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What is the difference between ivy league and regular?

xraydogxraydog Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2012 in College Confidential Cafe
WHat is the difference between an ivy league school and a regular public school? Is it just a label or do you actually get better education? (By the way I may hav lots of grammar errors in this because my computer is lagging)

Is it just buying a brand name, or is there really a difference between MIT and say uc berkeley?
Post edited by xraydog on

Replies to: What is the difference between ivy league and regular?

  • tomofbostontomofboston Posts: 2,196Registered User Senior Member
    First of all, MIT is not an Ivy League school.
  • xraydogxraydog Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
    Either way, you get the point, don't you? Lets not be technical it's considered spam to just post without answering the topic.
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    Either way, you get the point, don't you? Lets not be technical it's considered spam to just post without answering the topic.
    Well, if you don't even know which schools are part of the Ivy League and which schools aren't, then how are we supposed to inform you of the differences between them?

    The Ivy League is just an athletic conference.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_League

    Ivy League schools will generally offer you a good education. But it depends on whether you're an undergrad or grad student, your major, your income situation, and the type of career you want.

    For some people, going to an Ivy League school offers a better outcome. For others, going to a top public school offers a better outcome. For example, UC Berkeley is generally stronger than all Ivies in engineering (Cornell and Princeton are very strong as well, though). However, if you wanted to major in Econ and then go into a business field, Ivy League schools might (might) offer better opportunities, but only if you're the type of person to go out and utilize those opportunities.

    Other situations: if you need financial aid, Ivy League schools generally can offer more aid (and can actually be even cheaper!). If your family is well-off and not eligible, generally public schools are cheaper.

    For certain careers, the Ivy League "brand" might help, for others it doesn't matter at all.

    These are all very extremely broad generalizations. Each specific Ivy League school is VERY different. Culturally, Harvard is totally different than, say, Dartmouth.
  • xraydogxraydog Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
    Well personally, I would like to go to UC Berkeley because I want to get into engineering. I don't have a father, and my mother only makes like 20,000 or less a year. So I think I would be getting lots of financial aid.

    However, I don't want to go into engineering just to get a job, sure it may be fun to work, but I would like to have my own company, making computers, and other things.

    And actually yeah, I did know ivy league is just althletic stuff, but when I checked on wikipedia last it said MIT which I find strange because now when I look it isn't there?!

    But yeah, is it really worth all the hard work to get into top schools just for a brand name? Or should I not work as hard for ivies. But do great in a public school? I personally think if you go to public schools it's easier due to how you tend to have less work than ivies (I heard?). That would be good for me as it would give me more spare time to work on my company.
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    For MIT, you must have been looking at a different article...

    Since your family income is low, applying for financial aid at private schools (not just Ivy League schools) is definitely a must. I don't know why you get so caught up in the "Ivy League" label - private schools like MIT and Stanford are not "Ivy League," but they are better than all the Ivy League schools (Harvard and Princeton included) for engineering (and Stanford is better than most for humanities as well); they are also just as hard to get into as Ivy League schools, and are just as "prestigious" and "branded."
    Or should I not work as hard for ivies.
    Eh.... If you don't work hard, you will almost definitely NOT get into an Ivy League school. Same with UC Berkeley.
    I personally think if you go to public schools it's easier due to how you tend to have less work than ivies (I heard?).
    This is an overly broad generalization. And even then it isn't true. You'd have to compare two colleges specifically. For example, UC Berkeley is very tough in terms of grading, whereas a school like Brown is much, much easier. Harvard, for example, is notorious for grade inflation (easier grading). Princeton, however, has an active grade deflation policy. In general, Ivies are often actually easier on grading than top public schools, but it depends.

    Finally, ask yourself, what is the point of having a "branded" college? The only reason the brand might be important is if you were looking to get hired at a top company (and even then, for engineering, Berkeley might be better than an Ivy).

    But if your goal is to start your own company, and make your own product, why should you care what anyone thinks of your "pedigree"? You're your own boss.
  • xraydogxraydog Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
    @ Last part, yeah I really don't care what a manager would think. I'm just worried that I will not be able to get the education I desire, and need to make my company. I need to know how to design circuit boards and such.
  • terencterenc Posts: 1,127Registered User Senior Member
    Ivy League schools are not necessarily distinguished by superior teaching. Some actually suffer from large class sizes (Harvard and Cornell), and some say Harvard has a reputation for poor teaching. That is certainly a tremendous problem at public schools, but classes only take you so far. Why would a UPenn circuits class teach you any more material than a UC Berkeley circuits class? You spend the same amount of time in class, you still have homework, you still have one professor, you still have grad student TAs, you still have final exams, etc.

    I seriously suggest you do some thinking for yourself, instead of relying on what others say (and this includes my own opinions!)
  • xraydogxraydog Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
    What about when it comes to research? Do some schools do more research than others?
  • xraymancsxraymancs Posts: 2,435College Rep Senior Member
    Undergraduate research is an important part in lots of curricula these days. Many schools say that there are lots of opportunities for research but students usually have to be active in finding a position. Since you are interested in engineering, you should look for a school which has graduate programs so that you can get into a research group that has faculty, graduate students and post-docs. All the top engineering schools have this.

    as an aside, since engineering and entrepreneurship is what you want to do, you should look into the http:theaitu.org schools (which include MIT and CalTech). Many of these offer good financial aid and they all specialize in engineering. Some of them might have programs that suit you particularly.
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