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Public Ivy facts for kids

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"Public Ivy" is an informal term that refers to public colleges and universities in the United States that are perceived to provide a collegiate experience on the level of Ivy League universities. There is no trademark for the term, and the list of schools associated with the classification has changed over time.

The term was first coined in 1985 by Yale University admissions officer Richard Moll, who published Public Ivies: A Guide to America's Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities. That initial list included eight universities and nine runners-up. In 2001, college guide authors Howard Greene and Matthew Greene, released their own book, The Public Ivies: The Great State Colleges and Universities, which included 30 schools.

Debates about Public Ivies have centered on whether state budgetary cuts are undermining their future; whether raising tuition at Public Ivies has "gentrified" the schools; whether states should be subsidizing higher education in the first place; whether graduates of Public Ivies are able to pay back student loans as quickly as their Ivy League counterparts; and whether out-of-state tuition is too high.


The term first appeared in the Public Ivies: A Guide to America's Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities, published in 1985. The author, Richard Moll, graduated with a master's degree from Yale University in 1959, and served as an admissions officer as well as a director of admissions at several universities in the United States. He traveled the nation examining higher education institutions, and selected eight that were comparable to the Ivy League.

Moll's original ranking methodology included factors such as academic rigor, quality of faculty, and cost of tuition, as well as assessments of campus facilities, available resources, age, and major cultural traditions celebrated at each institution.

Original list published in 1985


As part of the initial 1985 publication, Moll also selected nine "worthy runner-up" universities:

Notable updates

Greenes' Guides list (2001)

The list of "public Ivy" institutions has gone through several revisions over the years, much like other university rankings and conferences. A notable update was published in 2001, when Howard and Matthew Greene included the following 30 colleges and universities in The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities.




Great Lakes & Midwest


See also

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