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Widening the Scope of Your College Search

Turn on any movie or TV show, and it’s likely that you’ll eventually hear a reference to an Ivy League university. Of the thousands of colleges and universities in the US, only eight are in the sports conference called the Ivy League. In pop culture and society, these institutions have long epitomized the American college experience.

For each Ivy League university, there are dozens of exceptional colleges and universities that offer similarly rigorous academics, interesting extracurricular activities, and equally ambitious students. While other schools may be less well-known among international students in particular, they shouldn’t be missed. If you’re making a list of colleges and universities you want to apply to, it can be useful to look beyond the big names you’re already familiar with.

We’ve put together a helpful list to guide your research and exploration, which you can easily combine with our articles on US regions, types of institutions, and the general advantages to studying in the US to ensure the most well rounded list possible. This will give you the best chance to find a university that will be the perfect fit for your unique interests, needs and wants!

If you’re interested in Harvard’s college neighborhood feel and academic rigor, check out:

If you’ve been drawn to Columbia’s urban campus, look at:

If you like Yale’s undergraduate focus and tight-knit community, consider:

If you’re interested in Brown’s open curriculum and active student body, these schools may be a good fit:

If you’re looking for an outdoorsy liberal arts college like Dartmouth, look at:

If you want to explore schools with a world-class education and active Greek scene such as Cornell, check out:

If University of Pennsylvania’s urban campus and business focus appeal to you, consider:

If Princeton’s emphasis on service and focus on traditions is on your short list, also think about: