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New Ivies, Hidden Ivies, Black Ivies, Seven Sisters - Terms Explained

New Ivies, Hidden Ivies, Black Ivies, Jesuit Ivy, Seven Sisters – Terms Explained (Part 2)

Are you considering applying to a top-tier college or university? Do you know the differences between New Ivies, Hidden Ivies, Black Ivies, Jesuit Ivies and Seven Sisters? Our comprehensive guide explains the history and characteristics of each category, providing valuable insights into the top colleges in each group, their admission requirements, and what benefits they offer their students. Whether you're a high school student exploring your options or a parent helping your child navigate the college application process, our expert insights and comprehensive information will help you make informed decisions about your education. Discover the best colleges and universities for you, and achieve your academic goals!
New Ivies

The term “New Ivies” is not an official designation, but rather a colloquial term that has gained popularity in recent years. It was coined by Newsweek in 2006, as the staff of Newsweek selected these schools based on admission statistics and interviews with administrators, faculty, students, and alumni. It is often used to describe colleges and universities that have emerged as strong alternatives to traditional Ivy League institutions, and are highly respected by employers and graduate schools alike. These schools are known for their rigorous academic programs, small class sizes, and highly selective admissions processes, which typically result in high graduation and retention rates. This list includes both public and private universities across the country. Some of the colleges that are commonly referred to as “New Ivies” include Amherst College, Williams College, Swarthmore College, and Pomona College, among others.

Boston College
Colby College
Emory University
Macalester College
Pomona College
Rice University
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Notre Dame
Vanderbilt University

Bowdoin College
Colgate University
Harvey Mudd College
New York University
Reed College
Skidmore College
University of Michigan
University of Rochester
Washington University in St. Louis

Carnegie Mellon University
Davidson College
Kenyon College
Olin College of Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Tufts University
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Virginia

Hidden Ivies

With years of counseling experience and research, Howard and Matthew Greene have continued publishing books about higher education, including a newer book entitled The Hidden Ivies, 3rd Edition: 63 of America’s Top Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities, which was published in 2016. In the book, the two authors discuss 63 highly selective small liberal arts colleges and top research universities across the U.S., which differ from Ivy League colleges in that the list spreads across the U.S. rather than just focusing on the Northeast area.
In compiling the list, these are the factors that were put into consideration:

  • Resources available for students, faculty, and facilities
  • Outcome and Return-On-Investment of students
  • Faculty and student body– such as culture, student-to-faculty ratio, diversity, etc.

Some of the schools that are included in the “Hidden Ivies” list include schools like Bates College, Carleton College, Haverford College, Middlebury College, and many others. These schools are known for their excellent academic programs, close-knit communities, and highly selective admissions processes.

Northeast area

Amherst College
Barnard College
Bates College
Boston College
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University
Colby College
Colgate University
College of the Holy Cross
Connecticut College
Dickinson College
Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Hamilton College
Haverford College
Johns Hopkins University
Lafayette College
Lehigh University
Middlebury College
Mount Holyoke College
Skidmore College
Smith College
Swarthmore College
Trinity College
Tufts University
Union College
University of Rochester
Vassar College
Villanova University
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University
Williams College

South area

Davidson College
Duke University
Emory University
Georgetown University
Cross
Rice University
Sewanee: The University of the South
Southern Methodist University

Tulane University
University of Richmond
Vanderbilt University
Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University

Midwest area

Carleton College
Case Western Reserve University
Denison University
Grinnell College
Kenyon College
Macalester College
Northwestern University
Oberlin College
University of Chicago

University of Notre Dame
Washington University in St. Louis

West area

Claremont McKenna College
Colorado College
Pomona College
Reed College

Stanford University
University of Southern California

Black Ivies

The term “Black Ivy” has been used to describe a group of historically black colleges and universities that are compared to the Ivy League schools in terms of their academic rigor and prestige. Some well-known historically black colleges and universities are: Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Hampton University, among others. The list is based on Jaqueline Fleming’s Blacks in College, published in 1984.

Dillard University
Fisk University
Hampton University
Howard University
Morehouse College
Spelman College

Tuskegee University
Clark Atlanta University

Jesuit Ivy

The term “Jesuit Ivy” refers to a group of Jesuit colleges and universities that are often compared to the Ivy League schools in terms of academic quality, reputation, and selectivity. You do not need to be Catholic or a Jesuit to attend these schools, but you will experience and learn about Jesuit principles and strive to embody their key values of meaning and empathy. There are 28 Jesuit colleges in the U.S., ranging from small liberal arts colleges to top research universities.

Some of the colleges and universities that are commonly referred to as “Jesuit Ivies” include Boston College, Georgetown University, Fordham University, and Loyola University Chicago, among others. These schools are known for their rigorous academic programs, commitment to social justice, and emphasis on a well-rounded education. These schools often have smaller class sizes, more personalized attention from faculty, and a strong sense of community that sets them apart from larger institutions.

Boston College
Canisius College
College of the Holy Cross
Creighton University
Fairfield University
Fordham University
Georgetown University
Gonzaga University
John Carroll University
Le Moyne College

Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans
Marquette University
Regis University
Rockhurst University
Saint Joseph’s University

St. John’s College
Saint Louis University
Saint Peter’s University
Santa Clara University
Seattle University
Spring Hill College
University of Detroit Mercy
University of San Francisco
University of Scranton
Xavier University

Seven Sisters

The term “Seven Sisters” is special and unique because of its history. The Seven Sisters are highly selective liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that were historically women’s colleges.

These colleges were founded between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries and were designed to provide women with an education comparable to that offered by men’s colleges. The Seven Sisters were often considered the “female equivalent” of the Ivy League institutions, and their graduates went on to make significant contributions in various fields, including politics, education, and the arts.

The term “Seven Sisters” is not commonly used today, as many of these colleges have become coeducational or have merged with other institutions. However, the legacy of the Seven Sisters lives on, and their impact on women’s education in the United States continues to be celebrated.

Barnard College
Bryn Mawr College
Mount Holyoke College

Radcliffe College
Smith College

Vassar College
Wellesley College

Barnard is currently affiliated with Columbia, but remains independent. Up until now, Radcliffe College and Vassar College are no longer exclusively women’s colleges. Radcliffe has merged with Harvard College, and is now a research institute. Finally, only Mouth Holyoke College, Wellesley College, Smith College, and Bryn Mawr College are still private women’s liberal arts colleges.

Besides these terms, there are some other unofficial and unpopular terms, such as Public Ivies, STEM Ivies, Southern Ivies, that students can utilize to research universities. Above are some of the most popular terms coined historically, categorizing schools into different categories based on their unique focuses and levels of prestige.

If students have any additional questions about the Ivies or how to get into these schools, feel free to contact us at info@aralia.com

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