Admission rates have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of a school. You have to look at the individual programs at each place. Cornell is clearly the Ivy school for engineering - if you are compelled to go to an Ivy and want engineering. Cornell also is more balanced politically in terms of its student body. My S said it feels 50/50, which is reflective of the nation as a whole. Brown and Columbia are 2 who couldn't make that claim. None of this matters once you're busy and in school, so forget the rankings! If it feels right and a school has what you want to study, you will have a great experience.
^Swimmer: in this never-ending and supremely inane thread, for every post like yours with careful advice, about fifteen rabid USNWR infused 16 year olds will tell us their opinion of why X is better than Y -- as if they had attended both. I frankly wish an admin would lock this thread. Or even better, delete it.
I'm glad careful advice simply means rankings don't matter. I am not a dimwitted 16 year old obsessed with rankings, it is really rude for you to have said that. I was proving the point that many schools are at the same level as Ivies, so the Ivy name should not be a magic halo that these schools hide behind. UChicago is clearly on par with the Ivies, and I was using rankings and admit rates to prove that, since there are not many other ways to. None of the non-Ivy top schools should be thrown under the bus when they are comparable academically, as you have proven by saying rankings are bogus. Also, admit rate sure separates institutions when they admit rates are off by 10% or greater but likely not much of a difference between all the top schools except variation in the types of students schools admit and that matriculate there. All of these schools have a different student body with a different feel and students should choose to apply and attend these schools based on fit, not on ranking of course! I would never imply rankings as the end-all when determing where to go for college! Was that a "careful" enough response?
@pagrok I was not saying uchicago was far below the ivies, I was responding to a post that said "besides harvard, yale, princeton, the ivies are a league below uchicago, amherst, and swartmore."
I think overall Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Penn are better than uchicago, amherst, and swarthmore. If not better they are at least very similar in academic strength. Dartmouth, Brown, and cornell are right behind them...My orginal point is that none of the ivies are a tier or league below uchicago but rather equal to, if not better than. These schools are so similar in academic quality that it is asinine to say that swarthmore is a league above dartmouth. I don't see it and I don't think many people would.
PAGrok: my remark wasn't directed at your thoughtful and clear examination of the whole thing. In fact, I'm in agreement w/you. It's the "ranking the 8 ivies" think that rankles me -- precisely b/c it omits many other great colleges and for anyone to quantify X over Y seems rather ridiculous when the top basket of schools are uniformly excellent and no student attending will ever partake fully any of those schools' great offerings in terms of culture, acadmics and resources.
Oh gotcha! I was believing that it was directed towards me cause I used the rankings to justify UChicago's prowess. But ya, this thread is to be taken lightly though. It was just a game for me when I posted my order for the Ivies.
I think for UNDERGRADUATE education it is laughable to think that Harvard, Cornell, Columbia and Penn are of any higher quality than Dartmouth, Princeton or Brown --where professors are actually paid to teach undergrads, since grad programs are relatively small.....Show me one survey (student or otherwise) where Brown, Dartmouth or Princeton are rated lower for undergraduate teaching than the other Ivies. Columbia has the school of General Studies (which has thousands of students beyond the "Columbia College") plus very large professional and graduate programs; Harvard, Penn and Cornell also have very significant graduate and professional programs, and frankly, very mixed reviews on undergraduate education.