Included here are institutions of higher learning that date back before 1850.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Established in 1636 as a college for the training of young men to the ministry. Now, of course, it’s America’s most prestigious university and has the largest endowment of any educational institution in the world.
Yale University, New Haven, CT Founded 1701, Yale is the third-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, after Harvard and the College of William and Mary.
Brown University, Providence, RI Founded 1764, Brown touts itself as the seventh-oldest college in the United States.
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Founded in 1769 with the goal of educating Native Americans, Dartmouth is the smallest of the Ivy League universities.
Williams College, Williamstown, MA Founded 1793, in a beautiful high valley between the Berkshires and the Taconic Range.
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME Founded in 1794, Bowdoin is the oldest college in Maine, and the alma mater of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and US President Franklin Pierce.
Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT Founded 1800. Its oldest remaining building, dating to 1819, is the oldest college building in Vermont.
Colby College, Waterville, ME Founded 1813.
Amherst College, Amherst, MA Founded 1821 as a spinoff of Williams.
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT Founded 1831.
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA Founded 1837, Mt. Holyoke is the oldest of the Seven Sisters schools. Emily Dickinson attended for a while.
Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH When it was founded in 1837, it was a coeducational academy for local children, which then morphed into a women’s two-year college, then a women’s four-year college, and finally (in 1989) a coed four-year college.