Despite its diminutive size, Connecticut’s contributions to the nation and the world are quite outsized.
The state has bragging rights in many areas. It is the home of the country’s oldest continuously published newspaper, one of the oldest free libraries, and one of the oldest universities in the country, which happens to be one of the Ivy League schools.
This brings us to the most relevant fact about Connecticut: it is a smallish state that also happens to be home to some of the best academic institutions in the country.
Only one Ivy League school exists in Connecticut, and that is Yale University.
However, the state boasts other prestigious institutions with world-class professors, stellar academics, and favorable post-graduation outcomes.
Collectively, alumni of these schools include former presidents, producers of Broadway musicals, creators of famous television series, writers, Fulbright scholars, and actors. But the list does not stop there.
The schools in this list are a diverse ensemble, consisting of two nationally-renowned liberal arts schools, a certified “Public Ivy,” and, of course, an official Ivy.
All boast programs and specialties that rank within the top 100 in the nation. Another shared attribute of these schools is their high marks in terms of student body diversity and strong athletics programs.
Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Yale is famously one of the Big Three Colleges, an elite grouping that includes its Ivy sisters, Harvard and Princeton.
While Yale may not always occupy the #1 spot across the most esteemed publications of school rankings, such as Niche, Forbes, and the US News & World Report, it consistently stays within the top 5.
Yale alumni are trailblazers across an ever-expanding variety of fields in the private and public sectors.
Actors, politicians, business leaders, academics, and many more are part of the illustrious ranks of Yale alumni.
Such alumni include actor Jodi Foster, former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and Olympians Stuart McNay and Frank Shorter.
Yale is also one of the top-producing schools of Fulbright scholars and recipients of other prestigious awards.
Without a doubt, Yale is one of the most challenging schools to get into.
During the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, Yale received a record-setting 46,906 applications.
Out of this record-high applicant pool, only 4.6% were admitted.
Numbers alone do not tell the whole story, so the admissions committee looks for students passionate about making the world a better place and bringing something unique to the school. These attributes can be captured by teacher recommendations and essays.
Other Excellent Schools in Connecticut
Other schools in Connecticut provide education comparable to the Ivy League. These schools include:
Connecticut College (New London, CT)
Connecticut College is one of the top liberal arts institutions in the country, as indicated by its rank on the US News & World Report.
CC is noted for its strength in undergraduate teaching, its award-winning faculty, and its accomplished alumni.
The college is commended for its Performing Arts, International Relations, History, English, and Film & Photography programs, all of which are considered to be among the top 100 in their respective categories, according to Niche.
CC boasts an illustrious, ever-expanding list of alumni.
Over recent years, alumni have been profiled in Forbes’ esteemed “30 under 30” list, such as Jazmin Hughes ’12, co-creator of the Writers of Color database and an associate editor at The New York Times, and Daniel Shoukimas ’13, co-founder of the up-and-coming healthcare start-up, mPharma.
With an acceptance rate of 37%, CC is a relatively competitive school to get into. Matriculated students have a strong academic profile, with a high school GPA range between 3.5-4.0 and an SAT score range from 1310-1450.
While these are impressive numbers, the rigor and quality of high school courses is given a lot of weight in the admissions process; the admissions committee looks for intellectually motivated students and eager to take on challenges.
Personal essays, letters of recommendation, resumes, and extra-curricular activities are other vital factors in the admissions process since they present a fuller picture of an applicant’s abilities and unique attributes.
Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)
Wesleyan University, “Wes” for short, is one of the leading liberal arts institutions in the country.
For many years, Wes has been noted for producing a high number of graduates who have gone on to pursue and earn PhDs in numerous fields, including the physical sciences and health sciences.
Wes alumni have been influential in an impressively broad range of careers. Notable alumni include Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights; D.B. Weiss, co-creator of the hit series Game of Thrones; and American economist Lael Brainard.
In fall 2021, Wesleyan received over 13K applications. Only 19% of applicants were admitted, making it one of CT’s most competitive non-Ivy liberal arts schools.
Most matriculated applicants hail from outside of New England, which suggests that applicants from outside NE may have a slight advantage in the competitive admissions process.
Overall, matriculated applicants demonstrate academic excellence, with a reported average high school GPA as high as 3.91 and a composite SAT score around 1395.
University of Hartford (Hartford, CT)
The University of Hartford is proof that a low admissions rate is not the sole determinant of quality or prestige. With an acceptance rate of 76%, UHart has a relatively less competitive admissions rate. Nevertheless, the school earns high marks for its academics, diversity, athletics program, and overall value. It is one of the most diverse schools in Connecticut and one of the best schools for student-athletes in the state.
The university’s extensive offerings appeal to students with varied backgrounds and interests.
The Acoustical Engineering program boasts a job placement rate of 100 percent among its recent graduates, who went on to work for big-name companies such as Apple and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, among many others.
Recent graduate Sophie Kaye, ’19, was recently profiled as a general engineer for the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.
Courses are taught by faculty who are renowned experts in the field and talented teachers. UHart’s student-faculty ratio is 9:1.
In addition to a stellar education, students have the opportunity to partake in enriching college life, given the school’s 100+ student programs and organizations and its prime location in a vibrant city.
University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)
Uconn is the first and only “Public Ivy” on this list due to its high-impact research and selective admissions process, among other factors.
With campuses in Storrs (main campus), Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, Torrington, and in Groton, Uconn has a sizable economic impact on the state of Connecticut, which includes $3 billion in direct economic output and a significant “spillover” effect on other industries.
Furthermore, UConn graduates have reported favorable post-graduation outcomes, with 90% of students either gainfully employed or enrolled in a graduate program within ten months of graduation.
UConn is the first and only school on this list with a top-ranking Agricultural Science program.
The College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources has garnered over $35 million in grants for research, teaching, and extension and has engaged over 127k citizens in their programs, making it one of the most impactful colleges of Uconn.
The acceptance rate at Uconn hovers around 49% each year. According to PrepScholar, admitted students have an average GPA of 3.76 and average combined SAT scores of 1315.