"Ivy League" is the eight private universities and colleges in the northeastern United States that are considered the most prestigious high schools of the United States (and some of the most prestigious in the world).
Although officially there is a student sports league with this title, under the "Ivy League" is very often means that educational institutions. Is that the name "Ivy League" appeared in the thirties of the twentieth century in articles of sports journalists. Assumes that all universities of the League are so old that their buildings are Ivy.
Universities "Ivy League" is called the "ancient eight", because it includes the oldest United States Universities. Seven of the eight "Ivy League" Universities were founded before the United States gained independence.
There is a fairly widespread belief about the elitism and even snobizme the "Ivy League" universities and, nowadays, their graduates. Indeed, virtually all existing models by dividing the population of the United States in social classes is that belonging to the highest strata of society need to get an education in one of the Universities "Ivy League".
In the early 20th century, it was believed that in "the League" can only representatives of the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant "white Anglo-Saxons Protestant", while members considered elite on racial, national and religious groups in United States). At the same time, Cornell University was one of the first universities of United States, renounced racial and gender discrimination in the admission of students.
Graduates of universities "Ivy League" are the four past United States President: George Bush (Yale University), Bill Clinton (Yale University), George Bush (Yale and Harvard universities) and Barack Obama (Columbia and Harvard universities).