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Who actually attends the colleges that make up the Ivy League? When you’re in the process of applying to these colleges, it can be difficult to imagine the answer to this question. With their high admissions standards and low acceptance rates, the Ivies can seem to be more like dream destinations than places where real people go to school.

 

However, the Ivy League colleges, like many other schools, are composed of individuals from a variety of different backgrounds and situations. Often, it’s possible to access data that lays out these demographic factors in specific numerical terms. If you don’t know where or how to find this information yourself, don’t worry—CollegeVine is here to help.

 

We’ve described the schools of the Ivy League before, in our blog post Which Ivy League School Is Right For You? In this post, we’ll take a different approach. We’ll review the colleges of the Ivy League by the numbers, from the size of their student bodies to their racial and ethnic breakdowns. While this quantitative data can’t tell the whole story of which colleges might be a good fit for you, these important facts can nonetheless play an important role in guiding your college search.

 

Introduction to the Ivy League

 

The Ivy League is the traditional designation for the group of schools that includes the following colleges and universities:

 

 

These colleges are traditionally grouped together because they share a number of distinguishing factors. Chief among these is their reputation as prestigious centers of higher learning where selected students can receive a rigorous college education, access an exceptionally rich array of resources, and perhaps eventually become some of the leading figures in the modern world.

 

All of the Ivy League schools are located in the northeastern United States, and share characteristics of age and historical importance. All except Cornell were originally founded prior to the American Revolution, so they’ve been a part of American history for a very long time, and have produced many influential figures along the way.

 

The Ivy League schools are private colleges, with (again) the exception of Cornell, which has several degree programs that are partially publicly run and funded. All are extremely competitive in their admissions processes, have well-funded endowments, and are generally considered to be among the most prestigious colleges in the United States and even the world.

 

Formally speaking, the Ivy League is the designation for an athletic conference within Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. However, in many ways, the relationship between the colleges of the Ivy League is a relatively informal one, built more upon shared reputations and affinities than upon any strict rules and regulations.

 

The Council of Ivy Group Presidents, made up of the presidents of all eight universities, governs the policies and agreements that are shared by the Ivy League schools, such as common admissions and financial aid philosophies. The Ivy Council, composed of and run by student government leaders, also helps to maintain the relationships between the Ivies.

 

However, Ivy League schools remain as distinctly individual institutions in most ways. Each is operated independently, and each has its own special character and approach to educating college students.

 

Of course, the colleges of the Ivy League are not the only world-class colleges in the United States, as we’ve covered in our post Colleges That Are Great Beyond the Famous Eight. This country is host to many other excellent institutions of higher education as well. Informal designations like “Ivy Plus” and “the Public Ivies”, which borrow the resonance of the Ivy League’s name, are sometimes used to refer to different groupings of high-caliber schools.

 

Still, the historical reputation and worldwide name recognition of the Ivy League gives the colleges within it a certain cachet. Even though the importance of the Ivy League title is limited in some ways, these schools are undeniably among the best in the country, and being accepted to one or more Ivies is a particularly coveted prize for college applicants.

 

Making use of demographic data for colleges

 

In the process of researching and applying to colleges, you’ll be faced with a lot of numbers, from acceptance rates to average financial aid awards and beyond. This blog post is no exception. In the next section, you’ll find some basic but important facts and figures about each Ivy League school and its student body.

 

As you evaluate colleges, it’s essential that you not only read this information, but learn to evaluate what it means—and, more specifically, what it means for you as a prospective applicant to that college.

 

How can these facts help you as you conduct your college search? Quantitative data can be very helpful in comparing different colleges, as it’s much more definite than subjective opinions about the schools. It can indicate whether you’re likely to find many students on campus whose background is similar to yours, and can help you get a sense of whether the college is a good fit for your applicant profile.

 

Most of all, the data included here can help you to rule in—or rule out—certain colleges, based on the factors that are most important to you.  There are so many college options in the United States that it would be impossible for applicants to do in-depth research on every single one. You’ll need to get used to using data like this to draw conclusions about which colleges are worth more of your time and research.

 

Finally, remember that each college’s quantitative breakdown provides limited information, and can’t give you a full answer for whether that college matches your needs. Before you apply anywhere, do your due diligence and make sure you’re making an informed decision about where to spend the next four year of your life.  

 

The colleges and their data

 

The information given below represents the most recent data readily available from these colleges as of February 2017. It should be noted that not every Ivy League college uses the same terminology in its informational materials, so some terms may differ. Racial and ethnic categories, for instance, are reproduced here as each college has designated them.

 

This information was gleaned from each college’s official website, as well as from the US News and World Report 2017 college rankings, which are based upon information provided by the colleges themselves.

 

Looking for more insight about the schools of the Ivy League from trained mentors with personal experience? Visit the CollegeVine website to learn about our near-peer mentorship program and college application assistance services, and take a step toward making your applicant profile really stand out.

 

 

Brown University

 

  • Location:
    • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 6,320
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 9.3%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition and fees: $51,366
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $68,106
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 41%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $47,940
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 17.3%
    • Average student loan debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $23,521
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • African-American: 6.3%
    • American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.4%
    • Asian-American: 14.1%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 11.2%
    • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.2%
    • White: 42%
    • More than one race/ethnicity: 6%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 47% male
    • 53% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 15%
  • For more information:

 

Columbia University

 

  • Location:
    • New York, New York
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 6,102
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 6%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition: $55,056
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $71,585
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 50%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $47,490
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 16%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 84%
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the class of 2020:
    • African-American: 13%
    • Asian-American: 28%
    • Latino: 15%
    • Native American: 3%
    • White: 40%
    • Other: 1%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 52% male
    • 48% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 15%
  • For more information:

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Cornell University

 

  • Location:
    • Ithaca, NY
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 14,453
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 15%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition: $34,209–50,953 (depending on program and state residency)
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $50,869–67,613
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving need-based financial aid: 46%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $38,377
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 16%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 57%
    • Average debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $24,394
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • African-American: 6.8%
    • Asian-American: 18.1%
    • Biracial or multiracial: 4.7%
    • Caucasian: 36.3%
    • Hispanic American: 13.8%
    • Native American/Hawaiian: 0,7%
    • Not reported and other: 8.2%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 47% male
    • 53% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 12.1%
  • For more information:

 

Dartmouth College

 

  • Location:
    • Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 4,307
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 10.6%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition: $49,998
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $69,474
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 51%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $44,780
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 14%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 57%
    • Average debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $20,373
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • African-American: 8%
    • Asian-American: 17%
    • Caucasian: 50%
    • Latino: 8%
    • Multi-Racial: 3%
    • Native American: 4%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 48% male
    • 52% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 8%
  • For more information:

 

Harvard University

 

  • Location:
    • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 6,699
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 5.4%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition and fees: $43,280
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $66,950
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving need-based financial aid: 55%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $48,533
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 16%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 74%
    • Average debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $12,560
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • African-American: 13.7%
    • Asian-American: 22.1%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 12.6%
    • Native American or Pacific Islander: 2.6%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 53% male
    • 47% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 11.4%
  • For more information:

 

Princeton University

 

  • Location:
    • Princeton, New Jersey
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 5,402
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 6.5%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition and fees: $47,500
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $66,645
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving need-based financial aid: 60%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $48,000
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 21%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 84%
    • Average debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $8,500
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • Asian-American: 20%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 9%
    • African-American: 8%
    • Multi-racial (non-Hispanic): 5%
    • American Indian: less than 1%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 51% male
    • 49% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 12%
  • For more information:

 

University of Pennsylvania

 

  • Location:
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 9,726
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 9%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition: $51,464
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $69,340
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 47%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $48,605
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 15%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 68%
    • Average debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $18,900
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • African-American/Black: 7%
    • Asian-American/Pacific Islander: 19.8%
    • Hispanic/Latino/a: 10.3%
    • Two or more races: 4.2%
    • White: 44.3%
    • Self-identify as students of color: 48%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 50% male
    • 50% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 11.5%
  • For more information:

 

Yale University

 

  • Location:
    • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Number of undergraduate students:
    • 5,532
  • Acceptance rate:
    • 7%
  • Yearly cost:
    • Yearly tuition and fees: $49,480
    • Total estimated yearly cost: $68,230
  • Financial aid:
    • Percentage of students receiving financial aid: 51%
    • Average need-based financial aid award: $43,989
    • Percentage of students receiving Pell grants: 13%
    • Percentage of students who graduate without student loan debt: 84%
    • Average debt at graduation for students taking out loans: $14,583
  • Racial and ethnic makeup of the student body:
    • African-American: 10.8%
    • Asian-American: 19.1%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 12.9%
    • Native American: 2.5%
    • White: 51.8%
  • Gender breakdown:
    • 51.2% male
    • 48.8% female
  • Percentage of student body considered international:
    • 11.5%
  • For more information:

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Monikah Schuschu

Monikah Schuschu

Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Monikah Schuschu is an alumna of Brown University and Harvard University. As a graduate student, she took a job at the Harvard College Office of Financial Aid and Admissions, and discovered the satisfaction of helping students and parents with the often-baffling college admissions process. She also enjoys fiber art, murder mysteries, and amateur entomology.
Monikah Schuschu