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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

When it comes to higher education, Ivy League schools often dominate the conversation. These schools are prestigious institutions are known for their reputation, history, and rigorous academic programs. However, in recent years, there has been a growing recognition that there are many excellent colleges and universities beyond the Ivy League that can provide equally valuable and rewarding educational experiences. There are various benefits of looking beyond Ivy League schools for college education and why considering a broader range of institutions can open up new opportunities for students.

  1. Diverse Options

While Ivy League schools are renowned for their excellence, there are numerous other colleges and universities that also offer a diverse range of programs and specializations. 

Students who explore beyond the Ivy League can find institutions that cater to their unique interests and passions, whether it be in the arts, sciences, humanities, or professional fields. 

These institutions may also have smaller class sizes, allowing for more personalized attention from specialized professors and fostering a close-knit community among students.

  1. Affordability

Ivy League schools are notorious for their high tuition fees, which can be hard for many students to afford.

On the other hand, there are excellent colleges and universities outside the Ivy League that offer more affordable tuition options, scholarships, and financial aid packages. This can make college education more accessible and reduce the burden of student loans after graduation.

  1. Diverse Student Body

While Ivy League schools attract students from diverse backgrounds, they can also be homogeneous in terms of demographics; a majority of students come from affluent backgrounds. 

However, colleges and universities beyond the Ivy League often have a more diverse student body in terms of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. A more diverse environment can often enrich the educational experience, expose students to different perspectives, and prepare them for a more multicultural world.

  1. Opportunities for Leadership and Involvement

At Ivy League schools, competition for leadership positions and involvement in extracurricular activities can be intense, with a limited number of opportunities available to a large student body. 

However, in smaller colleges and universities, students may find more opportunities to take on leadership roles, participate in clubs and organizations, and make a meaningful impact on campus.

  1. Focus on Teaching

While Ivy League schools are known for their distinguished faculty who are often renowned in their respective fields, the focus on research and publishing can sometimes take precedence over teaching.

On the other hand, colleges and universities beyond the Ivy League often prioritize teaching as their primary mission, resulting in more engaging classroom experiences, closer relationships with professors, and a greater emphasis on an undergraduate education.

In conclusion, while Ivy League schools are prestigious and offer many advantages, they are not the only option for a quality college education. Students who look beyond the Ivy League can find excellent colleges and universities that offer diverse programs with countless benefits and specializations. It’s important for students to explore a range of options and find the best fit for their individual needs, interests, and goals.

Lauren Welch is a senior at Michigan State University studying Political Science pre-law with a minor in Law, Justice, and Public Policy. Lauren Welch is currently the secretary for the Michigan State University chapter and loves to write articles that relate to the college experience and tips on how to survive college in the most fun way. You can reach her through email at welchla3@msu.edu