All About Universities

What are Ivy League Schools in USA: Admissions Requirements & Fees

Yocket Editorial Team

In your quest for esteemed educational institutions in the United States, the phrase "Ivy League" is bound to spark your curiosity. These renowned universities have historically fascinated students with aspirations for higher education in the USA.

But what constitutes the Ivy League, and which universities fall under this prestigious designation? Moreover, what are the tuition fees for Indian students associated with Ivy League colleges? In this blog, we will explore all the facets of Ivy League schools and answer all your questions! 

And if you're looking for expert guidance throughout your academic journey, remember that Yocket Counsellors are readily available to assist you. In the 2023 Spring intake itself, we have helped 60+ students get into their dream IVY League institution, and we can help you!

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Table of Contents

What is the Ivy League in USA?

The Ivy League is a group of the eight most prestigious and oldest universities in the United States. Created in 1954 based on their shared interest in sports, almost 80 years later, they signify much more than that. These Ivy League schools now represent academic excellence and social prestige.

But why are they called Ivy League?

To understand this, we need to delve into a bit of its history:

Graduating seniors at the University of Pennsylvania observed the “Ivy Day” during spring. They planted an Ivy plant on this day, a custom that was also followed at Brown University, Harvard University, Yale University, and others. Thus, the term Ivy League was born.

Why are the Ivy League Universities Famous?

The major reasons why Ivy League universities are so high in popularity are:

1. Reputation

The Ivy League is the oldest school in the US. Therefore, they have taken more time to build up their reputation than any other school in the United States.

2. Academic Excellence

The Ivy League provides the best academic guidance. There is just no debate about it. Almost every course in these Universities will have the best talent in terms of professors, research scholars, and students alike.

3. Large Alumni Network

Being the oldest Ivy League university, they have a large alumni network that can offer good mentors and if required, good job opportunities as well.

How Many Ivy League Schools are there?

Ivy League schools are the most sought-after institutions of higher learning in the country and worldwide. Around 8 Ivy league colleges per the QS world university ranking 2024. Ivy League universities have a global status that few other universities cannot match.

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Which are the Ivy League Universities in USA?

Ivy League schools are the most sought-after institutions of higher learning in the country and worldwide. Around 8 Ivy League colleges per the QS World University Ranking 2024. Ivy League universities have a global status that few other universities cannot match.

List of Ivy League Schools:

  1. Brown University
  2. Columbia University
  3. Cornell University
  4. Dartmouth University
  5. Harvard University
  6. Princeton University
  7. University of Pennsylvania
  8. Yale University

We are sharing below a list of all Ivy League colleges/ universities along with their brief profile. This Ivy League colleges list helps students understand these Ivy League members better.

1. Harvard University (est. 1636): Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University is amongst the top universities not only in the United States but also in the world. Harvard is known for its world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and high-quality research output. Over 20,000 degree candidates are enrolled in Harvard’s programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

Harvard University World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

7 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Biology, Economics, English, History, Political Science, Psychology, Social Sciences

2. Columbia University (est. 1754): New York

Columbia University is one of the most important Ivy League universities/ institutions when we talk about research and teaching. It was also one of the first universities in the US to grant admission to international students. With a total student strength of over 30,000, Columbia is known for its liberal arts and science programs.

Columbia University World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

6 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Science, Civil Engineering, Economics, English, History, Neuroscience, Nursing, Operations Research, Political Science, and Psychology

3. Yale University (est. 1701): New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University is one of the oldest in the list of Ivy League colleges in the United States. With a total student strength of over 12,000, it is known for its drama and music programs. The law school at Yale is one of the top-ranked in the country.

Yale University World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

6 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, History, Mathematics and Statistics, and Engineering.

4. The University of Pennsylvania (est. 1740): Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania boasts of the most international students of all the Ivy League schools. 13% of its students are international and come from over 100 countries. Penn’s Wharton School, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Perelman School of Medicine, and the education and law schools are some of the highest-ranked in the US.

University of Pennsylvania World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

6 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Medicine, Dentistry, Design, Business, Law, Communications, Nursing, Veterinary, Social sciences, and Humanities.

5. Princeton University (est. 1746): Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is one of the oldest Ivy League Universities in the USA. It is well known worldwide for its academic resources like libraries, state-of-the-art laboratories, and an on-campus art museum. Although Princeton offers courses in many areas, it does not have schools of medicine, law, education, and business.

Princeton University World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

5 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Economics, English, History, Molecular Biology, Political Science, Psychology, and Public Policy.

6. Dartmouth College (est. 1769): Hanover, New Hampshire

Dartmouth College is a private school, known for its inter-college athletics and Native American presence. It offers majors in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and engineering. The highly ranked Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Geisel School of Medicine are some of the well-known schools of this University.

Dartmouth College World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

7 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Biology, Economics, Engineering, English, History, Political Science, and Psychology

7. Cornell University (est. 1865): Ithaca, New York

Cornell University is one of the most reputed institutions globally and the youngest among the list of Ivy League schools. The University’s school of engineering, veterinary medicine, and hotel management are well recognized.

Cornell University World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

9 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Agricultural Business, Animal Science, Biology, Economics, Hotel Management, Human Development, Industrial and Labour Relations, Mechanical Engineering, Political Science.

8. Brown University (est. 1764): Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is known to be one of the most liberal among the Ivy Colleges list. The remarkable distinction of this university is that it allows its students to design a personalised course of study.

Brown University World Ranking 2024


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

6 to 1

Acceptance Rate


Top Courses

Biology, Economics, Engineering, English, Entrepreneurship, History, Human Biology, International Relations, Neuroscience, and Political Science

What Does the Ivy League Mean?

The first question that pops up when someone hears about the Ivy League schools is “Why is it called Ivy League?

In order to understand what Ivy League means, we need to delve into a bit of its history:

Graduating seniors at the University of Pennsylvania observed the “Ivy Day” during spring. They planted an Ivy plant on this day and this custom was already being followed in Brown University, Harvard University, Yale University etc. The term Ivy is attributed to this tradition.

It was Stanley Woodward, a sportswriter who first used the term “Ivy schools” in a 1933 article. The first known instance of the term “Ivy League” appeared in The Christian Science Monitor on February 7, 1935. Several sportswriters and other journalists used the term shortly later. They used the term to refer to the older colleges along with the north-eastern seaboard of the United States, chiefly the nine institutions with origins dating from the colonial era, together with the United States Military Academy (West Point), the United States Naval Academy, and a few others.

  • Although some of the institutions existed way before the use of the term Ivy, the official Ivy League was established in 1954 at an NCAA athletic conference. These schools were known for their long-standing traditions in intercollegiate athletics, often being the first schools to participate in such activities.
  • Another terminology for “Ivy” comes from the Roman numeral IV. It is believed that when it started there were four (IV) members in the league and hence read as IV (Ivy) League.
  • Starting out as leaders in Sporting activities, the Ivy League universities rose way ahead of sports and today are known amongst the most elite institutions in the US.

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IVY League Schools Rankings 2024

Here are the IVY school rankings for 2024:

IVY School

QS Rankings 2024

Harvard University


Yale University


The University of Pennsylvania


Princeton University


Dartmouth College


Cornell University


Brown University


Ivy League Schools Tuition Fee

The Ivy League schools are for a matter one of the most expensive universities in the United States. The result is equally massive packages in top firms in the US. A list of the fees of Ivy League colleges is essential to enable an overall comparison.

The table below provides an overview of Ivy League school fees per year for international students wishing to pursue an MS in the US.

University Name

Tuition per year (in USD)

Cost in INR

Brown University



Columbia University



Cornell University

41, 325


Dartmouth College



Harvard University



Princeton University



University Of Pennsylvania



Yale University



Although the Ivy League school's fees are high, the good news is that they also provide financial assistance and multiple aids to students based on their credentials. So, don’t let financial constraints deter you from applying to the IVY League universities. Where there is talent, there is always a way.

Connect with our counselors and get a FREE session to build your roadmap to IVY League!

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Admission Requirements for Ivy League Universities

The next thing you might want to know is Ivy League admissions. Since Ivy League colleges are some of the top-ranked universities in the world, the application and admission process are highly competitive.

Ivy League Universities offer several undergraduate, postgraduate, and even doctorate programs. Therefore, there is no single answer to the question of how to perfect an Ivy League application. The requirements vary with the program and the university. You can also search for USA universities in College Finder to make an informed decision.

Here’s a list of documents you would need to get into a program at any one of the Ivy League schools:

  • Excellent Academic Transcripts for all classes from class 9 and upwards
  • Exceptional Standardised Test Scores in GMAT/ GRE or ACT/SAT
  • High scores in TOEFL/ IELTS as proof of proficiency in the English language
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Impactful Essays
  • Proof of Finance
  • Valid Passport and visa for International Students

Based on your choice of Ivy League schools and universities, you might also be required to appear for an interview before your admission to the US.

Ivy League institutions have very low acceptance rates making the admission process difficult and competitive. A strong GRE score can set you apart from other applicants and increase your chances of being admitted. In recent years, though many schools have made the GRE test optional, it can still help you demonstrate your academic readiness and make you eligible for financial aid opportunities. 

Yocket’s GRE Prep offers a personalized study plan tailored to meet the individual's requirements. It provides a wide range of study material, including practice questions, GRE Samples, and study guides to help you ace the exam. 

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How to get into Ivy League Universities from India?

Getting into Ivy League universities from India, or anywhere else for that matter, is a highly competitive and challenging process. However, with dedication, careful planning, and a strategic approach, you can increase your chances of being admitted to these prestigious institutions.

Here's a an easy 14 step-by-step guide to help you get into an IVY League school from India:

1. Start Early

Begin preparing for the application process at least a couple of years before you intend to apply. Early preparation can give you an edge.

2. Academic Excellence

Ivy League universities are known for their high academic standards. Focus on maintaining a strong GPA throughout high school.

3. Standardised Tests

Take the SAT or ACT exams. Many Ivy League schools require these scores. Prepare well in advance by taking preparatory courses or self-study.

4. Extracurricular Activities

Participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, both within and outside of your school. This can include sports, clubs, volunteering, or leadership roles.

5. Leadership and Achievements

Strive for leadership positions in your chosen activities and aim for significant achievements. Quality is more important than quantity.

6. Recommendation Letters

Build strong relationships with your teachers and mentors, as you'll need compelling recommendation letters. Choose individuals who know you well and can attest to your character and abilities.

7. Essays

Write thoughtful and compelling personal essays. Be sincere and focus on your unique experiences and aspirations.

8. Research Universities

Research each Ivy League university thoroughly. Understand their specific requirements, programs, and culture to tailor your application to each one.

9. Financial Aid

If you require financial aid, research the scholarship and financial aid options at each institution. Many Ivy League universities offer need-based financial aid to international students.


If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English proficiency through tests like TOEFL or IELTS.

11. Interview Preparation

Be prepared for interviews if they are part of the application process. Practise common interview questions and be ready to discuss your experiences and goals.

12. Application Deadlines

Pay close attention to application deadlines. Ivy League schools often have early action or early decision deadlines, which can be more advantageous for admission.

13. Seek Guidance

Consider working with an education consultant or counsellor who specialises in international applications. They can provide valuable guidance and insight.

14. Stay Informed

Keep yourself updated on any changes in the admission process or requirements. Admissions criteria can change from year to year.

Factors to be Considered While Applying at Ivy League Universities

Before you begin the process of Ivy League admission, here are a few factors that you must consider:

  • The Ivy League colleges have a very low acceptance rate compared to other colleges. The acceptance rate ranges from 3% - 7% which makes admission highly competitive. 
  • One must have exceptional transcripts and high test scores. Even this might not suffice, as these Universities look for exceptional students who have demonstrated their ability in much more than just academics – sports, and volunteering.
  • Though they are famous for academic excellence, one must check whether they fit in his or her area of interest. For example, while an MBA makes complete sense at Harvard, an MIT admission for engineering will any day be a better deal than an engineering degree at Harvard.
  • Another very pertinent point is finance. As compared to other reputed colleges like UT Austin, TAMU, and NEU; Ivy league charges more tuition and fees.

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From the Desk of Yocket 

Ivy League schools are some of the most sought-after institutions for higher education. These institutions not only provide high-quality education but give you a chance to build a solid network with like-minded people. Many wish to study at these Ivy League colleges but only a few get through. However, if you feel these are the colleges for you, it's always worth trying.

Though the admission process is confusing and difficult, Yocket is here to help you out. Yocket Premium can assist you throughout the process, from shortlisting the best IVY League school according to your profile to writing excellent essays that help you realize your dream of entering universities like Harvard and many others – Yocket Premium makes it possible. Connect with us to get started. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Ivy League Universities

What is the Ivy League?

Are Ivy League school fees expensive for Indian students?

Do Ivy League colleges have high acceptance rates?

What's the easiest Ivy League school to get into?

Why is MIT not an Ivy League?

Why is Stanford not an IVY league?

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