IV

The Huffington Post has compiled a photo essay of some American colleges that are really great. According to the introduction:

We’ll begin at the Ivy League. The hallowed Northeastern enclave of schools has dominated rankings of best colleges for, well, as long as colleges have been ranked. But beyond the Ivy-clad hype, there exist many schools among America’s 2,500 of similar caliber — …ones [that] rival Harvard and Princeton as the country’s best institutions of higher learning.

[College resource website] Unigo’s New Ivies list was compiled looking at data from four categories, including education quality, campus intellectualism, professor accessibility and whether or not a voter considered their school a “near Ivy.”

The “New Ivies” include Duke University, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, University of Virginia, and Williams.

Um, what? Can we stop with this ivy metaphor for colleges? The Ivy League consists of eight schools; it’s an athletic conference. There are lots and lots of other great schools all across the country. Those schools are members of other athletic conferences.

In addition, it’s a little unclear what’s “new” about most of these schools. Williams College was founded in 1793. Most of this list actually consists of other very old institutions that have been just a rigorous and fancy as Ivy League colleges for most of their histories, they just weren’t member of that athletic league. Nor does it appear that they wished to be.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer