Ivy League schools. You’ve certainly heard of them before. They are well-known in the United States and have produced well-rounded athletes, future presidents, Nobel Prize winners, and many other high-achieving graduates. But, what are Ivy League Schools? And, which Ivery League Schools are the cheapest?
But first, what does Ivy League mean? The term defines a group of eight long-established colleges and universities in the eastern US that have high academic and social prestige. These private schools are known for their academic excellence, highly selective admissions process, and the career opportunities that await graduates.
Ivy league schools are home to some of the most respected professors in higher education, and have next to unlimited research grants and ample financial aid resources. To attend an Ivy League school, a student must be extraordinary both on and off paper.
If you are looking to attend an Ivy League school, read on for our guide to the best Ivy League schools in the US, and the cheapest Ivy League schools in the US.
List of Ivy League Schools
Princeton University is the fourth-oldest college in the country. As a world-renowned research university, Princeton is home to popular majors including social sciences, engineering, computer and information sciences, and public administration.
According to US News & World Report, total undergraduate enrollment at the university stands at just 5,422. This Ivy League school has specialized libraries, state-of-the-art labs, and an art museum. Students also benefit from small class sizes with a five-to-one student-faculty ratio, allowing for one-on-one relationships with prestigious professors.
Additionally, Princeton has one of the nation’s highest graduation rates. Princeton graduates you may have heard of include former first lady Michelle Obama and former President Woodrow Wilson.
Harvard University is the oldest educational institution in the United States, founded in 1636. As a private research school, Harvard is one of the most selective Ivy League schools. The university has 13 schools, including the top-ranked medical school in the country.
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With more than 100 research centers on campus, Harvard also has highly-ranked programs in business, engineering, and law for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students have access to more than 445 extracurricular activities at Harvard, including athletic organizations. The university’s extensive library system has the oldest national collection and the most comprehensive private collection worldwide.
Columbia University isn’t just known for its featured scenes in blockbuster films like the Spider-Man franchise. It’s also the third-best college in the US, according to US News & World Report. Established in 1754, Columbia, located on the upper west side of Manhattan, is the fifth-oldest university in the nation.
This Ivy League school is also the proud home of one of the country’s most diverse student bodies. Students at Columbia enjoy access to many on-campus academic resources, including 22 libraries, over 200 research institutes and laboratories, and thousands of internship opportunities. Some of its prominent programs include the business and law schools, the Teachers College, and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Graduates from Columbia can count among their peers former President Barack Obama.
Founded in 1701, Yale is a private Ivy League university that is best known for its top-ranked law school. Additional highly-ranked programs include drama, music, medicine, management, and nursing.
Students at Yale can take advantage of many opportunities, including a strong global study abroad program and international internships. Yale is proud to have produced many firsts, including becoming the first university in the United States to award doctoral degrees and the first to have a school of public health.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn, counts Benjamin Franklin among its founders. Penn offers a mixture of liberal arts and pre-professional education. Of all the Ivy League schools, Penn has the most international students. Some of Penn’s renowned schools include its School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Perelman School of Medicine.
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Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. Compared to other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth offers students a more intimate learning setting, with fewer than 20 students in each class. Along with their smaller class sizes, more than 50 percent of students study in off-campus programs as part of Dartmouth’s push toward global, hands-on education.
Brown University is based in Providence, Rhode Island, and was founded in 1764. The private research institution offers an open that allows students to design their own personalized courses, encouraging them to become creative thinkers and intellectual risk-takers. This open program includes rigorous study from a choice of more than 80 concentrations, including egyptology, cognitive neuroscience, and entrepreneurship.
Additionally, Brown also has a highly competitive program in liberal medical education, in which students complete an undergrad degree and a medical degree in a single eight-year program.
Cornell is the youngest Ivy League institute, founded in 1865 in Ithaca, New York, with a mission to discover, preserve knowledge, produce creative output, and promote a culture of broad inquiry. Cornell’s largest undergraduate colleges are the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. With more than 100 fields of study on offer, Cornell also has campuses in Geneva, New York, New York City, and Doha, Qatar.
What Are the Cheapest Ivy League Schools?
The cheapest Ivy League schools include The University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and Princeton University. We have ranked the Ivy League schools below from cheapest to most expensive.
Cheapest Ivy League Schools That Won’t Break the Bank
|School||In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||Graduation Rate|
|The University of Pennsylvania||$54,652||$54,652||96%|
|Harvard University||$54,768 (full-time) $27,384 (part-time)||$54,768||98%|
|Cornell University||$60,286 (Endowed Colleges)
$40,382 (State Contract Colleges)
|$60,286 (State Contract Colleges)||95%|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||$61,671||$61,671||96%|
What Is the Cheapest Ivy League School?
The University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private research institute in Philadelphia. This Ivy League school is home to 23,038 students, with the majority being full-time graduate students. The University of Pennsylvania boasts a 96 percent graduation rate, one of the highest among all universities in America. It’s also the most affordable school on our list with the average price students pay starting at around $54,000.
Founded in 1636, Harvard University is one of the oldest Ivy League schools. Over 23,731 students study at Harvard. Some of the most notable alumni of this university include Barack Obama, JF Kennedy, Matt Damon, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Harvard University is known for its exceptional online programs and the state-of-the-art Harvard Business School. The University boasts a 98 percent graduation rate and a seven-to-one student-faculty ratio.
Princeton University is a private institution that offers 55 undergraduate certificate programs and 42 doctoral programs delivered by individual colleges. Princeton is one of the dream schools many want to attend. It offers numerous online courses and its popular majors include subjects like social sciences, engineering, computer science, and biomedical sciences.
This institution has 10 campus locations across the US that cater to over 5,267 undergraduate students. According to US News & World Report, Princeton is the best Ivy League school, ranking number one in national universities.
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This private research Ivy League school is based in New Hampshire. US News & World Report ranks this institution as the fifth-best undergraduate teaching university in America. The most popular majors at this private college include subjects such as engineering, social sciences, biomedical sciences, mathematics, and statistics.
Founded in 1701, Yale University is one of the oldest private universities. This institution has a student population of about 4,664 undergraduates and 7,357 graduate students. Yale is widely regarded as the most prestigious Ivy League school for higher education.
Some of the most popular majors include subjects like law, architecture, drama, nursing, and doctor of medicine. Yale offers financial aid options to prospective students who want to learn but might not have the financial means.
Among these elite schools is Cornell University. It is a premier research institution known for its exceptional academic program options for undergraduates and graduate students. Cornell features 15 colleges and schools, nine of which are undergraduate units and the remaining four are graduate and professional units.
Over 15,000 students are enrolled in this school’s programs. Most of these students are in class sizes of no more than 50 students, as only 13 percent of all classes feature 50 to 100 students. Although it’s one of the most prestigious universities in America, Cornell offers scholarship aid programs to those who qualify for financial aid.
Brown University is a leading research institution known for its world-class liberal arts college and its science and math programs. This institution has about 7,043 enrolled undergraduate students and 2,629 graduate students, and its average acceptance rate is around eight percent.
Columbia University in the City of New York
Columbia University is one of America’s most prestigious and expensive schools. Private schools like this institution have some of the most advanced research centers in the world. Columbia Business school is also renowned for its premier business education programs.
US News and World Report ranks Columbia University as the second-best national university in the US. Although it features some of the most expensive programs in the country, you can expect to get financial aid programs, especially as a first-year student. The university also awards academic and athletic scholarships.
How Much Do the Cheapest Ivy League Schools Cost?
The most affordable Ivy League school is the University of Pennsylvania, with a $61,170 per year average cost for tuition for undergraduate programs. These college costs include tuition, general fees, clinical fees, and technology fees. However, student loans are available for students who want to learn in Ivy League schools but do not have the financial means to pay the expensive tuition right away.
Ivy League Schools Costs Breakdown
- Cost per credit. The tuition fees typically form the bulk of the total cost of attending an Ivy League school. This is also known as a “tuition sticker price,” with separate fees often added to this amount.
- Application fees. These fees fund application services or other related services directly.
- Other fees. Other fees typically charged as part of the total costs include general fees, technology fees, health insurance fees, student activity fees, transportation, books, and supplies.
Tips for Saving Money While Attending Ivy League Schools
- Live off-campus. Housing costs tend to astronomically increase the overall cost of attending an Ivy League school. Consider attending college while living with your parents to mitigate housing and food expenses.
- Use free textbooks and online resources. You can have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars by using free online resources and textbooks. Start taking control of your financial situation by looking up free PDF versions of the textbooks you need.
- Choose your college wisely. In-state colleges tend to be cheaper than out-of-state colleges. For this reason, you would save a lot of money by choosing your Ivy League college wisely. International students should pay special attention to scholarship opportunities like merit-based scholarships.
Can You Attend Ivy League Schools for Free?
In certain circumstances, you can attend an Ivy League school for free. Some Ivy League schools offer free college education to families with income brackets ranging from $50,000 to $65,000 per year. If your family earns less than a specified salary per year, an Ivy League school might cover your living expenses and college tuition.
Acceptance letters to these elite schools can be a highlight of life, potentially sending you down a prestigious career path and opening doors to more career opportunities.
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