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Forbes names UW–Madison as ‘new Ivy’

May 16, 2024 By Käri Knutson
Ivy covers a stone carving on a building.

UW–Madison was named a “new Ivy,” but it wasn’t for the ivy clinging to Agriculture Hall. Photo: Jeff Miller

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been named a “new Ivy” by Forbes Magazine, one of 10 public and 10 private universities across the United States that are “turning out the smart, driven graduates craved by employers of all types.”

When it drew up the list of new Ivies, Forbes looked at more than just test scores and admissions selectivity.

Forbes conducted surveys with hiring managers about institutions where they frequently recruit. It found that compared to five years ago, 33% of employers were less likely to hire Ivy League graduates, and 42% were more likely to hire public university grads.

Hiring managers are increasingly turning to these 20 public and private institutions for graduates who are better prepared to enter the workforce, as they’ve done much to improve their students’ readiness over the past five years, Forbes said.

Being named a “new Ivy” is a reflection of UW–Madison’s successful efforts to strengthen educational outcomes, career development, and the college experience for all students, says UW Provost Charles Lee Isbell Jr.

“UW–Madison has committed to expanding educational programming not only in areas of high student demand, such as in the rapidly growing School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences, but also by emphasizing a broad and interdisciplinary educational experience,” Isbell says. “At the same time, we’ve worked to make education here more accessible and affordable, through efforts such as Bucky’s Tuition Promise and increased online offerings.”

Forbes said the new Ivies are schools that “attract high achievers and turn out hard-working, highly-regarded employees.”

Other Big Ten schools to make the list are the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and the University of Maryland–College Park.

See the full lists here.

UW–Madison has performed highly in other recent rankings, including:

Second among national public universities and 11th overall in Washington Monthly’s 2023 College Guide and Rankings.

12th among public universities, 35th overall, out of 437 public and private doctoral institutions in the 2024 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s best colleges rankings.

21st in the Midwest in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for your Buck” rankings, a list of schools ranked  based on how well they help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

28th worldwide and 20th nationally by the Center for World University Rankings.

– Named a Best Value College by the Princeton Review, coming in 29th among public schools.

39th overall in the 2023 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.

Five out of five stars in America’s Best Colleges by Money Magazine.

– Graduate programs ranked among the nation’s best in the 2024-25 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” including ranking the School of Education first overall in the country. Read more here.