Ivy League B

Just for kicks – or really, as my mind wandered last night as i struggled to fall asleep – I came up with a sort of “Ivy :eague B” idea. This is not new, as the Little Ivies pool is a known entity. But given how we as humans enjoy putting our own twists on things, I’m posting it. This might be worthwhile: herein students will see a list of high quality schools, some of which might not be known to some students who peruse this site. I’ll try to make it mirthful also.

My rules for Ivy League B are this:

  1. Private universities only, mirroring the Ivies
  2. No (lingering) real religious overtones, mirroring the Ivies
  3. Regional participation considerations
  4. Eight schools, mirroring the Ivies

Without further ado, I give you…

Ivy League B:
Johns Hopkins
Washington University

(also considered: Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Rice, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, USC)

Now for the mirthful part: the head-to-head matchups (I messed with the “ranking order” here a bit to yield juicier promo lines…) –

Harvard vs. MIT – The Battle of Cambridge. Crew teams from the Cambridge U paddle across the pond to judge and witness the Boston Brain Feats of Strength.

Yale vs. Stanford – We find out if the tree moves when a bulldog pees on it.

Princeton vs. Caltech – “Theoretically, I could kick your *ss.”

Columbia vs. UChicago – “You call that a CORE?!”

Penn vs. Duke – God vs. Satan in the form of Quakers and Devils…

Dartmouth vs. Northwestern – Most of the kids would (based on school reputation) be polar opposites: the preppy alcoholic party-freak Dartmouthians and the relatively quiet, nerdy Northwesterners. Opposites attract; cue Marvin Gay.

Cornell vs. Johns Hopkins – Heard frequently at a party: “Doctor?” “Doctor.” “Doctor?” “Doctor.”

Brown vs. Washington U – These schools have (aside from maybe Valparaiso and Tufts) the ugliest school colors: green and red (Wash U) and seal brown and red (Brown). Imagine them getting together on a football field or a basketball court.

That was fun, thanks!

…make that Marvin GayE…

Everything in this post is fine, no problems at all… But Tufts has ugly colors? It is basically Carolina Blue and White.

Pretty sure there is brown in that scheme (Tufts) also. Though, if you don’t know that, maybe it’s because they are trying to hide the brown… which is obviously understandable. hehe

I was going to say there may be some brown here and there, but not really present in the latest branding. It is very JCrew these days.

i guess, thinking about it again, light blue, brown and white might not be so bad. we see it in weddings now and then. brown-and-red (bloody feces?) and green-and-red (Christmas?), on the other hand… still not great to me. Nothing against christmas per se, of course, but those colors can only be tolerated together once annually. hehe

I’m interested to know what you guys think of the more reality-based “matchups” (and really, this is among the few useful parts of the original post):

UChicago vs. Columbia U in terms of a “core”. this is not meant to become a freshwater vs. saltwater debate. Both are right in part.

Princeton vs. Caltech in theoretical physics/astrology/anything else

A school like Brown, known for being fairly liberal. That word gets a far too bad rap these days, as we are a classical liberal nation still (which actually means individual freedom). But you know what I mean – some refer to Brown as a bastion of hippiedom. Meanwhile, we have Washington U in St. Louis. Some likely more personally conservative students an hour from Ferguson. There might be some interesting conversations among kids from both schools.

Look, the Ivy League and Ivy League B comprise great schools. Like anyone attempting to differentiate one hue of greatness from another, i’d love to know – as would the proverbial flies on the wall – your takes on some of the above comparisons.

Senseless attempt at hierarchy. Given personal preferences, abilities, and needs, the top is the top, applicants must convince admissions officers that it would be of greatest mutual benefit for them to attend. It is meaningless to make too many distinctions, but then, this is a game to the OP.

All good points, thanks.

It is a bit of a game to me, but i’m not really into a hierarchy/ranking per se – this was more about listing some non-Ivy (but Ivy-level) schools in mostly non-NE areas of the country. And then having a bit of fun with some comparisons.

@prezbucky your perception of style seems to be as outdated as your perception of colleges.

In fashion circles, brown is heralded as the “new black”. In interior design circles, “relaxing, earthy, cool” colors are in.

This more modern ethos places Brown (the alternative Ivy) at the top of the Ivy League and places Tufts at top of the list of Ivy alternatives. Columbia, JHop and Duke score some points for sharing light blue with Tufts, but all the other Ivys and Ivy alternatives that you list are pretty much passe.

Subtract MIT, CalTech and Chicago

Add Gtown, Vandy, Rice

you’re kidding, right?

The hardest spot to figure is the 8th spot, since WUSTL, Vandy, Rice and Georgetown are almost identical in academic rep. Maybe we’ll just name all of them as the 8th school in Ivy League B. Notre Dame and Emory, IMO, are in that group too.

MIT is the M fixture in HYPSM – clearly fit for Ivy League B.

UChicago is currently tied for 4th in the USNews ranking (with, among others, Stanford). Its academic reputation (all those Nobel Prizes) is fit for Ivy League B.

Caltech reports higher ACT/SAT test scores than any other school and is – perhaps tied with MIT – the greatest STEM-focused school in the world. They don’t do much in the Humanities, but reports are to the effect that what they offer is pretty good. On the strength of the STEM, Caltech is Ivy League B material.

The point is that you don’t have to go to an Ivy League school to get that level (and type… highly selective private) of education. Ivy League schools are lumped together often for convenience: witness all the chance threads mentioning “Ivies” or “Ivy League”. The increased use of “Ivy League B” or “B Ivies” would save some keystrokes too.


A couple of comments:

Northwestern students are not quiet and nerdy. UChicago gets all of those.

The Ivy league specifically did not include any Catholic universities like Holy Cross. Notre Dame and Georgetown are thus out.

I would replace Caltech with Rice. It is a much more balanced university.

  • Chicago can't get all of them. ;-)
  • I didn't take the Catholic/religious question into account. My main focus was on type of school (generally small- to mid-sized and private) and academic reputation.
  • Historically, Brown, Columbia and Penn (at least those three) were linked to Christian denominations. Those three clearly moved past any religious restrictions, and I suspect Georgetown is fairly secular also. Notre Dame... might be a bit more churchy than Georgetown. But, again, I wasn't taking that factor into account.
  • Caltech's rankings are #6 nationally and #7 internationally by ARWU; #10 by US News for undergrad; #8 in the QS World U Rankings; and #1 in the world in the Times Higher Ed U Rankings. They are highly, highly revered; moreso than Rice, no offense to Rice. Rice is also Ivy quality... just not ahead of Caltech.

I am not disputing Caltech’s reputation; it is sterling. However, it is largely concentrated in the STEM fields. While they have a humanities department, it is tiny. According to their website, they have 22 humanities professors and 4 fields of study.


In contrast, MIT’s non-STEM areas are somewhat more robust. They offer more than 20 fields of study, and at least one of them, economics, is world class.

One of the strengths of the Ivy’s is that practically all of the schools offer a wide breadth of majors covering the arts and sciences. If you asked an Ivy provost if their school’s breadth of academic offerings were nearer to Caltech or Rice, the vast majority would probably say Rice.

Yeah, and I think that’s why MIT is generally considered to be just a bit better than Caltech overall – the more robust Humanities offerings and top-five Econ.

Certainly Rice is more rounded than Caltech - agreed.

Northwestern students couldn’t be farther from quiet nerdy. We have a work hard, play hard environment. Lots of drinking in dorms, partying at the Deuce on school nights, frat parties during orientation. Clearly you haven’t been to a lot of the schools you are describing.

@prezbucky - I am serious. Make an Ivy League C for MIT, CalTech, Olin, etc.

That would be Ivy League E.