The 20 ‘new Ivies’ emerging as higher ed’s next darlings

Survey results from employers illustrate the changing power dynamics of certain higher education institutions' sway in the job market.

Employers are souring on Ivy League and Ivy-Plus institutions and have elected the next banner of institutions producing the highest-performing professionals, according to a new breakdown from Forbes.

The 20 “new Ivies” educate students with an average 1482 SAT and 33 ACT score and generate graduates who are a better cultural and professional fit at the highest echelons of corporate society, wrote billionaire philanthropist John Arnold in a recent X (formerly Twitter post).

Forbes examined over 1,700 colleges with at least 4,000 students and parsed its list down to those with highly selective admission rates (below 20% at private schools and 50% at public), applicant classes in which 50% of students provided standardized test scores and impressive clout from surveyed hiring managers. Analysts placed a strong emphasis on standardized test scores due to a recent report by a Harvard think tank that found they are strong predictors for college success at highly selective colleges. Ten public and 10 private nonprofits were eventually selected.

More from UB: What can private institutions do about the middle-class squeeze?

The public Ivies

“This new recognition underscores UF’s commitment to being both elite and practical,” University of Florida President Ben Sasse said in a statement. “The University of Florida does incredible work, and we are becoming a no-doubt-about-it leader in higher education at a time when too many institutions are losing public trust. We reject the false choice between education that enriches and education that prepares—we want both.”

Name State Acceptance rate SAT ACT
Binghamton University N.Y. 42% 1430 31
Georgia Institute of Technology Ga. 17% 1480 33
University of Florida Fla. 23% 1390 31
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Ill. 45% 1440 32
University of Maryland-College Park Md. 45% 1460 33
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Mich. 18% 1470 33
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill N.C. 17% 1460 32
University of Texas-Austin Texas 31% 1370 30
University of Virginia Va. 19% 1490 33
University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisc. 49% 1430 29

The private Ivies

Name State Acceptance rate SAT ACT
Boston College Mass. 17% 1490 34
Carnegie Mellon University Penn. 11% 1540 35
Emory University Ga. 11% 1500 33
Georgetown University D.C. 12% 1500 34
John Hopkins University Md. 7% 1550 35
Northwestern University Ill. 7% 1530 34
Rice University Texas 9% 1540 35
University of Notre Dame Ind. 13% 1510 34
University of Southern California Calif. 12% 1520 34
Vanderbilt University Tenn. 7% 1530 35

Declining interest in the ‘ancient eight’

Survey results from employers illustrate the changing power dynamics of certain higher education institutions’ sway in the job market. Forbes reached out to almost 300 subscribers, three-fourths of which held direct hiring authority at the time of the survey.

  • 33% are less likely to hire Ivy League graduates
  • 20% of hiring managers said the Ivy League colleges were doing worse than five years ago in preparing job candidates
  • 42% of hiring managers are more likely to hire public university grads than they were five years ago

Respondents cited Ivy League schools’ decision to veer away from accepting the most well-rounded individuals and instead look to admitting the most “well-rounded class” through race-conscious admission frameworks. Additionally, employers complained about students increasingly coming out the other end more “entitled” and institutions shying away from standardized testing.

“The bloom has been off the Ivies,” said Fred Prager, a senior managing director at Hilltop Securities and a trustee at California’s Claremont McKenna College whose investment firm specializes in higher education. “What has occurred more recently, with the pandemic and with all this nonsense going on, post October 7th, and all the rest has just been a bit of an accelerant.”

Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. His beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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