The masterful job that the Ivy League has done in marketing.

Have you ever heard “I want to go to an Ivy”, " Chance me for an Ivy"? Its fascinating how well the Ivy League has marketed itself that you hear these words without any deference for which Ivy college they actually want to go to. However what is really interesting is how they have managed to get top schools across the nation to use terms like “Public Ivy”, Ivy +" “Near Ivy” to compare themselves to the Ivy League when many of these top research universities and LAC’s have at least some superior programs. The self depreciation of a top public university to call itself a “Public Ivy” is the equivalent of saying that they concede that they are not as good as any Ivy even though they superior areas within the University. The same could be said for the other monikers. Can’t get into a real Ivy, maybe you can get into a “near” Ivy, which isn’t quite as good. The bottom line is the Ivy League has done a masterful job of making the word “Ivy” a word that others have to compare themselves against and giving themselves a huge marketing boost.

I’ll leave out Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford out of this discussion, as they consider themselves clearly superior to any Ivy. Whether that is true or not is not germane to this post.

People forget that the Ivy League is an athletic conference, and nothing more. Not saying they are not excellent schools, but they are not the be-all and end-all in higher education.

The “Ivy League” does not market. Columbia does its thing; Harvard does its thing; Cornell does its thing. If our consumerist culture has somehow conflated the experience of living in Ithaca NY and studying at the hotel school with living in Cambridge MA and studying Government or Classics then the culprit is our culture, not the colleges.

The one effort to rally around being an “Ivy” was shot down in court as violating anti-trust laws (pricing violations) and is no longer done.

So your post is confusing-- exactly what has Dartmouth done to promote being “an Ivy”? Dartmouth just tries to be the best Dartmouth it can be.

“I’ll leave out Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford out of this discussion, as they consider themselves clearly superior to any Ivy. Whether that is true or not is not germane to this post.”

In Engineering, they are clearly superior to any Ivy. This is simply true, “whether you like or not, or even hate it.”

I attend what many people call a “public Ivy” - and I detest the term.

CU123 can you please offer an example of the Ivy League marketing themselves collectively? I only see the Ivy school’s marketing themselves individually while others utilize the terms you suggest to associate with the Ivy status.

For example I know others claim to be the public ivy not the Ivies making the association. Never heard a kid say they go to any Ivy. Instead they name the school and seem to enjoy each school’s unique character.

If by masterful marketing you mean maintaining a good quality product across a diverse group of schools, I would agree. Never however have I seen any sign of coordinated message with the exception of those you mention who are on the outside looking in.

You misspelled “society” or “tiger parent” or perhaps any of numerous other descriptors. I’ve yet to meet/see/hear of any person how is/was VP of Ivy League marketing. Thanks for the chuckle though.

Would you like a Coke while you put on that Band-Aid ?

No thanks, but I do need a Kleenex.

The Ivy League schools don’t really collectively market themselves but some of their alums/students do and more importantly, most humans are lazy, ignorant, and use simple heuristics.

So they are prone to use try to use a simple term to try to signify eliteness (such as SKY in Korea, the grandes ecoles in France, or the Russell Group in the UK). Nevermind that the Russell Group is more like the AAU in the US or that there really isn’t a grouping of colleges in the US that includes all/nearly all of the most elite and selective (for undergrad) colleges/unis in this country but excludes the schools that aren’t.

"The self depreciation of a top public university to call itself a “Public Ivy”

I just looked that up and it looks like that phrase was coined by the author of Public Ivies released in 1985, and so did not come from any university itself. Actually the phrase that’s used more than public ivy is ivy+ which are the eight ivies and mit, duke, chicago, stanford.

It would appear those 4 schools maybe have more of a problem being left out of the ivies and are the true wannabe ivies…

Yet the only school actually invited into the Ivy League was Northwestern University.

My understanding of the term “Ivies plus” was that it often just refers to Ivies + MIT & Stanford in the context of comparing prep schools’ placement into the most elite universities.

Of course, there is also the term “Little Ivies” which refers to a handful of LACs including Amherst College, Williams College, Wesleyan University, and, I believe, Swarthmore College.

Another term I see used quite often is “Ivies & Ivy equivalents”. This term includes the top 6 or 7 LACs plus MIT, Chicago, Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, Caltech, Berkeley & JHU in my understanding.

P.S. Plus Georgetown. Rice & Vanderbilt as well.

Based on alumni outcomes, I have Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke, NU, Rice, Georgetown, and the U of C (as well as a bunch of LACs) as Ivy-equivalents:

I’d like to see someone try to argue that Dartmouth is somehow more elite than Rice or Brown is somehow more elite than Georgetown.

Purpletitan in a previous post you wrote “A couple years ago, I decided to do an outcomes-based ranking to determine tiers of schools (again, mostly for bragging rights”

You seem however to be disparaging Ivy kids and alums for referencing their Ivy connection (bragging rights) Pot calling the kettle black?

In terms of “elite” status between Dartmouth, Brown, Gtown, Rice etc all great schools. In a consumer market place elite means demand out paces supply. BD have significantly lower acceptance rates then GR.

In my experience Ivy (and most if not all) kids are proud of the specific institution they attend not their sports conference.

No marketing was ever needed to promote the Ivy League. It simply grew by itself through its collective aura of academic excellence, history and tradition, and socio-political elitism such that the common folks don’t even associate it with a sports conference. This aura was endowed by the common folks, not marketing.

IMO, calling non-Ivy colleges “little Ivy”, “public Ivy”, etc. is just plain silly and frankly desparate. Let each college stand on its own without having to be compared, incorrectly, as something they are not.

I remember an article about a recruited athlete who received a verbal athletic scholarship to Loyola Marymount Univerisity (LMU) in Los Angeles and one of the reasons the athlete chose this college was because it is the “Ivy of the West”. Somebody really sold her hook, line and sinker…

@socaldad2002: They may have been referring to inferior athletics as compared to other DI schools.

It isn’t about marketing really. But it very much is about branding.

The market for high end college admissions is strongly oriented to prestige and brand. If it wasn’t, CC, USNWR, Princeton Review etc. etc. etc. would not exist.

Within that higher ed market, The Ivy League is THE brand. Even outside the higher ed market, The Ivy League is one of the best known brand names globally. Everyone everywhere knows the Ivy League, even if they are fuzzy about who is actually in it.

While the brand started as an athletic conference, it is massively bigger than that now. The Ivy League schools would still be Ivy League schools even if they all stopped playing sports.

You’d think that the brand means the most to the five schools that aren’t HYP. NYU just is not Columbia (as we learned from Gossip Girl). Hopkins and Gtown aren’t Penn.

If you look at international college rankings, such at the Times World Reputation rankings at!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats or the Global Employer Reputation Rankings at (a sub criteria in 4th column) , they look notably different from USNWR type rankings. Harvard is still consistently at or near the top, but some of the other Ivies do not fare as well. For example, in the World Reputation rankings linked above Brown isn’t ranked among the top 70, and Dartmouth did not make the rankings, which only went to top 100. In the Employer Reputation rankings, Brown was 163rd and Dartmouth did not make the top 200. In contrast Berkeley ranked above all Ivies except Harvard in both World Reputation and Global Employer Reputation. I’m sure a good portion of persons outside of the US have heard of the Ivy League, but attending an unspecified Ivy League college generally doesn’t mean much. It’s the individual colleges that have the reputation, rather than the athletic conference.

I grew up in the northeast, almost in the distance center of the 8 Ivies. Nevertheless, when I was growing up, I didn’t know what 8 colleges composed the Ivies. I had certainly heard of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton; but wasn’t as clear on various others. For example, at the time, I thought University of Pennsylvania was part of Pennsylvania’s public system. The college applications from my old HS continue to showed a similar pattern. Being located in upstate NY, Cornell had a huge number of applications, probably more than all other Ivies combined. HYP also had a good number of applications, primarily due to their national reputation; but Dartmouth was a different story. I’m not aware of anyone who applied to all Ivies or colleges just because they were Ivies. Instead they focused on the individual colleges within that athletic conference.

That said, certain individual colleges within the Ivy League are very focused on their reputation, and their appeal largely relates to that individual reputation. For example, I’d expect most people applying to HYP could not give a good reason about what those 3 colleges offer that numerous others highly selective colleges which they did not apply to do not. Instead the primary reason why those 3 colleges were selected was their individual reputation.