Schools vs. the Original Ivy League
One sharp distinction between the Ivy League and most public Ivy League schools is their participation in intercollegiate athletics. One of the Ivy League’s distinguishing characteristics is its prohibition on the awarding of athletic scholarships (athletes may only receive the same financial aid to which they would be entitled even if they did not play a sport).
On the other hand, many of the Public Ivies participate in major athletic conferences such as the Big East Conference , Big Ten Conference , Big 12 Conference , Atlantic Coast Conference and others and rely on profits, if any, from large-scale American football and men’s Basketball programs to help support the athletic department.