10 “Southern Ivies” As Good As the Actual Ivies

Tell anyone you attended an Ivy League School, and you will gain a certain level of respect for your accomplishments.

Unquestionably, schools like Princeton, Harvard, and Yale are amazing institutions.

But, can you get an equivalent education at a school in the south?

Many higher education experts resoundingly say “yes” to that question, and we have some amazing schools in the southern USA to prove it.

Today, we are going to talk about 10 schools that are sometimes referred to as “Southern Ivies.” 

These schools launch students into excellent job opportunities, have world-renowned experts on their faculty, and in some cases, do not cost nearly the same amount of money as their Ivy League counterparts.

Hundreds of Rhodes Scholars, Pulitzer winners, and Fulbright awardees have collectively graduated from these 10 amazing schools.

In the opinion of College Gazette, here are 10 “Southern Ivies” just as good as the actual Ivies.

10) Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)

photo by EEJCC via Wikimedia Commons

With less than 20% acceptance rate, Tulane is one of the country’s most selective universities, making it among the most desirable “Southern Ivies” in the country.

The accolades in Tulane’s history are just as impressive as any other Ivy League school; 12 Louisiana Governors, 18 Rhodes Scholars, 155 Fulbright scholars, four living billionaires, and even a Supreme Court Justice have counted themselves as alumni of this amazing school.

Tulane is consistently among the highest-ranked schools in the country by major publications; US News ranked it #40 in their 2020 list of best schools.

In recent years, Tulane has undergone significant fundraising efforts; in 2004, two alumni handed over a total of $60m to the school.

Tulane also benefits from its fabulous location; based in one of America’s great cities, students enjoy the multicultural diversity of New Orleans as part of their college education.


9) Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC)

photo by Jijithecat via Wikimedia Commons

Wake Forest’s alumni are among the most impressive of any Southern Ivy. The school can claim 15 Rhodes Scholars, 92 Fulbrights, 15 Truman Scholars, and myriads of other accolades. 

Wake Forest is unique in that it is not ranked among the top 30 according to US News in terms of overall excellence, it is also ranked in the top-30 for “Best Value.” 

The university’s most prominent alumni include NBA legend Tim Duncan, author Maya Angelou, and US Senator Richard Burr.

Wake Forest has been ahead of the curb in terms of its college testing policies. Since 2008, the school has been test optional, meaning students are not required to submit ACT or SAT to get accepted.


8) Belmont University (Nashville, TN)

photo by Lahti213 via Wikimedia Commons

Belmont is a rising school, with a reported endowment in 2019 of over a quarter billion dollars. 

Belmont is deeply affiliated with the Christian Church, however students of all backgrounds and nationalities have found a home at Belmont University.

One of Belmont’s signature programs is music; they house both the School of Music as well as the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business.

The School of Music has strong programs in classical and contemporary music performance and composition. 

The Mike Curb College has some of the best Music Business and Songwriting programs in the nation, making the school a smart choice for the student interested in either contemporary or classical music.

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