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What Makes an Ivy League Degree So Valuable?

Ivy League colleges are renowned in the US. But what makes their educational offerings so valued? An expert weighs in on this important conversation.

Linsdey CongerLindsey Conger
College Counselor and Tutor
Moon Prep
Ivy League colleges and universities are incredibly challenging to get into, with acceptance rates often decreasing each year due to an increase in applicants. For the Class of 2026, the University of Pennsylvania had an acceptance rate of 6.5%, while Yale University only accepted 4.6% of its applicants. So many students fight over these coveted seats for these primary reasons:

  • Money spent on students: Unless you get a full ride to an Ivy League school due to financial need, you’re likely paying more for your education than students at non-Ivies. But since students pay more, they do get more out of it as well, as elite colleges pay nearly eight times more for each student than other schools—around $92,000 per student compared to $12,000.
  • Resources: When attending an Ivy League, students have access to some of the best professors and researchers in the world. Most of these faculty members are actively engaged in various research projects. At these schools, new research and theories are constantly being explored, helping students expand on their studies.
  • Networking: It’s no secret that Ivy League schools take great pride in their alumni networks. This can be extremely helpful to new graduates, who can tap into those networks for job or interviews. Even before graduating, students can use their school’s network to find an internship or gain other valuable skills.
  • Earning ability: According to a survey by PayScale, Princeton University is at the top of the list for earning potential of alumni 10 years after graduating. Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Yale University also rank in the top 20, and Columbia University, Cornell University, and Brown University are top 50.
  • Career paths: Some people might take a second look at your résumé when they see that you graduated from an Ivy League school. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley recruit heavily from UPenn to help fill their entry-level positions—and other companies likely recruit similarly from other Ivies.

Does having an Ivy League degree mean you’ll automatically be successful? Of course not. But it can help you get a leg up and make great connections.

Did you know there are colleges considered the public equivalent of the Ivy League? Check out our list of The Experts' Choice: The Public Ivies!

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