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ezraglenn's avatar

What are the Ivy League equivalents to the Seven Sister schools?

Asked by ezraglenn (3456 points ) May 17th, 2008

The original Ivies, Harvard Yale Columbia Brown Princeton Dartmouth and UPenn, were all supposedly paired with one of the seven sister schools, Mount Holyoke College, Vassar College, Wellesley College, Smith College, Radcliffe College, Bryn Mawr College, and Barnard College. For example, Harvard was paired with Radcliffe, before they merged, and Barnard with Columbia. Several google searches were fruitless. What is the full list of all the pairs?

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21 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Having gone to one of the sisters, I can say that there was no official affiliations (due to proximity) except for H & R, C & B. The informal connections were social. At Wellesley, the girls dated men from most of the Ivies – Penn was a far piece, but there were good trains; the ride from Cambridge to Wellesley was 30 minutes. I married two guys from the same class at Harvard, not at the same time, of course.

As an undergrad. I dated men from H, Y,P and D. Today MIT is part of the Ivy League, mainly to insure that the Financial aid packages from the 8 schools are the same….no buying of students there.

ezraglenn's avatar

apparently smith was paired with Yale.

ezraglenn's avatar

[according to my sister and her wife, who went there.]

gailcalled's avatar

Socially, Smithies dated Yalies…Smith has an academic connection to the other four colleges in the Pioneer Valley- Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire, Amherst College, and U. MA, Amherst. Skidmore girls married men from Union College…proximity and academic parity were the usual connections.

(Your sister and her wife?)

ezraglenn's avatar

@gail- indeed.

marinelife's avatar

It’s the 21st century gailcalled.

gailcalled's avatar

So it is. I hadn’t noticed:-). So one of the women went to Yale and the other Smith?

There are also dozens of college consortiums..where you can spend a semester or a year studying at one of the member schools. The Claremont Consortium, MidWestern Consortium (Oberlin, Kenyon, Carlton, Coe, etc, 12 College Exchange: (Amherst, Bowdoin, Conn. College, Dartmout, O’Neill Nat’l Theatre Institute, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wesleyan, Wheaton, Williams/Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies). MIT and Wellesley students can cross-register; the colleges in Worchester, MA. ditto. Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, ditto.

The programs try to minimize the red tape; there are many more similar arrangements but the schools keep their integrity. Radcliffe students now get Harv. diplomas, for example.

My son got a Wesleyan degree, took a semester in Paris under the aegis of Smith, took a semester off and made it up w. a 5 in AP English and at Dartmouth, which has a summer Trimester for three credits.

(FWIW, all my gay friends – male and female – talk about their partners rather than spouses.)

gailcalled's avatar

Edit first answer (thanks to Marina); insure——>ensure.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t have any data to support this, but due to proxmity, I would think that Bryn Mawr and Penn would have been informally paired.

gailcalled's avatar

The issues were w. different times for classes and serious transportation problems Swarth., Haver., Bryn Mawr all mention it but it is really tough w/o a car. And even so, it is a schlep from the Main Line to the Penn campus. And then you have to park the car, which used to take several days.

We stopped going to the Flower Show (absolutely spectacular) due to parking issues.

ezraglenn's avatar

@gailcalled, they both went to Smith but claim this knowledge was widely shared (about Yale and Smith)

gailcalled's avatar

True. But I have many Wellesley friends and classmates married to Yalies. We all prowled the NE.

During the week it was dirty hair and gymsuits; then a miraculous transformation on Friday.

Today, there is a very large Lesbian population at Wellesley, Holyoke, and Smith-N. Hampton is considered the happening place in the NE for Lesbians. Vassar (now being co-ed) has gays of both sexes.

cmxwagner's avatar

As a current student of Bryn Mawr, I know definitely that we were “paired” with Princeton, although I have no idea why and our male counterparts at Haverford always seem to get offended when we mention this, perhaps because they are jealous of penn/ princeton.

and yes, parking all through philly and the main line suckss

my dad was one of the first co-ed classes out of vassar, and he has always claimed that vassar was yale’s sister school. in fact, the reason vassar went co-ed was because all the vassar women were going to yale on the weekends, so the admin. of both schools considered a merge like H & R, where the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie would be sold, and a new campus constructed in New Haven…however the wealthy alums were so mad they threatened to cut Vassar off if they did that. So Vassar went co-ed, under the condition that one dorm would remain all-women. When I took my official campus visit 2 years ago, Strong Dorm was still single sex.

But I have gotten in terrible fights with Smithies over this, so I won’t hold it as gospel truth.

jballou's avatar

@gailcalled: MIT isn’t part of the Ivy League. And since there are Seven Sisters and 8 Ivy League schools- the numbers don’t add up for them to be explicitly paired together, although I believe many of the schools had informal agreements, that in some cases, became actual mergers.

And as far as I know, none of the Sister Schools had any sort of agreement with Penn, other then perhaps a social one. But with Haverford being so much closer, I imagine that would be a much more viable social connection.

gailcalled's avatar

MIT was bunched with the Ivies for financial aid packages, when I was doing college placement. It used to be that none of the schools could outbid each other for a student so the F A Officers all sat down and made sure that the financial aid packages were the same

And the consortium of Haverford, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr and U Penn was for cross-registration for classes. Wellesley does the same thing with MIT. And as I said, that with several exceptions, the pairings were informal, social and not codified.

jballou's avatar

That’s interesting- and I think a new development, as it wasn’t like that when I was applying to schools. About 2 years into college, Harvard and Yale both announced an overhaul of their financial aid packages and I was extremely jealous as many of those kids would graduate debt-free, so I’m glad to hear that they have this no-compete clause now. MIT is certainly academically strong (stronger then many ivy league schools) but the Ivy League is actually primarily a sports conference, and was established as such.

gailcalled's avatar

@jballou; True; they all have pathetic football teams and rabid fans. (Waiting for Ivy League football fans to pounce on me.)

ezraglenn's avatar

@jballou – there were 7 sisters and 7 ivies, actually. As is stated in the original question. (Cornell joined later)

answerjill's avatar

Some of the Ivies had women’s colleges that were part of the same university. Harvard and Radcliffe, Brown and Pembroke, Columbia and Barnard. Can anybody think of similar pairings for the other Ivies?

gailcalled's avatar

Only informal social liaisons. Cornell was co-ed.

trose23's avatar

mount holyoke has, despite the distance, been paired with Dartmouth.

When I got in, I made plenty of inquiries.

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