Friday, February 17, 2012

The Public Ivies

Public Ivy is a term coined by Richard Moll in his 1985 book Public Ivies: A Guide to America's best public undergraduate colleges and universities to refer to universities which "provide an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price."[1] Public Ivies are considered, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, to be capable of "successfully competing with the Ivy League schools in academic rigor... attracting superstar faculty and in competing for the best and brightest students of all races."[2]


Origins of the term

Moll, who earned his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University in 1959,[3] was an admissions officer at Yale, and the director of admissions at Bowdoin College, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Vassar College.[3][4][5] He traveled the nation examining higher education and in particular, identified eight public institutions (the same as the number of Ivy League members) which he thought had the look and feel of an Ivy League university. In addition to academic excellence, other factors considered by Moll include visual appearance, age, and school traditions as well as certain other Ivy League characteristics.

The original eight Public Ivies

The original eight Public Ivies as they were listed by Moll in 1985:[2]

The worthy runners-up

Moll also offered in the same book "a list of worthy runners-up" and brief summaries of them:[7]

Greenes' Guides

The more recent and expansive Greene's list (including a list of approximately 30 schools) had one focus alone: public schools with academic quality comparable to an Ivy League institution.

The Public Ivies according to Greene's Guides

A later book titled The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities (2001) by Howard and Matthew Greene of Greene's Guides expanded upon the first list (italicized below) to include 30 colleges and universities.[8] The table below is organized by region, and colleges are listed in alphabetical order.



Great Lakes & Midwest


Institutional comparisons

Academic comparisons and rankings

Several schools considered as "Public Ivies" are consistently ranked among the top schools in the multitude of surveys on American colleges and universities undertaken by U.S. News & World Report. For instance, half of the top 12 ranked national universities for undergraduate teaching in U.S. News and World Report are of the original Public Ivies listed by Moll.[9] Public Ivies can be found in the top ten ranked graduate schools in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine.[10]

Athletic comparisons

One sharp distinction between the Ivy League and most "Public Ivies" is their participation in intercollegiate athletics. One of the Ivy League's distinguishing characteristics is its prohibition on the awarding of athletic scholarships (athletes may only receive the same financial aid to which they would be entitled even if they did not play a sport). In contrast, many of the "Public Ivies" participate in major athletic conferences such as the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, SEC, or Pac-12, and award athletic scholarships. These schools sometimes rely on profits, if any, from large-scale football and men's basketball programs to support the athletic department as a whole.

See also

References and other resources


  1. ^ Richard Moll in his book Public Ivys: A Guide to America's best public undergraduate colleges and universities (1985)
  2. ^ a b "Comparing Black Enrollments at the Public Ivies". Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Autumn 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  3. ^ a b Branch, Mark Alden (November 2000). "Deciphering the Admissions Map". Yale Alumni Magazine 109 (11). Retrieved 2008-02-09. "¶16: But Richard Moll '59MDiv, a former Yale admissions officer who later oversaw admissions at Bowdoin and Vassar, thinks Yale still is not as visible as it should be. "Yale has not had the presence at grassroots admissions and counseling conferences that Harvard and Stanford have," says Moll, author of Playing the Selective College Admissions Game."
  4. ^ Pierce, Kenneth M. (24 November 1980). "Dr. Fix-It Goes to Santa Cruz". Time. Retrieved 2008-02-09. "Trouble in paradise as "the touchy-feely school" sings the blues – Richard Moll, 45, a tweedy graduate of Yale's Divinity School, has become a Dr. Fix-It for colleges that complain of sagging enrollment."
  5. ^ Paul Marthers, Dean of Admission. "Admissions Messages vs. Admissions Realities". Office of Admissions. Reed College. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  6. ^ In Moll's book, he refers to the entire UC system
  7. ^ Moll, Richard (1985). The Public Ivys: A Guide to America's Best Undergraduate Colleges and Universities. Viking Penguin Inc. p. xxvi. 0-670-58205-0
  8. ^ Greenes' Guides: The Public Ivies (accessed on May 16, 2007); see also [1].
  9. ^ U.S. News and World Report. "Best Colleges: Undergraduate Teaching at National Universities". Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  10. ^ U.S. News and World Report. "Best Graduate Schools". Retrieved 2 August 2010.


  • Greene, Howard; Matthew Greene (2001). The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 006093459X.
  • Greene, Howard; Matthew Greene (2000). Hidden Ivies: Thirty Colleges of Excellence. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0060953624.
  • Moll, Richard (1985). The Public Ivies: A Guide to America's best public undergraduate colleges and universities. New York: Penguin (Viking). ISBN 0140093842.
  • Robert Franek ... (2006). The Best 361 Colleges, 2007 Edition. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Review. ISBN 0375765581.

1 comment:

Steven Colyer said...

Yay, my double alma mater Rutgers made it. Yes, we had very competent professors and the price was right! :-)