Often the question gets asked by many, is Stanford Ivy League? Simply put, the answer is no!
This is not because Stanford is not as academically prestigious as the schools which hold the “Ivy League” distinction. In fact, many people see Stanford as the premiere academic institution on the West coast, and some even argue that Stanford is a better school to graduate from than most of the Ivy League schools it is often compared to. However upon inception of the Ivy League Stanford was just an infant.
The Ivy League’s inception came about in the early 20th century, and was formed as an athletic conference. It is hard to believe now, but one hundred years ago the schools which we correlate with academic elitism were also the ones with the most powerful athletic programs. As such, these institutions formed a conference to set itself apart from the rest of the pack as many powerful athletic programs do today.
At this time Stanford University had only been established for approximately a decade, and did not have the academic cache, nor did it have an elite athletic program as it does know. In fact Stanford had not come to prominence until after WWII as its graduates became the foundation behind the catalyst that started what we now know as Silicon Valley.
Enough of the history lesson though! There are plenty of reasons why Stanford may be a more appealing option for top high school graduates.