Top 12 Oldest Universities in the US [Update 2024]


Ask anyone, what was the best part of your life? Without the utmost of doubt, they will say, student life. And what part of student life matters the most? Student life is the time when you enjoy your youth and have the most amazing and innocent experiences of life, friendship and knowledge.

People have achieved these in the past and still do in universities. Speaking of universities, the USA has some of the oldest and most beautiful universities in the world.

So, here is my list of the top oldest universities in the US :

1. Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the best Oldest Universities in the US.

Harvard is undoubtedly the oldest university in the world. When colleges and universities were initially created in the new globe, Harvard University was the first one to open its doors.

Because it was the country’s first university, it quickly gained a reputation as the only location to earn a degree in the United States. Only the wealthiest members of the community could afford to go to college in those days. As a result, the university’s exclusive reputation has endured to this day.

To honor the school’s founding patron, John Harvard, the latter changed to Harvard College throughout time. Moreover, John Harvard left half of his money and a 320-volume library to the institution in his bequest. So, that’s why this is the oldest university in the whole USA.

2. The College of William and Mary

The College of William and Mary

The institution was given its royal charter by the British monarchs, who had been ruling as a joint monarchy at the time of the university’s founding. The College of William & Mary was the first in the United States to get this charter.

If you’re looking for a college with a long history, this one is for you. For more than a century now, William and Mary University has been one of America’s most esteemed institutions.

Inside the top 5% of the world’s best universities, the College of William and Mary is regarded as one of the most esteemed institutions in the world.

3. St. John’s College

This is the third-oldest university in the United States, having been founded in 1696. Good literature and lively debates are essential to students’ growth as intelligent people and eloquent professionals who lead free and authentic lives of purpose.

University of Pennsylvania’s liberal teaching profession departments, and also the university’s great literature curriculum, are widely recognized. The admittance percentage of one of the country’s oldest universities is 54 percent. You must, however, have a high school GPA of at least 3.4, which indicates that you are a previous section student, in order to be considered.

Internships, scholarships, loans, and on-campus jobs are all options for foreign students at the oldest institution in the United States. Nevertheless, the university will also not be able to cover all the stated financial needs of all students.

You might also be interested in knowing about the largest university campuses in the US.

4. Yale University

Yale University

Founded in 1701, really a private research institution in the Ivy League. Since its founding, Yale has devoted itself to making a positive impact on the world now while also preparing the next generation for a better tomorrow. The university has about 13,500 students in 2019, with many more women than males enrolled.

Yale’s 260-acre campus contains 500 acres of sporting facilities, including the Yale Golf Course. There is a 6.5 percent overall acceptance rate at the United States’ oldest college and institution. In 2019, 37,000 people applied for the position.

If your average GPA is less than 4.13, you must compensate for an even greater SAT/ACT score to be considered for admission. International students at the country’s oldest institution have equal access to need as well as need-blind financial assistance.

5. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

This prestigious Ivy League institution was founded in 1740. Academic rigor and a quest for new knowledge have been hallmarks of its long and distinguished history. As a result of its “one university” concept, Penn is well-known for enabling students to seek numerous combined degrees from any of its colleges.

It boasts 4,722 faculty and staff, an academic proportion of 6:1, and 4,859 foreign students on a 299-acre campus in the metropolis. America’s oldest institution has an admittance rate of 7.7 percent. It got 44,961 applications in 2019 and accepted 3,446 of them. You have a strong chance of getting into college if you have a 3.9 grade in high school.

Need-based financial services are available to international students. Students who can show they have a genuine need for financial assistance may be qualified for a grant that covers the cost of their education for up to eight semesters or four years.

6. Moravian College

This private college is the sixth-oldest in the United States. For the Moravian’s, education should be enlightening, exhilarating and challenging. While the first university to promote education, it set a precedent for other institutions to follow.

The two campuses of this university welcomed 3446 students in 2019. Around 73% of applicants are accepted into the United States’ oldest institution. Students with a 3.54 GPA in high school are eligible for admission to college. Also, 99% of students receive some type of financial assistance.

Upwards of $40 million for excellence and just need grants and scholarships are awarded each year by the college Donations from alumni go a long way in funding the college’s financial aid programs.

You also might find it useful to know about the most beautiful universities in the US.

7. University of Delaware

It’s one of the top 50 institutions in the US and a government research university dating back to 1743. Alumni of this esteemed university can vouch for the quality of the education they received here.

Alumni include a Nobel Prize winner, a Tony Award-winning choreographer, as well as a former US Vice President, as well as three of the country’s founding fathers. The total admittance percentage of the country’s oldest university is 62 percent.

8. Princeton University

When it comes to the Ivy League “big three” institutions, Princeton is among them. New York City and Philadelphia are both less than an hour’s drive away from the 500-acre university. This prospering institution of higher learning has a student body of about 8213 with a mission to better the nation and the human race via education.

On the whole, Princeton has a beneficial influence on society. An international staff of leading academics inspires students to develop critical thinking skills. America’s oldest institution has an admittance rate of roughly 7 percent. Also, a high school average of 3.87 on a 4.0 scale is required for admission.

Need-based financial aid is available to international students just as it is to domestic students across the United States. In order to get financial help, Princeton does not provide merit scholarships in the form of academic or athletic ones.

9. Washington and Lee University

With a founding date of 1749, the independent liberal arts college is the ninth-oldest in the country. Wlu, one of the country’s oldest universities, is committed to preparing the students to be very well, intellectually curious, and engaged members of society.

Wu has 2160 students on its beautiful 325-acre campus in the Western Pennsylvania highlands. Campus grandeur is heightened by the existence of National Historic pieces of architecture. Around 21% of applicants are admitted into the United States’ oldest college.

The institution gives need-based fellowships to international students for each of their four years of study. However, you will only be qualified for the award if you register for it in the first year and show paperwork as confirmation of financial necessity.

10. Columbia University

Last on my list of the oldest universities in the US is Columbia University. An independent Ivy League research institution located in New York City occupies 32 acres. Students who benefit academically from small classrooms will find it here. There were less than 20 students in 80 percent of Columbia’s undergraduate classes.

There is a 6.1 percent overall acceptance rate at the United States’ oldest college and institution. A high school GPA of 4.13 is required to be considered for admission to the program. All students, local and foreign, get full financial assistance depending on their demonstrated financial need.

Moreover, assistance is provided for the whole four years of a student’s academic career with proof of economic need. Because the institution considers that expense should not be a hindrance to a high-quality educational experience.

11. Brown University

In Providence, Rhode Island, there is a private Ivy League research university called Brown University. The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was founded in 1764, making Brown the seventh-oldest higher education institution in the US.

Private Ivy League research university Columbia University is located in New York City. Columbia University is the oldest higher education school in New York and the fifth-oldest in the nation. It was founded in 1754 as King’s College on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan.

12. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, stands among America’s highest-ranked, most diverse public research universities. The oldest, largest, and top-ranked public university in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, you’ll find us at our main locations in three New Jersey cities, and our footprint can be seen around the region. We’re an academic, health, and research powerhouse and a university of opportunity.

In conclusion, universities in the USA are one of the reasons why the states are so developed and successful right now. These oldest universities are proof that they have been educating the USA for centuries and that is why the land is so educated and worth living in.

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