10 “New Ivies” As Good as the Actual Ivies

In the mid-2000s, the term “New Ivies” was coined by Newsweek to describe high-quality universities that are comparable to Ivy League schools in terms of a rigorous education. With technology rapidly expanding and the world growing ever smaller, universities are developing new programs and methods for engaging their students. Although an Ivy League education is impressive, New Ivies are just as remarkable in many different ways.

Most of the universities on this list have a Carnegie Classification R1 ranking, which means they’re known for being research-heavy. Additionally, two of these schools specialize in science and technology, making them more attractive for students who already have a passion for this particular subject.

Not sure you’re ready to specialize? That’s okay too. Quite a number of the New Ivies promote interdisciplinary work to kick start the brain and develop new ideas. Additionally, at least one college on this list has multiple majors with a study abroad requirement, thus encouraging new experiences and innovation.

Here are 10 “New Ivies” as good as the actual ivies.


10. Olin College of Engineering (Needham, MA)

One of the youngest colleges on the list, Olin College of Engineering, nestled in Needham, Massachusetts, was founded in 1997 by the F.W. Foundation. Like the name implies, Olin College specializes in engineering and encourages students to get their hands dirty sooner rather than later. Rather than waiting until later in their college years to start taking engineering classes, students are encouraged to take engineering courses beginning in freshman year.

In 2013, Olin College’s three founding members were awarded the Bernard M. Gordon Prize, which is one of highest accolades in the field of engineering.

At an enrollment of 338 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 8:1, Olin College is a very small school with lots of opportunities for personalized attention.

Additionally, all admitted students get half their tuition paid for, with more financial aid available depending on circumstances.


9. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Vanderbilt University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Vanderbilt University boasts a wide variety of notable alumni, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Vice President Al Gore, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott, and author James Patterson.

Football fans will appreciate that Vanderbilt is one of the founding members of the Southeastern Conference, more frequently referred to as the SEC. Members of the SEC have won many NCAA championships, including several dozen in football and basketball alone.

In 2018, Vanderbilt was ranked 31st in the nation for research and development funding by the National Science Foundation. While Vanderbilt offers many traditional avenues for study, it also hosts a coffee institute dedicated “to research on the human dimensions of coffee production, trade, and consumption.”

The Princeton Review ranked Vanderbilt at #2 for happiest students and #4 for best athletic facilities.


8. Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

Emory University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Emory University is the second oldest private institution of higher education in Georgia and was founded on the principles of hard work, inclusion, collaboration, and working towards the greater good.

Students looking to enter the medical field will be interested to know that Emory Healthcare, a spin-off of Emory University, is the largest healthcare system in Georgia. It was named the number 1 hospital for 2019-2020.

In 2014, Emory University Hospital treated four Ebola virus patients at their Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU). This resulted in the first successful treatment of the Ebola virus in the Western Hemisphere.

Students interested in art will be happy to know that Emory University also contains the largest collection of ancient artifacts in the Southeastern United States at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.


7. Tufts University (Medford, MA) 

Tufts University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts is one of four branches; the other branches are in Boston and North Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France.

In order to raise money for the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University sends a team of runners each year to compete in the Boston Marathon, sending up to 200 racers a year at one point.

In 2016, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft committed to donating $100 million over the course of ten years to Stanford and Tufts University for the creation of the Allen Frontiers Group. This foundation will focus on new advances in biosciences. The director is a current Tufts University professor, Michael Levin.

Tufts University prides itself on its diversity of students. Best Colleges ranked Tufts University at #5 for best colleges for LGBTQ+ students.

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