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A Shocking Number Of The World's Rich And Powerful Attended Elite Colleges

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Replies to: A Shocking Number Of The World's Rich And Powerful Attended Elite Colleges

  • VladenschlutteVladenschlutte 4292 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    Is it really a shocking number? Is that how that should be described? Really?

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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6396 replies195 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,591 Senior Member
    So many issues with Mr. Wai's study.

    Many CEO's went to state schools, but once they got placed on the "CEO track" their company sent them to an Elite (executive) MBA program. Wharton is a popular example (with classes taught every Friday and Saturday for 2 years...). Another example is Harvard's Program for Leadership Development (PLD), which is a 6 month program. It's hardly surprising that 38% of CEO's attended an "elite" college. A more interesting stat would have been the number that attended an "elite" college as an undergrad.

    Here is an article (form 2012) that gives more insight into how CEO's are awarded degree's by college.

    http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2012/05/14/where-the-fortune-500-ceos-went-to-school

    Harvard and Stanford both lead the way with 11 awarded undergraduate degrees. Then we have schools like Indiana University—Bloomington and Rutgers that both awarded 5 (Columbia and MIT each only awarded 3 undergraduate degrees), Go Rutgers! :)
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40168 replies320 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    "I went to Northwestern on scholarship. FANTASTIC school for a middle income kid like myself, but a lot of filthy rich kids go there, and in that circle, Northwestern is the "safety" for those who couldn't get into HYP etc. These rich families have tight networks with other rich families and all of their businesses. This crowd doesn't have to worry about applying for an internship or waiting for a job, because it's waiting for them at their parents company or their dad's friend's company. An arrangement made over a round of golf."

    There's no reason that NU should have any more or less a concentration of a FEW "filthy rich" kids compared to any other comparable elite school. (BTW, the ones who are the "filthiest rich" - you won't know about.) You wouldn't have had a scholarship at NU (or dorms, or science facilities, or whatever) if it weren't for a few "filthy rich" families (thank you Crowns, Regensteins, Pritzkers, etc.) so I see no reason to begrudge them.

    As for the networking -- the exact same networks apply at "lesser" schools. You don't think there are filthy rich kids at Ole Miss or Texas A&M whose parents are shaking hands and making arrangements? Of course there are.
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  • AlexanderIIIAlexanderIII 120 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    ^^^
    I agree that you'll find an "old boys' network" at many universities that aren't considered "elite," but that isn't really Dracarys' point. The article implies that attending an "elite" university will provide you with networking opportunities that give you a leg up in the corporate world, and in my experience, Mr. Wai is hardly the only person who thinks the real value at "elite" universities is the networking possibilities.

    Dracarys pointed out a flaw in this belief. Just because you attend the same university as the rich and powerfull doesn't mean you're going to have a meaningful opportunity to network with them. She wasn't begrudging her wealthy classmates anything.
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  • mcat2mcat2 5871 replies115 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,986 Senior Member
    These rich families have tight networks with other rich families and all of their businesses. This crowd doesn't have to worry about applying for an internship or waiting for a job, because it's waiting for them at their parents company or their dad's friend's company. An arrangement made over a round of golf.
    Isn't this true everywhere in the world and most time in human's history?

    I heard that for some to finance companies, they are trying to find the kids from such families and they do not care about their majors or grades at college. All they want are the connections the kids from these families could bring them.

    The question for most of the "rest of us" who are not in the league is: What is the potential benefit of attending such a school, if such a school still reserves some slots for our kids for, how can I put a word on this, maybe social justice, in the "holistic process"?
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12656 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,685 Senior Member
    @MCAT2:
    Wut?

    BTW, as for the banks hiring princelings, that's more common and profitable for the banks in corrupt oligarchic countries like China. Wall Street (at least the trading floor) tends to be a meritocracy (again, outside of corrupt oligarchic markets where insider trading isn't prosecuted) because PNL trumps all.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40168 replies320 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    Um, mcat2, you kind of heard wrong. PurpleTitan is right.
    The recruiting for those positions is very intense - and yes, grades DO matter.

    Think about it logically. If these companies are just trying to find rich kids and don't care about their majors / grades, why do they need to go to Harvard (et al) to do so? Plenty of rich families with not-so-bright kids who go off to average state u and have four years of partying.
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  • FindmoreinfoFindmoreinfo 251 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    "What would be more interesting is comparing how folks who got in to an elite and didn't go do in life to those who did attend an elite."

    I think each research can only do so much. Apparently this one didn't deal with what you asked for. But I think I saw some studies that may be able to answer your question. I can try to find that. I don't particularly like Wai's research but it does give us an indication that elites are looking for motivated and intelligent people. The quality of students and school names impact each other, the 'brand name' effect is there. Their students benefit from the name, and school names are elevated due to the success of their graduates.

    "Many CEO's went to state schools, but once they got placed on the "CEO track" their company sent them to an Elite (executive) MBA program."

    In the article: "Dark gray bars indicate the percentage that attended graduate school, independent of the elite school category." so it seems the ones with a post-graduate degree from elites are not counting in the 38% elites.

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  • tk21769tk21769 10587 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,614 Senior Member
    Why should it be shocking that many of the world's rich and powerful attended elite colleges?
    If all the world were a perfect meritocracy, this is exactly what we should expect (unless you believe all colleges are equally good.)

    It may be gratifying to know that a few HS drop-outs become "self-made" billionaires or US senators. I don't think we'd really want that to become the prevailing pattern. We would not want the greatest rewards to go to the worst or even average students (not unless they have some other very exceptional compensating qualities.)


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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6396 replies195 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,591 Senior Member
    @Findmoreinfo‌

    Based on the linked studies....

    "Elite School = person attended one of the top schools in Table 1 for either undergraduate or graduate school"

    And from the article itself..
    Dark gray bars indicate the percentage that attended graduate school, independent of the elite school category.

    Attending an elite school for graduate school would be counted in the "black". The percentages add up to 100%, so if you attended an elite graduate school, you're counted in the black, and not the dark gray.

    The same linked studies by Wai show that 13.2% of CEO's attended Harvard, as my earlier linked article shows, this is driven by the MBA program and not undergraduate degree's (Harvard had only awarded 11 undergraduate degree's to CEO's, while awarding 40 MBA's).

    By the way, Wai's definition of an elite school is based on those schools attended by the top 1% in ability (based on SAT scores)
    Table 1
    Schools attended that indicate top 1% in ability status (ranked by ability).
    a. National universities and liberal arts colleges/Combined SAT math and critical reading scores
    1. California Institute of Technology 1525
    2. Harvey Mudd College 1500
    2. Princeton University 1500
    4. Yale University 1495
    5. Harvard University 1490
    5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1490
    7. University of Chicago 1485
    8. Columbia University 1475
    9. Washington University in St. Louis 1465
    9. University of Notre Dame 1465
    11. Pomona College 1460
    12. Stanford University 1455
    12. Dartmouth College 1455
    14. Northwestern University 1445
    14. Vanderbilt University 1445
    16. Duke University 1440
    16. University of Pennsylvania 1440
    16. Swarthmore College 1440
    19. Brown University 1430
    19. Rice University 1430
    19. Tufts University 1430
    22. Amherst College 1425
    23. Williams College 1420
    24. Carleton College 1415
    25. Johns Hopkins University 1410
    25. Carnegie Mellon University 1410
    25. Bowdoin College 1410
    28. Cornell University 1400
    28. Haverford College 1400
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76106 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,769 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    BTW, as for the banks hiring princelings, that's more common and profitable for the banks in corrupt oligarchic countries like China. Wall Street (at least the trading floor) tends to be a meritocracy (again, outside of corrupt oligarchic markets where insider trading isn't prosecuted) because PNL trumps all.

    While Wall Street hiring may be meritocratic with relatively low corruption, the definition of "merit" for that purpose may be an even more uneven playing field based on one's family SES than it already is with respect to attending and graduating college. For example: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-22/wall-streets-lacrosse-mafia

    Also, late bloomers are more limited, since they may not have the high school credentials to get into HYP where Wall Street recruiting is best, and transferring to HYP after starting elsewhere is extremely difficult (impossible at P).
    edited June 2014
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12656 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,685 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    Late bloomers can get their chance through entrepreneurship and/or b-school. Working your way up from the middle/back office is also still a possibility.

    BTW, Wall Street recruiting these days is actually more democratic now in that the undergrad b-schools at schools like Vandy & ND, which you never heard of as Street targets back in the day, are actually sending a decent number of kids to the Street now. And of course, Kelley at IU has a track record of sending kids to the Street with their IB Workshop prepping. This is due to a combination of factors: 1. The Street is losing its luster at the very top. Those Ivy athletes with high GPAs in liberal arts majors that the Street use to scoop up are more and more turning their back on Wall Street. 2. Wall Street has become much better known. 3 decades ago, fewer kids at an undergrad b-school at a place like Vandy were aiming for Wall Stret or knew how to prep for interviews. Nowadays, they've prepped so much that they're beating out Ivy liberal arts majors (and they don't have to be trained as much). Remember that the quality that Wall Street prizes most is hustle (being cool under stress and loving to compete are highly valued on trading floors, which is why there are so many athletes and military there).
    Of course, Wall Street is also changing. The upside isn't what it was, and I don't see the heyday for high finance coming back for generations.

    MMB consulting (while recruiting other schools), still seems to be concentrated on HYPS, however.
    edited June 2014
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  • tk21769tk21769 10587 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,614 Senior Member
    I wonder how the USA compares to the UK, France, China or Japan in terms of the percentage of CEOs, or senior government officials, educated at "elite" schools? My impression is that the US percentage is comparatively low (and that admission to Tokyo University or one of the grandes écoles is a more valuable ticket to wealth and power in Japan or France than admission to the Ivies is in America.)
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32860 replies3607 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,467 Super Moderator
    What would be more interesting is comparing how folks who got in to an elite and didn't go do in life to those who did attend an elite
    Like this study?

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2004/10/education-easterbrook
    Krueger and Dale studied what happened to students who were accepted at an Ivy or a similar institution, but chose instead to attend a less sexy, "moderately selective" school. It turned out that such students had, on average, the same income twenty years later as graduates of the elite colleges. Krueger and Dale found that for students bright enough to win admission to a top school, later income "varied little, no matter which type of college they attended." In other words, the student, not the school, was responsible for the success

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  • thumper1thumper1 73025 replies3179 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,204 Senior Member
    Do a shocking number of people CARE about this? I bet not.
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