Flickr user Ilyse Whitney

You’ve heard of the Ivy League Schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc), but have you ever heard of the “Hidden Ivies?” Here’s a rundown of what that phrase means, how it pertains to your college applications, and how they compare to Ivy League Schools.

What Are The “Hidden Ivies?”

The Hidden Ivies are schools that are not considered Ivy League schools but do rival or emulate them. They are usually smaller in size and are universities or liberal arts colleges.

A book called “The Hidden Ivies” is most likely where the name came from. It is published regularly and lists the current schools that are comparable colleges or universities to the Ivy League. Currently, the guide is on its 3rd edition and features 63 schools throughout the United States. The book helps students browse outstanding options while finding the choice that best fits their needs. The guide also shows you why it is on par with the Ivy League schools and raises awareness for these smaller, but still excellent, schools.

Should You Apply to the “Hidden Ivies?”

You should absolutely apply to the Hidden Ivies, if it fits your needs and wants. Just like any school, you shouldn’t apply to the college or university simply because it is considered a top school or because your parents say you should apply. Carefully review their requirements, application process, and programs related to your desired career path. Is it the right choice for you?

Also look beyond the education to the campus life, surrounding area, and other details. After all, this is where you will be spending the next four years. Is it something you would enjoy? Once you’ve decided it is a school you would like to attend, it’s time to start working on your application.

What Schools Are Considered “Hidden Ivies?”

Currently there are 63 schools that have been called “Hidden Ivies” in the most recent guide published in 2016, up from 50 in 2009 and 30 in 2000. They are located all over the United States, though more do tend to be located in the Northeast.

Some schools that are considered Hidden Ivies are Amherst College in Massachusetts, University of Rochester in New York, Duke University in North Carolina, Georgetown University in Washington D.C, Stanford University in California, and Northwestern University in Illinois.

Hidden Ivies are a name for outstanding schools that caught on mostly in part to the published guide. They may not be officially called an Ivy League school, but the authors absolutely consider that these are on par or rival those of the Ivy Leagues. However, you never want to apply to a college or university simply because of its name or status. If you’re interested in any of the Hidden Ivies, do your research. Ensure that it is a college that fits your needs and wants and approach it just like you would any school before you apply!

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