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Colleges with true "name recognition"


Replies to: Colleges with true "name recognition"

  • chippedtoofchippedtoof Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    ^^ I'm in the bay area too, and in social conversations you may be right. But in a social discussion with academic tone, or at the office, I normally encounter UC Berkeley/Berkeley. (e.g. "Cal Engineering" and "Berkeley Bears" both suffer from awkwardness and as such are rarely used)
  • stevensPRstevensPR Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    @chippedtoof I hear cal when I'm in the Bay Area. Rarely do I hear anyone say they went to uc Berkeley
  • chippedtoofchippedtoof Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    edited September 11
    ^^ ok, perhaps I run in dated circles :) Socially I do hear "Cal" often, and people mostly do say "I went to Cal". But if we're saying "the latest research from..." or "most graduates from..." it is followed by Berkeley or UC Berkeley.

    The style guide from the school states:
    On slide 39:
    Berkeley and Cal
    Our recommendation is to use Berkeley in academic contexts and Cal in athletic contexts. It should remain clear that the preferred name of the university is Berkeley.
    http://www.berkeley.edu/brand/img/downloads/UCB Brand Guidelines_FINAL_small.pdf

    This has been my experience, but I'd still propose that answer seems to be: "it varies", which was part of the point made by Ynotgo and myself. (This also probably means I need to travel in different circles with people who talk about less academic topics and know how to have more fun) :)
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    I definitely hear "Berkeley" or "UC Berkeley" in more formal contexts here in the Bay Area. If a local media outlet is interviewing a professor from the school, they'll introduce them as being from "UC Berkeley".
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    "It is ironic though that Stanford's founding story involves Harvard and creating its equivalent in the west, yet the Ivies never invested in athletics to the same degree as the Cardinal."

    The Ivy League for football only started in 1945. Prior to that, the Ivies (and especially Yale) were the Alabama and Oklahoma of that era. The first three Heisman Trophy winners came from Chicago (1935), Yale (1936) and Yale (1937) after all.

    During its formative period, Stanford athletics did actually copy the HYP-type athletics of that time. Stanford continued on that road to this day. It was HYP who changed direction on athletics in the mid-century.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,980 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    @Flambeau HYPSM are the only ones with true name recognition amongst the general public, and amongst them Harvard is the one everyone and their mother knows without fail. Probably Princeton is the least known of the bunch.

    The rest of the ivies are known amongst educated circles, with the edge going to the ones with strong graduate and professional schools (grad schools, research are where universities mainly derive their prestige and name recognition from - thats why there are no LACs with big name rec). They also get an extra boost by being in the Ivy League and thus being associated with HYP.

    I would also lump together with the no-HYP ivies other non-ivy top schools like Chicago, Duke, NW, JHU and Berkeley.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    There's definitely some high end schools that wish they had done a better job on their naming/branding:

    U Chicago, U Penn, Mass Inst Tech, Caltech, NW, New York University are pretty weak as brand names. City and state based geographical names really don't work so well for top private schools. MIT, NYU and BC are much better/stronger in acronym form as compared to the full actual names. Town names work better -- Princeton, Georgetown, Amherst.

    Williams, Columbia, Brown and Rice are unfortunately too generic to work strongly. The founders of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke and Vanderbilt provided better names to their schools.

    And then there's WashU/WUSTL. Great school, worst brand ever.

  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,746 Senior Member
    And Hopkins would have been better off if it had dropped Johns the way Stanford dropped Leland.
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,220 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    @northwesty Agreed. If UChicago originally was named Rockefeller University like every other school founded by a single major founder, it would be just as well known as Harvard, Stanford, Yale and Princeton.

    For that matter, if Princeton had kept its original name (the College of New Jersey) rather than changing it to Princeton right about the time UChicago and Stanford were founded, it would have to market itself to get all of the best high schoolers interested in applying.
  • LeastComplicatedLeastComplicated Registered User Posts: 563 Member
    In my "flyover" homestate which has one of the lowest rated educational systems and is pretty well known for being backwards, I would guess that a majority of the people there would recognize the academic prestige of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. They MIGHT recognize MIT for academics - I'm not really sure. They'd recognize, but have no clue about the academic rankings of privates like Stanford, Notre Dame, USC, Duke and any other highly ranked school that had a good football or basketball program. I seriously doubt they'd recognize any of the top private LACs. They'd definitely be aware of public schools with good sports programs, but again, wouldn't know anything about academic rankings.
  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,980 Senior Member
    @LeastComplicated That is very interesting, I find it hard to believe that people would recognize Yale or Princeton more than Stanford, and that they would lump Stanford with places like Notre Dame or USC. But maybe it is because I have lived a lot outside the US. From my experience the schools that people outside the US really know and are impressed by are Harvard, MIT, Stanford. Yale and Princeton usually come in slightly below. But even inside the US I feel most people nowadays do see Harvard, Stanford as the top 2 schools in the country. I guess it depends where you are in the US.
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    Having grown up in Ohio, I find LeastComplicated's comment to be pretty accurate when it comes to describing how people there recognize certain schools. I had no idea schools like Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA were highly-rated academically until I moved to California. I thought of Berkeley as a hippie school and UCLA as a basketball school. Stanford was just another school like Indiana or Arizona State.

    To this day, I still tend to identify USC with football more than anything else, even after getting a USC degree.

    When I was in high school, I had no concept of ranking universities according to academics. Of course I had heard of Harvard, but I thought it was famous because it was an old school.
  • whatisyourquestwhatisyourquest Registered User Posts: 598 Member
    I completely agree with @Penn95 's post #71. Spot on.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 11,346 Senior Member
    @ThankYouforHelp Princeton was fortunate it was located in the town of Princeton. If it had been located in say Perth Amboy it would likely still be the College of New Jersey.
  • chippedtoofchippedtoof Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    I do find everyone's comments interesting in this thread. I'm guessing I'm somewhat typical of people on the coasts, so I had trouble gauging the academic weight of many midwest and southern schools. As I've learned (and still am learning) it is inspiring to discover all these great schools all over... it speaks favorably of our country, I believe. But I also see that regional vision really does dominate though and goes both ways.

    In terms of prestige, it seems like a blessing and a curse to me. I think for getting research dollars, it is very important, but the madness it creates in the school's applicants as well as the burden to maintain that ephemeral ranking, changes the school and its student body somewhat. (One can't recall a year in recent memory when a giant crane didn't exist on the local big campuses here...). I'm starting to root for hidden gems instead :)

    (I noticed that I may have given a slight to USC earlier, which was unintentional. I do have several wonderful and successful friends that went there, and they would chuckle at the thought that the school ever held them back in any way, even 20-30 years ago. Admittedly there was misguided bias back then aimed at SC, but they were solid then and are better now. It's still amazing that a private school is that large... and that such a large school can breed such loyalty among their students and alums)
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