I hear a lot about the Ivy League schools - what are they?
The Ivy League refers to the following universities:
University of Pennsylvania
The term was used as early as 1933 but it became official after the formation of the NCAA Division 1 athletic conference in 1954.
While these universities are all considered very prestigious and are usually the dream of students aspiring to study the US it is important to understand that schools within the Ivy League vary in quality substantially for particular areas of study. There are also many universities like Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Duke etc which often beat certain Ivy League universities in most rankings.
One generally important trait about the Ivy League schools is that they have very strong financial aid for international students. Harvard, Yale and Princeton have need-blind financial aid which means that whether you need financial aid (tuition subsidies) or not, the chance of gaining admission isn’t affected. Additionally, these 3 schools promise to meet all demonstrable need so they give you enough funding to be able to afford the tuition cost based on your parents’ income, assets and tax returns.