The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education located in the northeastern United States.
- Brown University
- Cornell University
- Dartmouth College
- Harvard University
- Princeton University
- University of Pennsylvania (concurrent with membership in the Big Ten)
- Yale University
There are several universities which many believe are equal to the Ivies in endowment and academic achievement (and surpass many significantly in terms of such indicators of excellence like the Nobel Prize). These include such schools as the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and MIT. Of course, regardless of what prestige whoring students from those schools and their ill-informed parents say, these schools are not officially Ivies. That said, many would gladly trade Dartmouth, Brown, and Cornell for Stanford, Chicago, and MIT straight up. Many would also kick out the University of Pennsylvania (not to be confused with Penn State, 190 miles away) for good measure.
Some people consider certain public institutions to offer comparable educational and extracurricular opportunities to the private Ivy League schools. Really, the existence of such a concept is a slippery slope in itself. Some schools of colonial origin, notably Rutgers University, try to get cute, by claiming they were "invited to joined the Ivy League, but declined". Others take prestige-whoring to unheard-of heights (depths?) such as Murray State University of Kentucky, which for a while had the words "Kentucky's Public Ivy University" and, well, ivy, in its official logo.
No one can really agree on how or when the Ivy League formed because it would be incredibly douchey to waste one's time researching this and writing about it (or at least telling anyone you did).
A student fan from each Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Brown are standing on a cliff together during football season. The Princeton man runs forward and yells, "This is for the Tigers!". Not to be outdone, the Brown man runs forward and yells "This is for the Bears!". Aghast at what just happened, the Yale and Harvard men look at each other in shock. The Yale man shrugs, as if to say "hey why not". The Harvard man scoffs and looks at the Yale man like hes an idiot. Then the Yale man proceeds to push the Harvard man off the cliff proclaiming "This is for all mankind".
- How many Harvard students does it take to change a light bulb?
- One. He holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.
- How many Princeton students does it take to change a light bulb?
- Two, one to call the electrician, and the other to call the butler for some martinis.
- Or: Eight, one to change the lightbulb and seven to cheer them on.
- How many Dartmouth students does it take to change a lightbulb?
- None. Hanover doesn't have electricity.
- How many Cornell students does it take to change a lightbulb?
- Two. One to change the light bulb and one to crack under the pressure.
- How many Columbia students does it take to change a lightbulb?
- Seventy-six. One to change the light bulb, fifty to protest the light bulb's right to not change, and twenty-five to hold a counter-protest.
- How many Yale students does it take to change a lightbulb?
- None. New Haven looks better in the dark.
- How many Penn students does it take to change a lightbulb?
- Just one, but he gets six credits for it.
- Or: Nine. One to change the light bulb, and eight to file their transfer apps.
- How many Brown students does it take to change a lightbulb?
- Eleven. One to change the lightbulb and ten to share the experience.
- A good measure of what schools the Ivies themselves consider to be on their level may be the Exchange Scholar Program, which lets graduate students at Ivy League and comparable schools take classes at each others' institutions, including at the three aforementioned schools and UC Berkeley. Note that oft-pretenders such as Duke are not included - pro tip for would be Ivy pars: it takes more than a regal name to be considered Ivy Plus.