Three Reasons Why To Consider A Public Ivy – College Track and Field Recruiting


Are you an Ivy League type-student? If so, when considering where to attend college and compete athletically, most of you will be encouraged to pursue Ivy League institutions or other notable high-end private academic universities such as Duke, Stanford, MIT, and John’s Hopkins.

However, as you begin to create a list of potential schools and programs, you may want to consider casting your net a bit wider. Are there any public schools out there that can match the caliber of top private schools? Yes, and here are three reasons to consider “Public Ivy League” schools:

1. Affordability

Public Ivy schools are potentially significantly more cost-effective based on your family’s financial situation. According to Laura Staffaroni of PrepScholars, the median price for tuition of the top Public Ivy Schools is under $14,000/year for in-state students.

Additionally, not only do “Public Ivies” have some of the most competitive cross country and track and field programs in the nation, they also give out athletic scholarships and while this is true for some top private schools such as Stanford and Duke it is not the case for any Ivy League colleges or NCAA III institutions like MIT and Chicago.

2. Acceptance Rates

Although, “Public Ivy League” schools are still difficult to get into there is no doubt that top-tier private schools and Ivy League universities are significantly more selective. Average acceptance rates at the nation’s top five private schools are approximately 6-7% compared to an acceptance rate of around 25%at the top 5 public universities.

3. Enrollment Size

Are you looking for more of a big school feel or experience? According to Laura Stafforoni, the median undergraduate population for an Ivy League institution is around 6,400 students, while for a Public Ivy it's closer to 25,000 students.

If you want to apply to an academically rigorous, fairly selective, and well-known public school, you should absolutely consider applying to a Public Ivy. It makes great financial sense to apply to a Public Ivy in your state, and while Public Ivies can get more expensive for out-of-state students, they're still usually cheaper than a private college or university.

Here is a brief list of schools/programs you may want to consider as you are compiling your list:

Most Selective Academically and Competitive Athletically: UCLA, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Michigan, UC-Berkley

Other of Note: William & Mary, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Vermont, Washington, Florida, Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, and Texas.

For further information on Public Ivies see: