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Are the Ivy League Schools Worth It? 4 Benefits of an Ivy League Education

12 AUG 2021

Ivy League universities have fascinated students for generations. But what makes them so intriguing and sought after? With all the quality educational options available today, is attending an Ivy League School worth it? Let's take a look at the top four benefits of an Ivy League education (and the top three disadvantages of attending an Ivy League school).

About the Ivy League Schools

Ivy League Schools

All eight Ivy League universities, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania, are some of the oldest in the US, making them historical landmarks for education. In 1936, the “Ivy Group” was concerned about the growing interest in college athletics; thus, the Ivy League was born. The official founding date is considered 1956-57 when presidents of all universities adopted the name.

Today, the Ivy League is much more than an athletic league. It’s a group of universities known for their reputable education, status, exclusivity, and notoriously low acceptance rates.


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Top 4 Benefits of an Ivy League Education

1. Powerful Networking Opportunities

The benefits of the Ivy League is that it offers powerful networking opportunities

The Ivy League has graduates dating back to the 1700s. One of the most beneficial aspects of the Ivy League is the power of the alumni network. The alumni network consists of all graduates from a particular university and typically extends well beyond college friendships. Alumni connections often lead to your first post-graduation job.

The Ivy League is renowned for its solid and welcoming alumni networks. After graduating, not only are you equipped with a world-class education, you are now part of an elite group of graduates. Staying connected with Ivy League graduates can significantly impact your life and the future of your career.

Before graduating, students can tap into this network for internships that can lead to future employment opportunities. Attending an Ivy can provide you with the resources and contacts needed to get your foot-in-the-door at world-renowned companies and agencies.

2. World-Class Resources

benefits of an ivy league education is the access of world class resources

Attending an Ivy League gives you access to research and studying materials crafted by the most brilliant minds. Professors at Ivy League universities are well-educated and passionate about particular topics and issues. These professors are encouraged and, most times, expected to perform research on these topics for the university. These intellectuals generate new theories in topics students are already studying, providing them with leading-edge and timely research.


Want to know your chances of attending an Ivy League school? Try our college admissions calculator to find out where you stand.


3. Higher Starting Salaries

The benefits of graduating from an Ivy League is a higher salary

A study conducted by the US Department of Education revealed that graduates with a bachelors degree had an average income of $54,700 and those with a masters degree or higher had an income of $65,000 per annum.

Although having a college degree increases your salary, statistically, attending a university in the Ivy League can improve it even more. Here are the numbers:

Average Income of Ivy League Graduates
Average Salary per annum
Brown$67,500 USD
Columbia$83,300 USD
Cornell$77,200 USD
Dartmouth$75,500 USD
Harvard$89,700 USD
Penn$85,500 USD
Princeton$74,700 USD
Yale$83,200 USD

If you attend an Ivy League, you have the potential to secure an above-average salary. Except for MIT, Harvard graduates make more money after college than graduates from any other college.

4. Head Start on a Career Path

Benefits of an ivy league education is that you get a head start in your career

An Ivy League education can give you a head start in highly competitive fields like finance, law, and business consulting. Top global companies understand that the Ivies house some of the best and brightest students, so they’ll hire directly from the source more often than not.

Check out some of these impressive job statistics:

  • Of the 114 Supreme Court Justices, more than half attended an Ivy League University. Currently, all nine justices attended law school at either Yale or Harvard.
  • In CNN’s top 100 startups list, 34 of the CEOs went to Harvard.
  • UPenn is the top feeder school for companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup.

Inside The Ivy League Ep. 1: Yale

Disadvantages of attending an Ivy League

While it’s hard to find substantial disadvantages to graduating from an Ivy League university, there are a few reasons another reputable university might be better for you.

1. High Cost

Attending an Ivy League isn’t cheap. While colleges, in general, can be expensive, many colleges throughout the US offer affordable tuition and world-class education. If you’re determined to graduate from an Ivy League school, scholarships and grants are available. Take a look at financial aid opportunities offered at your dream Ivy League school.

Ivy League Tuition Costs
Tuition 20/21 (USD)
Brown$59,254
Columbia$61,671
Cornell$58,586
Dartmouth$57,796
Harvard$49,653
Penn$53,166
Princeton$53,890
Yale$59,950
Average$56,746

2. Highly Competitive with Low Admissions Rates

Ivy League schools only accept a small percentage of applicants. When the admissions teams review student applications, they look for high grades and test scores, relevant extracurriculars, solid essays, and more! Here are the Ivy League admissions numbers for 2021.

Ivy League Admissions Statistics 2021
AppliedAdmittedAdmission Rate
Brown32,7242,7228.32%
Columbia37,3892,1855.84%
Cornell47,0385,88912.52%
Dartmouth20,0342,09210.44%
Harvard39,5062,0565.20%
Penn40,4133,6999.15%
Princeton31,0561,8906.09%
Yale32,9002,2726.91%
Average281,06022,8058.11%

While admission into an Ivy League is competitive, it’s not impossible. Crimson offers admissions support services that have helped many students get into their dream Ivy League school. Check out our free college admissions calculator to see your chances of attending.


3. There are World-Class Schools Outside the Ivy League

Ivy League schools offer exceptional educational opportunities but so do many other colleges in the US and worldwide. Schools like Stanford, MIT, Rice, and CalTech are not Ivy League schools but often rank higher in specific programs than some Ivy League schools. Many of them also offer lower tuitions and have higher acceptance rates. Consider your area of study and see if another top school provides opportunities that will help you succeed.

While there are some clear benefits of an Ivy League education, some highly sought-after and prestigious universities throughout the US and the world offer similar opportunities to the Ivy League. To learn more about these schools, check out our free eBook, Breaking Down the 10 Best Non-Ivy League Universities.

Further Reading


Considering attending an Ivy League school but not sure if it’s right for you? Crimson Education is the world’s leading admissions consulting company. Our expert admission strategists can help you gain admissions to the best universities from the Ivy League and beyond! Book a free consultation to learn more about our College Admissions Consulting Program.

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