prezbucky, I am an assiduous planner. I research everything and like to study my options and develop strategies. I even cop to having various fantasies about my kids' futures as they were growing up (and even now sometimes). But with all respect, I think you are crossing a line here. It seems really unhealthy and potentially detrimental to your future parenting to be thinking this deeply into something that may or may not happen for your as yet unborn children almost 20 years from now.
If you want to actively prepare in order to provide the best guidance and future for your kids. start by delving into early childhood and psychology research that will help you determine the kind of parent you want to be in the first five or six years of their lives, which are fundamental for developing their life-long motivation and love of learning. There are so many things we can control as parents--the values we teach and model for our kids, our reactions to certain behaviors, our strategies for raising honest, caring and happy people--that it really silly to spend much effort on outcomes that you have virtually no control over 20 years from now.
If you are careful and consistent in the parenting tactics you plan to use in the next few years, your children will have abundant good options down the line which you can help guide them through when the right time comes.
Location: Southern California -> Cornell '16! Go Big Red!
Gladly! Cornell is truly an excellent institution, and I'm glad that you've come to appreciate it. Cornell University is unusual in that it is divided into seven colleges, all of which are world renowned. I will elaborate on each below:
The School of Hotel Administration
The school of Hotel Administration is indeed responsible primarily for educating future bellhops and hotel clerks, but it is the FINEST such school in the WORLD. While some may look down upon these professions, they are among the highest paying jobs attainable straight out of college. Cornell is a top feeder to elite hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, etc. The levels of compensation at these places are absolutely ridiculous. The salary is decent, but where the gold is really made is in the tips. Society's upper-crust spends money like water and hands $20 bills out like kleenexes. A first-year bellhop can easily make 130 k a year-- more than any investment banking analyst. Many of these bellhops are responsible for servicing graduates of the other seven Ivies-- who, of course, tip generously, as they are all highly successful and fabulously rich.
In jargon, bellhops are known as "back office" workers. Clerks make even more, and are known as the "front office" workers. Ever heard of the 50-dollar sandwich trick? You know, the one where people bribe the clerks to get better rooms? A clerk might easily see 15-20 of those per day, and masters of manipulation who have taken Psychology 1101 are capable of subtly suggesting the trick to customers. These clerks can see up to 30-35 such sandwich tricks per day. That's $1,700. Per Day. Plus tips. Plus salary. These guys consistently rake in 400-800 k. The problem is clerk jobs are much more competitive than bellhop ones, so you generally have to be at or near the top of your class to land one.
Above both of these is what is known to commoners as the "VIP bellhop." VIP bellhops generally have 5+ years of experience and are tasked with caring for the hotel's most important customers-- celebrities, athletes, CEOs, politicians, etc. If you thought the tipping was great before... You haven't seen anything. Tips are consistently in the four-figure range. Thomas A. Carraway is probably the most famous VIP bellhop. Of course, he's a Cornell graduate. Recently signed a 5 year, 22 million dollar contract with Harrah's to service its top clients. Carraway also consistently makes around 3-4 million per year in tips, so he makes around 6-7 million dollars a year. Not bad, eh?
Cornell equips its hotel grads with excellent skills. A Hotel grad can generally make a bed in five seconds, unload one item of luggage in three seconds, and conjure up an absolutely delectable dessert seemingly from thin air. It's seriously unbelievable. And don't think that your employment is limited to just hotels, either. A lot of these guys go on to work at top restaurants as waiters and see similar compensation. One former bellhop, David Litman, even went on to found Hotels.com with the skills he learned from Cornell. Perhaps you've heard of it. Other Cornell creations include Burger King and Arby's, which are also major employers of Cornell graduates.
School of Industrial and Labor Relations
This is another flexible degree, and basically involves understanding the relationship between employers and employees. I believe the biggest employer of Cornell graduates this past year was Career Transitions Corporation (CTC), a downsizing firm. In a nutshell, CTC helps employers fire their employees. It spares a lot of awkwardness for the employers. CTC is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, and flies its employees out to the location of the client company. From there, they fire the workers on the list. ILR graduates are experts, and by the end of the firing session, the fired workers will practically think it was THEIR idea to go do something else or follow their dreams.
Cornell graduate Natalie Keener attempted to transition CTC's services to an online-based platform a few years ago, but this was ultimately found too impersonal to work. Still, as a 23 year old, that's pretty amazing to be featured on national news. CTC employees are constantly flying around the country, so it's great if you like travel and stay in fully-comped five-star hotels, which, coincidentally, are often staffed with fellow Cornellians.
Ryan Bingham is CTC's most famous downsizer and a Cornell grad. He accrued ten million frequent flier miles. Imagine what he could do with those. That's already like a bonus. I believe Bingham receives 8-9 million a year for his services.
Agriculture and Life Sciences
The backbone of society is agriculture. The Ag school helps produce the world's greatest farmers, such as Farmer John '82, a guy you might recognize from your bacon packages. Technology is pervasive and valued skills are being lost at a rapid rate. The Ag school trains its students to properly milk cows, grow grains, and callously slaughter animals. Lesser farmers often pull too hard on udders, causing the cows to become sterile. They also injure their backs picking grain and cower (pun intended) in the slaughterhouse. Cornell's Ag school is the one of the few last bastions of old techniques used to sustain life on this planet. Without food, we would all die.
Compensation? Again, outrageous, though not so much as the other two straight out of college. I believe a first-year farmhand makes around 70 k a year. Elite specialists, such as milkers, pull in around 150 k, but you have to complete a brief post-undergrad residency program before you can be employed as one.
Farmer John '82 lives in a 22 million dollar mansion in Malibu, for some perspective. Forbes ranked him as the 339th richest person in the United States in 2006.
In addition, Cornell's undergraduate business program, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, is housed within the Ag school. Nobody knows why. Investment banking placement from Cornell has long since dried up as superior schools like Duke and Tufts have taken our spots, but AEM graduates are well prepared for careers in a rapidly growing branch of finance...
Investment Tanking is actually a creation of Penn's Wharton and Harvard Business School, but Investment Tanking firms heavily recruit from Cornell. Investment Tanking shouldn't be confused with Investment Banking. Investment Tanking firms seek to buy out and take over companies, and then fire everyone and drive them into bankruptcy, making a fortune off of bankruptcy proceedings and the sale of junk assets. This intentional failure is a process known as "tanking." It is truly a lucrative business. Essentially, the thinking was: "Hey, we don't really care about actually helping people and creating jobs anyway, so why keep pretending? We might as well be as blatant about it as possible."
Successful Investment Tankers have net worths of over 100 million dollars and often run for political office. Yes, if you do well as an Investment Tanker, you could one day be a Governor or even a presidential candidate.
The College of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Architecture should be fairly self-explanatory. The College of Human Ecology is basically a gynecology school, although a lot of grads wind up performing circumcisions as well. The pay is in the six-figures, but a lot of Human Ec majors get perverse sexual pleasure from touching other people, so that's really their main reward. Definitely like a bonus if you can find employment with your favorite celebrities!
Famous Cornell graduates
Bill Nye "The Science Guy"-- Arguably Cornell's most accomplished graduate, Nye appeared in a well-known Disney series which put science in terms second-graders could understand. Nye received a B.S. in Chemistry, graduating near the bottom of his class. The series was discontinued after Nye realized that he was wasting his life on second graders. He has since found employment as a fifth-grade science teacher at Manhasset Elementary School, a job which truly pushes him to his academic and intellectual limits.
Ann Coulter-- One of America's most famous talking heads, Coulter is admired for her reasonable nature and incisive analysis. As one of the most impressively non-partisan figures in American politics, Coulter is revered by both sides and many expect her to one day run for President.
Janet Reno-- The first Attorney General to be held in contempt by Congress. Yes, it's technically not a good thing, but she was still the first, and that counts for something.
Kurt Vonnegut (dropped out)-- Author of Slaughterhouse 5. Did not attain diploma, as he dropped out of Cornell. As in, no, he literally dropped out. As in he fell off a cliff and into a gorge, where he was washed away, never to be seen again. Many of his works were then published posthumously.
Robert Smith, founder of "The Cure"-- The frontman of a famous Gothic band known for hit singles such as "Just Like Heaven" and "Friday I'm in Love." Smith came to Cornell as a happy-go-lucky aspiring doctor, but the cold weather and isolation depressed him so much that he instead decided to pursue a career as a Gothic musician. The causes behind Smith's depression have since been greatly ameliorated. Global warming is surely but slowly making Ithaca less cold, and the University recently introduced electricity to its buildings, marking the advent of a new technological age which will greatly mitigate feelings of rural isolation.
Sasha Grey '03-- A well-known adult film actress and graduate of the Human Ecology school, Grey has appeared in more than 50 adult films and received critical acclaim for her work. Initially a philosophy major, Grey says she changed career paths after eventually realizing that "that" was how she spent all of her Friday nights anyway (as there was nothing else to do), so she might as well get paid for it. Grey is scheduled to be the 2013 commencement speaker.
Monica Lewinsky-- Graduate of the Hotel School. Used charisma to seduce President Clinton and make millions off of a book deal and television appearances.
OP, I really hope I've helped clarify on why Cornell is an amazing school. It really has the most diversity out of any Ivy League school and the opportunities are endless. On these forums, the stereotype is that we are full of stressed-out engineers and pre-meds who are constantly committing suicide after failing their Algebra 1 midterms, but that image is simply not true. They are merely ATTEMPTING suicide. The vast majority chicken out or are caught by safety nets. In addition, the failed exams are in fact Algebra 2, and not Algebra 1. I hope that 20-25 years down the road, you will somehow remember this post and force your kid to apply to Cornell, just like any loving parent would.
OP, I totally agree with you that Cornell should not be considered. It is by far the weakest school in the Ivy League, and on par with schools like Arizona State and UC Merced.
OP, good luck. Make sure to send your kid to a superior school like DeVry.
I understand that this is satire, but you're essentially projecting a similar condescending attitude that the OP had towards Cornell. You really shouldn't insult other schools like that. Otherwise, y'know... it kind of looks like you're insecure about your own school. #Cornhell
I am done.
(That last remark was in jest)
P.S. Cornell = most diverse Ivy? That's a bold statement.
"Cornell graduate Natalie Keener attempted to transition CTC's services to an online-based platform a few years ago, but this was ultimately found too impersonal to work. Still, as a 23 year old, that's pretty amazing to be featured on national news. CTC employees are constantly flying around the country, so it's great if you like travel and stay in fully-comped five-star hotels, which, coincidentally, are often staffed with fellow Cornellians.
Ryan Bingham is CTC's most famous downsizer and a Cornell grad. He accrued ten million frequent flier miles. Imagine what he could do with those. That's already like a bonus. I believe Bingham receives 8-9 million a year for his services."
Prezbucky-I agree with the majority of your comments on each Ivy. My DD is a rising senior and that is basically how we are viewing the schools. Her top choice for Ivy right now is Brown and perhaps Dartmouth.
I am just surprised you are posting this in a Princeton forum...
The most important thing to know about the "defining characteristics" of these universities, and of the dozen or so peer universities, is that (a) generally, they are large, extremely complex institutions that cannot even remotely be characterized accurately in a slogan or two, and (b) their overwhelming similarities completely swamp their relatively small differences. People overvalue the differences, especially when they are choosing between two colleges, but the kinds of differences the OP talks about in the first post are the equivalent of comparing equivalent cars from Lexus, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
Also, very, very few people get to choose among these colleges. Most people are thrilled if they are offered admission to any one of them.
There are three differences that DO matter, and that extend to peer colleges as well:
1. Liberal arts-only vs. specialized schools. Penn and Cornell offer a whole spectrum of specialized schools, Columbia has a separate engineering school, and the rest offer only a core liberal arts education (albeit with an engineering option everywhere). If you are interested in the liberal arts curriculum, it doesn't matter much which college you choose, but if you are interested in nursing, or business training, you can't get that everywhere.
2. Size matters (somewhat). Bigger communities mean more opportunities, more diversity, more stimulation, but at a loss of intimacy and focus on undergraduates. Each of the colleges strikes its own balance.
3. Location, location, location. The effect of the college's surroundings can be fairly important on what it's like to be a student there. Columbia is a very different place than Dartmouth, and it's not really because it has a core curriculum. For starters, there's an awful lot more to do off campus at Columbia (and that can be good or bad, depending). Plus, wealth means a heck of a lot more in Manhattan than it does in Hanover.
What's really not very different is the kinds of students they have. Not everyone applies to all these colleges, but the same set of people tends to apply to various of them. And the colleges often deliberately admit against the college's "type," in order to get a less monolithic student body. So Yale may be somewhat artier than Dartmouth, but Dartmouth takes care to admit many, many arty kids, and Dartmouth is full of arts opportunities. You could switch the student bodies of these colleges in the middle of the night, and not more than maybe 10% of each would be significantly more or less happy at the new college.
Princeton, Harvard and Yale are alike in their overall undergraduate quality, but present different vibes (apparently).
FWIW, I'd say Princeton and Yale are similar in their overall undergraduate quality, but Harvard is more sui generis. The 'halo effect' of Harvard's undeniably stellar and comprehensive array of graduate programs is pervasive in the public mindset. And Harvard's made considerable strides in recent years to address this, but it remains the weakest of the three when it comes to undergraduate teaching quality. YMMV.
Meanwhile, you're definitely doing the right thing by casting your net a tad more broadly. Even if you're intent on having a '24-karat-gold' diploma for your kid, Stanford, MIT, Swarthmore, Williams, Caltech and several more definitely qualify without being Ivy League. One of them might turn out to be a better choice, even. The comments just above from JHS are, as usual, on the mark.