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Please Note: GCRC does not take responsibility for viewers’ experiences and satisfaction while interacting with the following educational institutions listed. The Global Catholic Resource Center© does not personally promote nor condone any/all of the resources listed.
The term Catholic Ivy League (C.I.L.) first became popularized in Times 1962 article entitled “Where are the Catholic Intellectuals?” The Catholic Ivy League is an informal designation and, unlike the Ivy League itself, is not an athletic conference. The original article included Georgetown University, University of Notre Dame, and Boston College, as “The Big Three” (in that order). Today, the “Big Three” includes University of Notre Dame, Boston College, and College of the Holy Cross.
For the “Little Three” it included College of the Holy Cross, Villanova University, and Fordham University (in that order). Today the “Little Three” includes Villanova University, Fordham University, and Saint Louis University.
The change from the original categorization of the Catholic Ivy League occurred in recent years with Georgetown’s removal from the C.I.L. due to anti-Catholic behaviors and disregard of/non-prioritizing Canon Law.
How Many in the CIL:
The term Catholic Ivy League refers to six American Catholic institutions: University of Notre Dame, Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, Villanova University, Fordham University, and Saint Louis University.
The six schools offer a collegiate experience comparable to top Ivy League universities yet operate or follow the Roman Catholic Church. Remember that just because a school is in the C.I.L. doesn’t mean it is the right school for you. You can receive an excellent Catholic education at any number of other Catholic schools not in the C.I.L.
How the CIL is Categorized:
The Catholic Ivy League is categorized into two groups, the Big Three and the Little Three. When a school has abandoned its Catholic roots some time ago and has since been in direct opposition to Church teachings, it is referred to as CINO (Catholic In Name Only). Georgetown University (CINO) has been removed from this list due to anti-Catholic behavior and disregard for canon law.
If you believe that a school listed now qualifies as CINO, please email GCRC under “Contact” so appropriate action may be taken.
The Big Three (Most Competitive CILs):
1. University of Notre Dame (Indiana)
2. Boston College (Massachusetts)
3. College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts)
The Little Three (Less Competitive CILs):
4. Villanova University (Pennsylvania)
5. Fordham University (New York)
6. Saint Louis University (Missouri)
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