Big Ten Schools Considered “Public Ivies”

Indiana University

The classification of a College or University as “Public Ivy” began in 1985, with Richard Moll’s book Public Ivies: A Guide to America’s best public undergraduate colleges and universities. Public Ivy schools are considered to offer an Ivy League education at a public school price.

The Universtiy of Michigan was part of Moll’s original eight Public Ivies in his 1985 book. He also created a list of “runners-up,” which included Penn State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The 2001 book titled The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities, by educational consultants Howard and Matthew Greene of Greene’s Guides, includes a list of 30 colleges and universities that are currently considered Public Ivies. This list includes eight Big Ten schools: University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Penn State University, The Ohio State University, University of Iowa and University of Minnesota.

Although academic standards are similar, one distinction between the Ivy League and most Public Ivies is their participation in intercollegiate athletics. The Ivy League prohibits the awarding of athletic scholarships, while Public Ivies pay athletes to attend school and play sports, with the institution often benefiting financially from the athlete’s participation in their sports program.

“Public Ivy” Input, by Daniel Luzer, Washington Monthly
“Can the Public Ivies be Saved?” by Daniel de Vise, Washington Post


About: Heather Blackmon-doForno

As a member of the Ohio State University Marching Band, I quickly grew to appreciate the dedication and pride each Big Ten Marching Band exhibits, as well as the traditions, history and culture of each school they represent. Being a passionate world traveler, my trips to Big Ten schools have always involved an effort to go beyond the game, scoping out the best local places to eat, delving into local history, viewing the campus architecture and learning about quirky folklore.