Is Colgate Ivy League? What You Need To Know

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It has become confusing because some say Colgate is one of the Ivy League schools, while others argue it isn’t.

Who, then, do you believe? This article will tell you the exact truth backed up with facts.


History of Colgate University

Colgate University was established in 1819 and was named the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York and operated under that name until 1823.

It was renamed Hamilton Theological and Literary Institution, often called Hamilton College (1823–1846), then Madison College (1846–1890), and its present name is Colgate University since 1890. The University is in Hamilton, New York.

Colgate University is among the top 100 most selected universities in the United States. The campus’s architectural theme makes it one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.

Students have many opportunities to explore their fields through research or abroad programs. This interdisciplinary education inculcates many desirable skills, including intellectual curiosity, a commitment to rigorous discourse, and the pursuit of knowledge.

What is the Ivy League?

The term Ivy League refers to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with records of academic excellence, social elitism, and selectivity in admitting students. The Ivy League is also known as the Ancient Eight. It is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States.

The Ivy League includes Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. Ivy League was established in 1954, and Its headquarters is at Princeton, New Jersey.

All eight Ivy League schools are members of the Association of American Universities, the most prestigious alliance of American research universities. Ivy League universities have some of the world’s largest university financial settings, allowing them to provide excess resources for their academic programs, financial aid, students, and research endeavors.

Each university receives millions of dollars in annual research funding from the federal government and private sources. The Ivy League schools are the most sought-after institutions in the world. These eight private schools have widespread name recognition and social prestige.

This group contains some of the oldest educational universities, promising mind-blowing opportunities for students to become the best in their careers. In particular, the Ivies are known for their ability to churn out well-rounded future leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and high-achieving graduates.

Is Colgate an Ivy League school?

Colgate University is a private liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York. Colgate is not an Ivy League athletic conference member and therefore is not considered an Ivy. But Colgate competes in the NCAA Division I Patriots League.

Colgate University campus
Colgate University

While Colgate has a smaller global reputation than the Ivies, it is still highly ranked in liberal arts. Colgate is ranked as a Hidden Ivy in a book published by two education experts, Howard and Matthew Greene.

The Hidden Ivies are colleges and universities considered rivals with the eight Ivy League schools without being part of the group. The schools offer similar academic opportunities to students but don’t get easily noticed because of their lack of popularity compared to the Ivy League.

Colgate was selected based on its comprehensive academics, rigorous admissions process, financial aid, and student experiences.

Newsweek, a widely distributed magazine, coined New Ivy to define another group of elite universities in 2006. Ranging across the country from New York to California, these schools provide great academics and first-rate faculty members.

Colgate is included in this group of New Ivies, recognized as a world-class school suited to educating the top students across the globe. Based on admission statistics and interviews with administrators, faculty, students, and alumni, Colgate is considered on par with Cornell and Dartmouth.

Colgate is not an Ivy League University

Ivy League schools are known for their highly selective admissions, academic excellence, well-respected professors, ample research opportunities, and promising career opportunities. Colgate shares many of these qualities and is considered as standard as these prestigious universities.

While on campus, undergraduates have plenty of opportunities to participate in advanced studies funded by the institution.


Colgate students contribute to valuable research projects across the full academic spectrum. Colgate students can make groundbreaking discoveries like many Ivy League peers, from the natural sciences to the humanities.

Through research and study abroad opportunities, the experience at Colgate helps students earn the most competitive jobs and graduate school placements.

The university produces students who can embrace growth and change, lead, and change society, skills that the top employers demand. Like the most prestigious schools worldwide, a degree from Colgate opens doors for students with its reputation for academic excellence.

Since Colgate almost has standards like the Ivy League schools, it is always mistaken as one of them, which isn’t the truth.

What other Ivies are there?

Ivy league schools

The Public Ivies

The Public Ivies offer an Ivy League education at a public university price, according to Richard Moll, who coined the term in his 1985 book “The Public Ivies.” These institutions can compete with the actual Ivy League in terms of academic quality. Meanwhile, Public Ivies is different from the Ivy League in some ways.

Many Public Ivies are quite bigger than Ivy League universities. While the undergraduate enrollment at the Eight Ivies is around 8,500 students, many Public Ivies have far bigger undergraduate classes.

The Public Ivies also report smaller endowments than the Ivies, and these endowments must stretch further because of their larger student bodies. The public university can’t match a real Ivy in terms of financial aid for students.

One massive advantage of public Ivies is their lower tuition rates. While every Ivy League school charges more than $50,000 in annual tuition and fees, many of the Public Ivies cost around just $10,000 per year, except for in-state students.

Some public ivies include:

  • Binghamton University
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University, amongst others.

The Little Ivies

They’re other schools than the Ivy League apart from the Public Ivies. The “Little Ivies,” which consist of private liberal arts colleges, offer both academic rigor and selective admissions similar to that of the Ivy League and Public Ivies.

The Little Ivies include all the schools of the New England Small College Athletic Conference and several schools outside New England. Elite liberal arts institutions, like Amherst College, Vassar College, and Tufts University, typically appear on Little Ivies lists.

While many of the Public Ivies enroll tens of thousands of students, the Little Ivies usually have much smaller student bodies. Amherst, Bowdoin College, and Swarthmore College enroll fewer than 1,850 students.

Also, the Little Ivies often focus exclusively on undergraduate education. While the Ivy League and Public Ivies offer numerous graduate programs, many Little Ivies only offer undergraduate degrees.

  • Amherst College
  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Colby College
  • Connecticut College
  • Hamilton College
  • Haverford College
  • Lafayette College
  • Middlebury College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Trinity College, amongst others

The Ivy Plus

The Ivies aren’t the only renowned private schools consistently ranking in the top 20. Many people use the phrase “Ivy Plus” to refer to the Ivies and a handful of similarly prestigious schools, such as Stanford, MIT, the University of Chicago, and Duke.

Like the Ivies, these institutions are costly and highly selective, usually admitting fewer than 10% of applicants. They also offer prestigious alumni networks, large endowments, and lively traditions.

By now, you should have understood the real answer to “Is Colgate an Ivy League school?” You should also know about the different Ivies and the schools under them. Colgate is not an Ivy League school but is considered a Hidden Ivy.

No matter Colgate’s standards, it still doesn’t beat that of the 8 Ivies, so I think it hasn’t been considered one of them yet. But, honestly, and based on research, Colgate is a good university to consider.

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