Ivy League

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The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group.[2] The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. The term Ivy League also has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.

The term became official, especially in sports terminology, after the formation of the NCAA Division I athletic conference in 1954,[3] when much of the nation polarized around favorite college teams.[clarification needed] The use of the phrase is no longer limited to athletics, and now represents an educational philosophy inherent to the nation's oldest schools.[4] In addition, Ivy League schools are often viewed by the public as some of the most prestigious universities worldwide and are often ranked amongst the best universities in the United States and worldwide.[5]

All of the Ivy League's institutions place within the top 15 of the U.S. News & World Report college and university rankings. (All but Brown and Cornell place within the top 10.)[6] Seven of the eight schools were founded during the United States colonial period; the exception is Cornell, which was founded in 1865. Ivy League institutions, therefore, account for seven of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Ivies are all in the Northeast geographic region of the United States. All eight schools receive millions of dollars in research grants and other subsidies from federal and state government.

Undergraduate enrollments among the Ivy League schools range from about 4,000 to 14,000,[7] making them larger than those of a typical private liberal arts college and smaller than a typical public state university. Ivy League university financial endowments range from Brown's $2.01 billion to Harvard's $27.6 billion, the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world.

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