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The Modern Public Ivies

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Replies to: The Modern Public Ivies

  • FutureDoctor31FutureDoctor31 522 replies141 threads Member
    Maryland and Penn State are just "average" universities? I don't think so.
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 threads Senior Member
    If a university is a member of the AAU, it's probably one of the best in the country (remember, there are over 3,000 institutions of higher education)
    Association of American Universities
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  • FutureDoctor31FutureDoctor31 522 replies141 threads Member
    Penn State and Maryland are both AAU schools. In fact, they are two of the best universities in the Northeastern U.S.! This is why I did not understand XtremePower's reasoning behind that.
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  • andy09andy09 239 replies18 threads Junior Member
    1) Universities in the Ivy league are among the best schools in the country-that doesn't mean they're the best though-MIT, Stanford, Duke, Caltech, Northwestern, UChicago are as good as, or better than mid/lower IVYs
    2) comparing The top public schools to a collection of private, northeast, universities which were formed (except for cornell) before the independence of the USA seems somewhat arbitrary, as the schools have nothing in common, and have completely different purposes.

    If it's an issue of naming the best 8 comprehensive public universities, the list would be along the lines of:

    U Michigan
    U Texas
    UC Berkeley
    UCLA
    UVA
    UNC
    U Wisconsin
    U Illinois
    (In no particular order)

    All of them, highly reputed state flagship universities. However, comparing them to the Ivy league, or referring to them as the "public Ivy League" would make no sense.

    After these 8, there are undoubtedly several other excellent public schools, and the next tier would be pretty broad since none of the schools are demonstrably "better" than the others:
    U Florida, U Minnesota, Texas A&M, OSU, PSU, Purdue, IU, UCSD, UCD, UGA, U Washington, U Maryland, Rutgers, Pitt, Georgia Tech, W&M etc. (In no particular order)
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13237 replies247 threads Senior Member
    Here's the original list (per wiki) if anyone is curious:

    Public Ivy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    College of William & Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia)
    Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)
    University of California (campuses as of 1985)[6]
    University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    University of Texas at Austin
    University of Vermont (Burlington)
    University of Virginia (Charlottesville)

    Wiki has an "updated" 2001 list of 30 as well as "Black Ivies", "Southern Ivies", "Little Ivies", "Hidden Ivies" and, of course, the formidable "Little Lambs Eat Ivies".
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  • bclintonkbclintonk 7683 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I don’t buy the “public Ivy” label—as others have said, just a marketing tool for someone’s book. But then the whole “Ivy league” thing is just a marketing tool for a group of private northeastern universities, loosely linked by affiliation to an athletic conference. They’re all good schools, some are great ones, but they’re only some among the best. There’s nothing in their athletic conference affiliation that sets them apart from, say, a Stanford, Chicago, or Duke. And while the Ivies exhibit some private school characteristics that set them apart from public research universities—notably, smaller student bodies and somewhat lower s/f ratios—the top public research universities can nonetheless hold their heads high as some of the nation’s, and the world’s, leading academic institutions, without pretending to be some kind of junior varsity Ivy League.

    That said, let me just run down tk21769’s criteria one by one:

    • Endowment. Michigan’s nearly $8 billion endowment ranks #7 among all U.S. colleges and universities--bigger than any Ivy except HYP. True, on a per capita basis it’s smaller than the top privates, but Michigan also gets a direct legislative appropriation of nearly $300 million per year, which would be the equivalent of the annual payout on an additional $6 billion in endowment.

    • Financial aid. Both UVA and UNC-Chapel Hill meet 100% of need for all students. Michigan meets 100% of need for in-state students and 90% of need for its student body as a whole; rumor has it that its next capital campaign will seek to raise sufficient funds to meet 100% of need for all.

    • National drawing power. It’s true that no elite public university draws a majority of its students from out-of-state, but that’s a function of two factors: they’re public institutions whose primary mission is to educate in-state students, and they are large institutions because their mission is to educate large numbers of students. That doesn’t mean the best of them lack national drawing power. A bit over 40% of Michigan’s recent incoming classes have been out-of-state. Michigan draws more Californians than any Ivy; nearly as many Illinoisans as the 8 Ivies combined; more Texans than any Ivy except Cornell. It draws more Floridians than 6 of the 8 Ivies. It even draws more New Yorkers than any Ivy except Cornell (portions of which are effectively a state university), and more New Jerseyans than any Ivy except Penn and Cornell.

    • Class sizes. Citations to percentages of small classes can be misleading, because small classes are, by definition, small, so they don’t serve many students. More important is the percentage of large classes, because by definition it takes a lot of students to fill a large class. Generally speaking, any percentage of large (50+) classes over 10 or 11% will mean students are spending as much or more time in large as in small (<20) classes. Cornell actually has a higher percentage of large classes (18%) than many of the so-called public Ivies. Princeton (11% of classes 50+) is more similar to UNC-Chapel Hill (13%), UVA (15%), or Michigan (17%) in this regard than it is to the leading LACs (Williams 4%, Amherst 2%, Swarthmore 2%, Haverford 0.6%). If you want small classes, look at LACs, not research universities—public or private.

    • Graduation rates. I don’t have quick access to 4-year graduation rates, but all the leading publics have 6-year graduation rates of 90% or higher, among the highest in the nation for schools of any category.

    • Admissions selectivity. This is a simple function of size. Smaller private schools can fill out their entire class of 1200 to 1500 freshmen with top-stats applicants. Top public schools fill out the top quartile o top third or top half of their class with similarly credentialed applicants and then, because they have a bigger class to fill, need to dig deeper into the applicant pool. Generally speaking, though, there are as many or more top-credentialed students at the leading publics as at any private.

    • Faculty pay. It’s generally true that on average faculty at private universities make more than faculty at public universities, but the differential is much less than is commonly supposed, especially when the comparison group is elite publics. According to the AAUP, the average full professor at UCLA makes $162,600; at Dartmouth, $162,100; at Cornell, $161,800; at Brown, $156,700; at UC Berkeley $154,000; at Michigan $148.800. All these figures are listed as “far above the median” for university faculty generally. Generally speaking, the top publics have no difficulty recruiting and retaining the faculty they want, because the combination of prestige within academia and within a particular academic discipline and faculty compensation they offer is highly competitive.

    • International reputation. Some of the Ivies have stellar international reputations; others less so. Generally speaking, schools like UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Michigan far outshine the Browns and Dartmouths in international reputational surveys. For example, the Times Higher Education Supplement has UC Berkeley #9, UCLA #13, and Michigan #20 among world universities—very much in the same ballpark as #11 Yale, #14 Columbia, #15 Penn, and #18 Cornell, and well ahead of #51 Brown and #124 Dartmouth. The QS World University Ranking has Michigan at #17, in the same vicinity as #11 Columbia, #12 Penn, and #14 Cornell, with UC Berkeley (#22) and UCLA (#31) still well ahead of #42 Brown and #113 Dartmouth.
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  • xCossackxCossack - 239 replies15 threads Junior Member
    You forgot UT Austin and CU- Boulder...
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  • barronsbarrons 23088 replies1958 threads Senior Member
    Nobody says they are exactly like an Ivy in character. For one they are much larger. But they produce excellence in many ways just as Ivy schools do. Just not in all the same ways.
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  • tk21769tk21769 10710 replies27 threads Senior Member
    >> ... Michigan draws more Californians than any Ivy; nearly as many Illinoisans as the 8 Ivies combined; more Texans than any Ivy except Cornell. ...

    Imagine a typical floor in a residence hall. What are the odds that your neighbors on that floor (or in your smallest introductory humanities classes) will represent top students (and nobody but top students) from all over America? At most of the Ivies, the odds will be fairly high. At virtually any public school (with the exception of the service academies and possibly some honors colleges) I think the odds will be fairly low.

    Am I overstating the degree of this difference? Is it insignificant? To many students who choose Ivy League colleges, I don't think it is. That's not to say you can't get an excellent education at any of the public universities mentioned above. It's also not to say you could not find a diverse circle of smart, talented friends at any of them. However, I think we're glossing over significant differences when we argue that a school 2-5 times as large as the Ivies has just as much money, just as many OOS students, or just as many small classes. How does the distribution of resources come to bear on the typical classroom or dormitory experience?

    Then again, your college experience doesn't have to be typical. It's what you make it.
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  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad 10221 replies56 threads Senior Member
    Berkley is probably the only university on this list that can compete with a private Ivy like Harvard, or Princeton.
    Academics agree. :)
    Which Universities Are Ranked Highest by College Officials? - Morse Code: Inside the College Rankings (usnews.com)
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  • barronsbarrons 23088 replies1958 threads Senior Member
    Again, it is not a duplicate. They are the best of THEIR breed. Is that so hard to grasp? They also offer many things many Ivy schools do not. Larger variety of majors and research interests. Less influence of wealthy students. Greater geographic range of locations.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 threads Senior Member
    No, it is not hard to appreciate the differences. And that is what make the reliance on a silly moniker so ridiculous and misguided. Stretching the comparison to the extreme, some grab the perceived "excellence" as the common ground. But, why would one assume that the excellence is solely the domain of the Ivy League schools?

    The bottom line? There is plenty of excellence at the public research universities that roll of the tongue. Public schools are, by their nature, different from the private schools. Some public schools are better than their private counterparts -- if counterparts really exist in the private education sector.

    However, the silliest part is that rather than embracing the differences, some feel the need to make moronic comparisons and grab a gimmicky title. For no good reason!

    Aesop and his fable of the ox and toad would be proud.
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  • sentimentGX4sentimentGX4 1663 replies28 threads Senior Member
    For me, the most important aspect of the Ivy League is the prestige/selectivity. None of the publics schools come close in terms of selectivity so the entire idea of a "public ivy" is silly to me. Schools like Berkeley/Michigan/UVa are hardly "selective".

    On the other hand, do I believe that the Ivy League provide a superior academic experience? No. I am thoroughly convinced that the Ivy League are actually rather mediocre colleges in relation to their selectivity. The bulk have earned their reputation through historical precedence rather than academic excellence. For this reason, the "Ivy" title shouldn't be a title so sought after.
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  • barronsbarrons 23088 replies1958 threads Senior Member
    <Schools like Berkeley/Michigan/UVa are hardly "selective">

    I think you need a new dictionary. And removal of that colon blockage.
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  • Data10Data10 3328 replies11 threads Senior Member
    The Ivy League is an athletic conference in the northeast, so a list of "public ivies" isn't meaningful, nor is it clear what criteria is going into the selection for colleges on the list. If by "ivy" you mean highly selective colleges, I'd expect the most obvious selective non-LAC universities that are not in the Ivy League are Stanford, MIT, U Chicago, Duke, etc. A list of highly selective non-LAC public universities might include UCB, UCLA, UVa,... The degree of their selectivity varies significantly for in-state and out-of-state, so you might need separate lists as for in-state and out-of-state.
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  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi 10469 replies109 threads Senior Member
    "I think you need a new dictionary. And removal of that colon blockage."

    "tush"e barrons! ;-)
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  • blueiguanablueiguana 7401 replies95 threads Senior Member
    I've always cringed at the term 'XXX Ivy'. The Ivy League is what it is, define it how you want (football league, ultra selective schools, whatever), but I fail to see any need or value to compare or define any other school by the Ivy League. I find it insulting to that school frankly. Not because I don't think the Ivy League is good (or great, or whatever), but because it insinuates that the other school wasn't just fine, even great, doing what it was doing. My son goes to a school commonly referred to as one of these and it's like nails on a chalkboard. Why in the world isn't it enough to just be that school? I think it is. The school isn't a wannabe. They're not trying to be something they're not, and don't have any aspirations to be. I see other schools that commonly get this label and feel the same way. They are unique (just as many Ivy league schools have a niche) and are pretty darn awesome at doing exactly what they are doing. It's like telling the best hip hop artist they are the equivalent to the Luciano Pavarotti of hip hop. What the?! Pavarotti was amazing, but the hip hop artist never aspired to do anything but what they're doing and they are pretty darn happy with their place as the best hip hop artist, making music for their unique fan base.
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  • beyphybeyphy 2195 replies42 threads Senior Member
    Schools like Berkeley/Michigan/UVa are hardly "selective".

    I don't think you get an accurate picture of selectivity purely by taking into account admit rate. To get a truly accurate picture, you need to take into account the admit rate, in unison with the tests scores of the applicants and volume of applications. The most competitive publics generally have around a 20-30% admit rate, have high test scores, and tens of thousands of application; a notch below them, it's 30-40% admit rate, with lower scores, and lower applications. I'd say this is generally true, but it's debatable (e.g. some might argue that Michigan, which has a 30% admit rate, is 'more selective' than UCLA, which has a 20% admit rate.)

    These rates are still fairly competitive considering that, if memory serves the vast majority of public universities have nearly, or more than, a 50% admit rate.

    UCLA's admit rate for the 2013-2014 academic year was about 20%. That's in the same vicinity as a number of other top privates (USC, Emory, Notre Dame if memory serves,) and which will likely get even smaller next year; Its California admit rate was about 17%. Sure, that's not the 5% admit rate you see at HYPSM, but that's still pretty damn competitive when the majority have a 50% admit rate, especially considering UCLA's students' test average scores, the percentages of their class which graduated in the top 10%, etc.
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  • se4sonsse4sons 16 replies4 threads New Member
    UMiami is neither public nor an ivy..
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  • whenhenwhenhen 5530 replies111 threads Senior Member
    There's a Miami University in Ohio. It's a public school and actually older than U Miami.
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