List of Public Ivy Schools Rankings

Origination of the Term

Page Updated 1st March, 2023: The public Ivies listed are public colleges that offer a similar collegiate experience to that of the Ivy League Schools.

They are considered to be public universities that are able to compete with the Ivies at attracting the best members of faculty and potential students. Richard Moll, at the time an admissions officer in Yale, originally developed the listing in 1985, and included the eight following institutions as being up to a similar standard of the Ivy League:

College of William and Mary, Miami University (Oxford), University of California, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin, University of Vermont, and the University of Virginia.

Moll named a further nine academic institutions as being of a very high standard, but not quite good enough to gain entrance into the eight member strong list of Public Ivy schools.

Present Day Public Ivies

Currently, there are 31 universities and college that are considered to offer an education at the same levels as the Ivy League institutions. This listing was developed and published by Howard and Matthew Greene. The names of the public Ivies ordered based on their rankings by the University Review, together with their location, tuition costs, and size of the student body are given in the table below. Clicking on the name of any of the colleges in the table will take you to a more detailed page providing information on the history of the institution, relevant facts and figures, location maps, and admission processes.

Academic Institution NameUR USA RankingUR world rankingLocationTuition (In-state)Tuition out-stateStudent BodyAcceptance rate
University of California, Berkeley116Berkeley, CA$14,395$44,46736,20417%
University of California, Los Angeles1512Los Angeles, CA$13,804$44,83042,19020%
University of Michigan1619Ann Arbor, MI$17,786$57,27343,71033%
University of California, San Diego1823La Jolla, CA$15,348$46,37430,31037%
University of Wisconsin, Madison2021Madison, WI$10,796$39,42743,27551%
University of Washington (Seattle)2332Seattle, WA$12,242$40,74042,56859%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign2426Champaign, IL$17,134$35,11044,52063%
The University of Texas at Austin2729Austin, TX$11,572$40,99652,05940%
University of Maryland3156College Park, MD$11,233$39,46937,27246%
Pennsylvania State University3142University Park, PA$18,898$31,08236,47654%
University of California, Davis3337Davis, CA$14,740$44,49433,30741%
University of Virginia35105Charlottesville, VA$21,381$56,83723,46430%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill3537Chapel Hill, NC$8,998$37,55829,12726%
University of California, Irvine3959Irvine, CA$13,985$43,73928,89541%
University of Florida4182Gainesville, FL$6,380$28,65849,87846%
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities4431Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN$15,859$35,09951,52644%
The Ohio State University4751Columbus, OH$11,936$35,01956,38763%
University of Colorado at Boulder4847Boulder, CO$13,106$40,35631,70287%
Rutgers University5061Piscataway, NJ$16,263$29,07348,03659%
University of California, Santa Barbara5329Santa Barbara, CA$14,450$44,20422,22539%
Michigan State University5578East Lansing, MI$14,850$40,66249,34368%
Indiana University, Bloomington5897Bloomington, IN$11,447$39,12046,81772%
University of Iowa59118Iowa City, IA$9,942$28,449$31,90478%
University of Arizona6076Tucson, AZ$12,404$35,15340,62177%
University of Georgia61150Athens, GA$11,180$30,22034,53654%
University of Connecticut67365Storrs, CT$19,434$42,10225,91153%
College of William & Mary69294Williamsburg, VA$23,970$46,6258,37632%
University of Delaware70161Newark, DE$15,410$37,93017,62963%
SUNY Stony Brook85126Stony Brook, NY$10,556$28,47624,14339%
Miami University95132Oxford, OH$17,464$38,49317,90166%
SUNY Binghamton> 100414Binghamton, NY$10,390$28,23016,07741%

Note: the discrepancies arriving between the UR American and world ranking are due to the different sources used to collate the data. The American rankings are much more likely to take into account teaching standards and student experience, whilst the world rankings are more weighted towards prestige and research.

Key Facts about the Public Ivies

The range in size, standard, and costs to study at a Public Ivy college or university is very large.

The highest public ivy rankings are the University of California at Berkeley, closely followed by the ones at Los Angeles and San Diego; with Michigan splitting the last two in third place. The lowest ranked is SUNY Binghamton.

UCB public ivy
The UCB is the highest ranked public IVY. Photograph under CC by Butz.2013.

With them being public institutions the fees vary widely between those studying In-state and those from out of state.

The best value offered at the Public Ivies for instate students is provided by the University of Florida ($7,347), closely followed by SUNY Stone Brook. Conversely, the most expensive colleges on the list for In-state students are the Penn State University ($18,508), closely followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

University of Florida Football
UF offers the best value of the public Ivy colleges for In-state students. It has a fantastic football program. Photograph by Rudu Riet.

PIC_ University of Florida – UF offers the best value of the public Ivy colleges for In-state students

For out of state students, the cheapest Ivy is SUNY Binghamton at $19,464, while the most expensive is the University of Michigan ($42,859).

The most elite institution in the List of Public Ivy Schools, with an acceptance level of just 17%, is UC Berkeley. The easiest to gain entrance to are the University of Colorado at Boulder (86.9%) and the University of Iowa (78.4%).

The University of Colorado at Boulder is the easiest to gain admittance to in the List of Public Ivy League Schools
The UC at Boulder is the easiest of the Public Ivies to achieve admittance to. Photograph by Raymond Johnson.

The smallest university by student body is the College of William & Mary (8,376), while the largest student body belongs to the Ohio State University (56,387).

Final Thoughts on the List of Public Ivy League Schools

All of the public Ivies offer a very high standard of education, which any student can be proud to be associated with. For people coming from the same state as the public ivy league schools, they offer tremendous value for money. However, people from out of state should also look towards other private institutions that may offer a similar level or better of education for the costs. It is also noteworthy that some of the more elite institutions, such as Dartmouth College for example, offer fantastic studentships often covering the full cost of studying there, so it is possible that the costs of studying at an Ivy League institution can often be less than for studying at a public Ivy.

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