Brown among the Ivies -- Please Discuss

<p>I cobbled these opinions together from various sources. They focus primarily on the undergraduate programs of the various Ivies. I think there is a ring of truth in them.</p>

<p>For undergraduate education:</p>

<p>Tier I - Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth;
Tier II - Harvard, Penn, Columbia, Cornell </p>

<p>Yale - Extraordinary academics (though skewed away from the hard sciences). Provides luminaries on the faculty combined with a stunning array of intellectual offerings (formal courses as well as unique extra-curriculars like Grand Strategy). Reigns supreme in the fine arts, offers great leadership and service opportunities. Greatest undergrad focus [tutoring, mentoring, residential college housing, funding for ECs] with the possible exception of Dartmouth. Market leading endowment performance has Yale rolling in dough. The brand name is second to only to one. It feels closer to the centers of American power than perhaps all the other top schools (Good Shepherd anyone?). Often rates rather low in “student happiness” surveys. Major issue - old New Haven, which is still depressing after all these years </p>

<p>Princeton - Phenomenal academics, probably the most balanced of the Ivies across all fields of study. World class in arts, humanities, social sciences, hard sciences AND engineering. Only Stanford can surpass Princeton among the elite private schools in this regard. Pound for pound it’s the best academically for undergraduates of all the Ivies with the largest endowment for undergraduate academics and a pristine idyllic campus. Major issue - Old Nassau is elite and it FEELS elite → Is Princeton too cultured & manicured? Does it simply have too much money?? </p>

<p>Brown - The place for independent students who are brave (or foolish enough) to design their own programs of study; very good academics especially in the humanities; new arts link with RISD may effectively place Brown in the same league as Yale; stellar and very self-selecting student body and lots of momentum because of strong University leadership. And then there’s the aura of celebrity which hangs over the campus like a golden halo. Major issue - lack of research-heavy grad schools means Brown will increasingly NOT be perceived as a top school by rankings that favor engrg & medical focused universities (an issue also hurting Princeton). </p>

<p>Dartmouth - Weakest in a pure academic sense among the Ivies (due to its limited graduate programs), but still one of the very best in the nation for a classic liberal arts education. The focus on undergrads is rivaled perhaps only by Yale and the demanding rigor of its course work, especially in math, science and engineering is almost unparalleled among its peers (think more like MIT). Mentoring from senior faculty is reputedly the best in the Ivies, and lots of resources ($$$) are committed to the undergraduates and to undergraduate research. Does a fantastic job of creating a very strong bond among and with its students – it really is a “tribe”. Very self-selecting student body. Off-campus and international programs the best in the Ivies. Major issue - those long and cold and long and cold New England winters.</p>


<p>Harvard - #1 brand. #1 endowment. And Harvard manages both aggressively. Overall, Harvard has more - more money, more Nobelists, more books, more museums, more labs, more of everything. The school is loaded with superstar faculty (Nobels, National Academy members, etc). Harvard College has the highest yield and one of the lowest admit rates; it may have more students that are really off the charts than any other school in America. The place is Institutional with a capital I. Major Issue - Harvard clearly favors its graduate schools, and the abandoned undergrads don’t complain too much because they count themselves lucky to even be there. A low-level and pervasive unhappiness though can be sensed among many undergraduates, as most believe their peers are getting a better education and having more fun elsewhere.</p>

<p>Penn - Academically, great breadth across many disciplines. Unrivalled in undergrad business and nursing, top notch in arts and social sciences. Maybe the weakest among the research-oriented Ivy in the hard sciences. Increasingly prominent in humanities ECs (Kelly Writers House, Civics House, Humanities Forum, etc.) to counter pre-professional Wharton-itis. Lots of academic freedom and perhaps the most flexible after Brown; Penn works hard to ensure cross-disciplinary work. Students can take classes at all Penn’s schools (except for Med), benefiting from what may be the second best group of graduate schools among the Ivies. Work hard, party hard ethos. Major Issue - Sheer size and “grittiness” mars the Ivy experience and an anemic job market in Philadelphia (no incentives to stay local unlike Harvard/Cambridge or Stanford/Palo Alto). </p>

<p>Columbia - Blessed with a long legacy and unrivalled NYC location. Any professor who wants to live in NYC most likely wants to teach at Columbia. That creates great resources for students. Unique Core Curriculum defines the academic experience, and Columbia is stellar in many areas. One of the very best in arts and social sciences, very strong in sciences too. Famously political and activist, though jobs on Wall Street seem to carry the day with students. Advising, facilities and access to popular courses draw chronic complaints from the students. Campus expansion may help, although there’s never enough space in Manhattan. Major Issue - Does Columbia rely too much on the lure of NYC for students and faculty alike? </p>

<p>Cornell - Big Red!!! Awesome academics can’t be touched in engineering and the hard sciences. Unrivalled and unique offerings (agriculture school, labor relations, hotel mgmt) within the Ivies. Don’t pooh pooh the admit rate - Cornell is the biggest among the best and - more importantly - it has a slightly different mission that the other places, namely it’s the land grant school for NY state. It’s a major research center even for undergrads. Another idyllic - perhaps isolated - locale for college and the life of the mind. Student diversity varies tremendously between the undergraduate schools (there are seven). And the academic programs are very structured, (aka, rigid). Major issue - Immense academic pressure at a competitive place (read grind), and those bitter winters high abve Cayuga’s waters.</p>

<p>you are such a good person</p>

<p>I agree on most</p>

<p>i really dont think you can tier the ivies although i do agree with your analyses..they all have unique parts to them</p>

<p>ps. i heard western new england was joining the ivies in 2010. what tier would they be?</p>

<p>WOW!!!!!! What a THIEF you are!!!!!! </p>

<p>You have the audacity to completely copy a post I made, essentially in its entirety may I add - and take credit for it. What a pathetic person you are!!!!! </p>

<p>If this was real life you'd be fired for plagiarism and then sued for stealing. </p>

<p>Since it's an Internet thread, I'll take this as a compliment for the research I have done and perspective that I have developed.</p>

<p>ps. i heard western new england was joining the ivies in 2010. what tier would they be?</p>

<p>what the heck are you talking about? Colleges simply can't "join" the ivies; it's not like a special club or something.</p>

<p>the "ivy league" label was given to 8 schools that had (long before academic prestige) sport competitions with each other and most are the oldest colleges in the naton</p>

<p>To the OP.
Shame on you for plagiarism.</p>

<p>University of Rochester or something like that was offered a spot in the Ivy League a year or so ago, they turned it down.</p>

<p>So it is possible that another school would be joining.</p>

<p>AFAIK, there has been no talk of extending the Ivy League for some time. Rutgers was offered a spot, but I believe that was greater than 60 years ago and may have been more like 100 years ago.</p>

<p>I'd like to see a source on that expansion, it'd be interesting to read if that's true.</p>

<p>The Ivy League is prestigious only because of the advantage older, private universities have traditionally had over newer institutions, it's not by chance of their association together as a sports league.</p>

<p>I go to Brown, so of course I'm a bit biased, but here is my sense if I had to rank the Ivies:</p>

<p>1st tier (where 1st=best): Harvard, Yale, Princeton
2nd tier: Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth
3rd tier: Cornell, Penn</p>

<p>billybobbyk, did you place Brown in the second tier because of reputation, undergraduate focus, and/or something else?</p>

<p>Some thoughts on these statements: Penn "unrivalled for business" and "Any professor who wants to live in NYC most likely wants to teach at Columbia" or "Does Columbia rely too much on the lure of NYC for students and faculty alike?"</p>

<p>As a former bschool prof at Columbia, these are just a few things I know something about. Penn is hardly unrivaled (great school but tons of non-Ivies easily as good on almost any criteria). We also had trouble attracting faculty to NYC, period. Many great faculty just won't go near NYC (I don't understand it myself, but it is so). Moreover faculty care about their specific research environment in their very specific field, not at all the ranking of a school on USNWR or Business Week (which is often quite different). </p>

<p>My point though was not to pick apart an opinion (these details are utterly trivial), but to point out how mythology floats on this board. Not a fault of the posters- they just do not have access to the information. But over and over again I read things in my narrow area of expertise that are simply not supported in reality (and it leads me to believe that the many issues on which I am not so well informed are likely just as false too). That is the point I want to get across. Opinions, even widely shared, are not equal to facts, but they do take on a life of their own among HS students on this board (which is quite unfortunate if it means students seek out or avoid a college on the basis of the mythology). </p>

<p>Just take every opinion you read or hear about a given university with a huge grain of salt.</p>

<p>starbright-- I've been trying to get people to realize that 95% of what's said on these boards is utterly ridiculous and has nothing to do with A) the quality of a university B) whether a student would be happy there.</p>

<p>People just don't realize that almost everything focused on in these boards have nothing to do with whether is a school is right for a person as an individual and the myth that these institutions are significantly different in quality of education and academics they can offer is crazy.</p>

<p>I have to agree with modestmelody, and expand upon my earlier post by saying that I placed Brown in tier 2 to nothing other than reputation.</p>

<p>By the way, as a second semester freshman at Brown one thing that I should note is that many of the intro classes in the sciences are HUGE by non-state school standards (100-300 kids in a class; imho, any class size over 100 might as well be 500, there is little difference), and I'm a bit bitter over the lack of contact with faculty.
That being said, my friend who is an English major had 4 classes, 2 taught by grad students, 2 taught by Professors, in which none was over 25 students.
Science majors can also balance their schedules by taking First Year Seminars, which are generally capped at 15-20 students, thought First Year Seminars are all stand-alone courses that don't generally replace prerequisites such as Intro Biology (known here as the Foundations of Living Systems)</p>

<p>3rd tier my butt</p>

<p>That's hilarious! Going to ANY ivy is better than going to beauty school (nothing wrong with that, though.)</p>

<p>Why would someone rank them? Your education is what you make of it.</p>

<p>If this is plagiarism, someone please link the original post.</p>


<p>I'm very suspicious about these college rankings. Although I love to see Brown ranked as a "tier 1" school, I can only wonder: where's the proof? Perhaps the OP can give out more information, such as where these opinions actually come from (names, experience). </p>

<p>Brown is an amazing university that I have the privilege to go to. But it's not the best place for everyone, and it's certainly not considered to be a "tier 1" school in every regard (even if we only consider the ivy league schools). That being said, I think the information concerning Brown is satisfactory, although it certainly doesn't strike me as deserving excessive praise. (The celebrity halo seems to have nothing to do with a legitimate college experience and RISD's affect on Brown isn't as far-reaching as it sounds.)</p>

<p>I can only offer a critical opinion of Brown, because that's all I know. I hope people avoid/approach with caution people who seem to believe they have a firm grasp on all the ivy league schools, when all they have are general, gleaming "facts".</p>

<p>i think this is stupid</p>

<p>i think that they are all so good, with the slight exception of Cornell, that any ranking of one above the other is so marginal as to be absolutely positively meaningless in the quality of the education you can get / seek out. </p>

<p>And for the record, I take like half my classes at RISD. You just have to push the right buttons.</p>

<p>GoingtoSpace, why so critical of Brown? Curious.</p>

<p>cornell sucks
end of story</p>