Can You Play.Ncaa Sports And Not Get As Thletic Scholarships What Are the "Little Ivies," the "Little Three," and the "Hidden Ivies?"

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What Are the "Little Ivies," the "Little Three," and the "Hidden Ivies?"

Most people are familiar with Ivy League colleges and have a pretty good idea that it is extremely prestigious to attend one of them. There are many, many other colleges that are academically very rigorous and difficult to get into. The terms The Little Three, The Little Ivies and The Hidden Ivies are sometimes confusing to follow. Not only do they have similar names, I was shocked to hear that some parents have never heard of some colleges and don’t realize the magnitude of their daughter’s accomplishments being accepted. Below is an explanation of the different groups. I hope the list in one place helps you.

The Ivy League consists of 8 schools that all compete in the same NCAA Division 1 athletic conference. The schools are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell.

Ivy League schools are considered some of the most prestigious and top-ranked universities. According to US News and World Report’s college and university rankings, all Ivy League institutions rank in the top 15 with 5 places in the top 5.

All are located in the northeastern part of the United States.

Enrollments range from 4,000 to 14,000 students, making them larger than most private liberal arts colleges but smaller than a state university. Sports scholarships are not given; financial aid is based on need.

“The little three is the unofficial athletic conference of three elite liberal arts colleges: Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams. These are the top three liberal arts colleges in the state that are very difficult to get into. The Little Three first started competing in this triangular league in 1899, and in 1920 it was nicknamed “The Little Three”. This is in contrast to the “big three” universities (Harvard, Yale and Princeton, HYP), in the Ivy League.

NESCAC or New England Small College Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division 3 athletic conference of 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges: Amherst, Williams, Wesleyan, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity and Tufts. There are rules regarding season length, number of contests and postseason contests. There are no sports scholarships; financial aid is based solely on need.

“Little Ivies” not an official term or group. It refers to a small group of highly selective liberal arts colleges. The list includes all colleges in the NESCAC (above) except Connecticut College, along with Colgate, Haverford, Swarthmore and Vassar. Also note that Tufts is no longer a small, Liberal Arts College, but has become a larger research university.

As you can see, all of the above colleges are highly selective, hard to get into, and highly regarded. One of the biggest differences between the Ivy League and the “Little Ivies” would be their athletic group. The Ivy League schools are in the Division 1 league, which practices and competes year-round. The Little Ivy Colleges are in a Division 3 athletic group and compete only during their sports seasons.

For an outstanding student-athlete who wanted to compete in 2 sports, a NESCAC Division 3 college could satisfy both academic and athletic desires and be a great match!

Currently, here is a list of the top 20 colleges and another for the top 20 universities listed in the US News and World Report College and University Rankings. Note that there are many different lists. The US News ranking is most commonly used.

Liberal Arts College Ranking:

When faculties are equally ranked, they share the same number in ( ).

  1. Williams College
  2. Amherst College
  3. Swarthmore College
  4. Pomona College
  5. Middlebury College
  6. Bowdoin College
  7. (6) Carleton College
  8. (6) Wellesley College
  9. Claremount McKenna College
  10. Haverford College
  11. Davidson College
  12. Washington and Lee University
  13. Wesleyan University
  14. United States Military Academy
  15. United States Naval Academy
  16. Vassar College
  17. Hamilton College
  18. Harvey Mudd College
  19. Grinnell College
  20. Smith College

National University Ranking:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. California Institute of Technology
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. Stanford University
  8. University of Chicago
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. Duke University
  11. Dartmouth College
  12. Northwestern University
  13. Johns Hopkins University
  14. Washington University of St. Louis
  15. Brown University
  16. Cornell University
  17. Rice University
  18. Vanderbilt University
  19. University of Notre Dame
  20. Emory University

To read more about making sure your student has the best chance in the college admissions process, see http://www.harvardmomadvice.com

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