Ivy League Schools Emphasize Academics Over Athletic Scholarships

Ivy Leagues are a group of eight esteemed and academically distinguished private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The Ivy League conference is one of the top-ranked academic athletic conferences in the NCAA Division I sports. The term “Ivy League” was derived from the ivy plants that covered the old buildings. Historically, seven of the eight universities were established as colonial colleges:

  • Harvard, Congregational, was established at Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636;

  • Yale, Congregational, was established in 1701 and relocated to New Haven in 1715;

  • The College of New Jersey, Presbyterian, was established in 1746 and renamed Princeton University in 1896;

  • Franklin’s Academy in Philadelphia, nonsectarian, was established in 1749, chartered in 1754, and renamed the University of Pennsylvania in 1791;

  • King’s College, nonsectarian but Anglican-controlled, was established in New York City in 1754 and renamed Columbia College in 1784;

  • Rhode Island College, Baptist, was established at Providence in 1764 and renamed Brown University in 1804;

  • Dartmouth College, Congregational, was established in 1769 and relocated to Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1770.

  • The eighth, Cornell University was chartered in 1865 at Ithaca by the New York legislature

Since 1994, the Ivy League and other colleges like MIT under section 368, have not offered athletic scholarships. They offer only need-based financial aid to athletic students. The Ivy League always wanted to emphasize the importance of academic excellence and extracurricular activities. So they gave equal opportunities to all incoming students irrespective of their athletic profile.

On the other hand, other Division I schools offer athletic scholarships. There are currently 347 schools that are members of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The amount of scholarship money varies depending on the school you are applying to and the performance of the athlete in a particular sport. The scholarships are either full or partial and are based on athletic abilities. They cover almost all expenses including room accommodations, tuition, and sometimes living expenses.

According to education data Division I and Division II scholarships amount to $3.6 billion annually. There are 177,559 athletic-based scholarships. Certain sports have scholarships for only one gender.

Here are some examples of Division I schools and the number of scholarships they offer for certain sports:

  • University of Alabama (Football): Up to 85 scholarships per year

  • University of Connecticut (Basketball): Up to 13 scholarships for men’s basketball and up to 15 for women’s basketball

  • University of Kentucky (Basketball): Up to 13 scholarships for men’s basketball and up to 15 for women’s basketball

  • University of North Carolina (Basketball): Up to 13 scholarships for men’s basketball and up to 15 for women’s basketball

  • University of Southern California (Football): Up to 85 scholarships per year

  • University of Tennessee (Football): Up to 85 scholarships per year

In spite of the fact that Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships, the students can contact the coaches for financial help. Families with an annual income of less than $65,000 don’t make any contributions to their student’s education. If a family’s annual income is between $65,000 to $180,000 they could be expected to pay approximately 10 to 18 percent of their college expenses.

The Ivy Leagues have won more national championships than any other collegiate athletic conference. They have sponsored 34 sports and exhibited more than 240 nationally ranked programs over the past three years, with more than 8,000 student-athletes competing annually. Additionally, Ivy League schools are known for their academic rigor and highly selective admissions process, which may be a consideration for student-athletes when deciding where to attend college.

If you need further guidance contact the Ivy Central team.

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