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A Prestige Workaround

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Replies to: A Prestige Workaround

  • ChardoChardo Registered User Posts: 3,012 Senior Member
    ^ how hard would it be for a smart person to learn how to do those things?
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,194 Senior Member
    edited April 29
    Cleaning the lab could entail a knowledge of safety procedures, depending on the task, but chem majors don't have all that memorized either. That's what the MSDS info is for. My son as a high schooler worked in a chemical lab one summer and had no trouble performing the required tasks safely. (Heck, if we believe the anecdotes on CC,many high school kids work in labs and perform complex graduate level research to boot.) That said, my point was that a lab won't generally hire someone who doesn't have a relevant major (unless there's some nepotism involved), so no one need worry about the potential danger.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,995 Senior Member
    TheGFG wrote:
    That said, my point was that a lab won't generally hire someone who doesn't have a relevant major (unless there's some nepotism involved), so no one need worry about the potential danger.

    Is there any reason that they need to worry, since there seems to be an endless supply of biology graduates who did not get into medical school applying for those jobs?
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,194 Senior Member
    So true, lol. But the question for this thread is what the State U bio major has to do to beef up his resume to land the job over the Elite U bio major.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,608 Senior Member
    Actually, started Villanova vs Fairfield.
    And any Elite U bio kid better have more than some classes listed on that resume.

    Sleepwalking through an elite makes no magic.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,194 Senior Member
    edited April 29
    Sure, we can all agree you probably can't sleepwalk through an elite and achieve great results. But the sort of kid who TODAY can get admitted to an elite is typically NOT lazy and unmotivated. Quite the contrary! FWIW, neither of my older kids met anyone that fit that description at their schools. Granted, just as at any other college, the students are not all paragons of virtue or perfect as far as psychological maturity. Some students abused substances. But even those kids still worked pretty darn hard. A student going to a less elite school does not get sprinkled with magic striver dust either. I love how the comparison made on these threads always ends up being between the lazy Ivy kid and the driven kid at the ordinary school, rather than between the motivated Ivy student versus the motivated non-elite school student.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,608 Senior Member
    Huh? That's where I thought we were: empowered vs not. Whatever college.
  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 533 Member
    Just wanted to thank everyone who replied to this thread that I created a few weeks ago, right before I disappeared back into my real life. My CC participation is lumpy at times, but I really appreciate the responses.

    It looks like it turned into two threads :-)

    I want to respond to some of the specific posts, but for now, I just wanted to post some general responses.

    First of all, I wanted to make clear that I wasn't serious at all about adding the "accepted to schools" to the resume.
    I was just trying to make a point. The Admitted Certificates at Harvard is funny, though.

    I find name dropping obnoxious, but I do want my daughter's prospective employers to know how hard she worked in high school. Going to a college that required that kind of hard work to get in, is a way to convey that information WITHOUT name dropping. I guess that's the whole thing I'm struggling with.

    When I got back on today, I read through the first half of the closed thread "Upper Middle Class Frustration".

    Reading some of the posts on there cleared something up in my mind about what prestige means to me. So I thought I'd post that here. I realized that the only reason prestige matters to me is that it signals high achievement in high school.

    People on the other thread mentioned the fanciness of the elite schools, and I think someone compared it to valuing designer bags or designer clothing. Those aspects of the elite schools don't matter to me at all. In fact, they're a turn off. I just visited a college with my daughter and she really liked the look of the kids. It's not that I disliked the way they looked, but I smelled money and privilege, and it turned me off. I worry that she wouldn't be happy if she were surrounded by a bunch of super wealthy kids, but who knows.

    Anyway, I might be wrong about this, but I think that some of the negative reactions some people on here have to other people valuing prestigious schools might be similar to my reaction to the kids that I saw as wealthy and shallow. But there's a big difference between valuing a prestigious(I'll call it high stats) school for what it says about the circles you travel in, and valuing it for what it says about your academic achievements and the academic achievements of the kids you competed with, while getting whatever GPA is on your resume.

    The stats of the kids at Villanova are a good bit higher than the stats of the kids at Fairfield. It's A/A- kids versus B+ kids. That's why the difference matters to me. I think they both have their share of wealthy kids. A better comparison might be Trinity College in Connecticut and Binghamton. The stats of the kids at Binghamton are higher than those of the kids at Trinity(59 Points higher on both SAT sections combined), but Trinity has a lower acceptance rate(33% versus 42%) and Trinity is probably considered more prestigious and more fancy by many people.

    I think the Trinity kind of prestige is the kind that many people outside of the Northeast get turned off by. They see Northeasterners as a bunch of status-obsessed, image-conscious phonies. But I think most people here are probably more like me. I think they value a lot of the private schools here because they have higher average stats than the public schools. There's nothing elitist or snobby about that.
  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 533 Member
    edited May 23
    I forgot. I wanted to mention the SUNYs. I think they came up on this thread or the other closed one.

    It's not that the SUNYs are bad, but there are only a few that have a high percentage of top students, and with the exception of Geneseo, they're all big research universities. If you go one level down in selectivity, you get to Oswego and Oneonta, which are smaller schools. They've both come way up since most of us went to college, but most people remember them as huge party schools that anyone could get into. People need to adjust their thinking. I have, but I think a lot of people haven't. I think that also contributes to the general attitude that the SUNYs are nothing special.

    Binghamton is a great school, and I would be very happy to send my daughter there. She's actually showing some interest, but it's big by NY standards. I checked today, and there are a lot of graduate students teaching lower level courses. The funny thing is that they consistently get better reviews on RateMyProfessors.com than the professors who teach the upper level courses.

    One other thought from earlier in the thread. I think a few people used the phrase "as if school X isn't good enough for their child". This implies that it's somehow snobby to think that a school isn't good enough for your child. Going back to what I said in my previous post: if someone says that a school isn't good enough for their child and they're referring to the social status of the kids or the clothes the kids wear, I could see how that sounds snobby. If someone said "There's too much riffraff there", that would be snobby. But is it snobby to want our kids to study with, and form relationships with the smartest kids they can get in with? I don't think so at all.

    Before I get buried, I have nothing against Trinity College. If they gave merit aid, I'd try to get my daughter to look at it. But I've heard that it does have a lot of rich kids, and it does seem to have a very low acceptance rate, relative to the average stats of the kids. That's not necessarily bad, but I could see people questioning what you're buying when you're buying that type of school.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,861 Senior Member
    edited May 23
    The 4 years go by very fast. My advice is to pick an affordable school that your daughter feels comfortable attending and where she will take advantage of opportunities. She will find her people. As time marches on you will not have much to do with the chatter that you are now dealing with (I know it well).

    My D currently has a summer position at a very well respected institution. There are students from all over.... Ranging from "regular" state schools all the way to Harvard. The students are all assigned to similar types of positions within the same facility. Nobody cares where they go to school ( other than introductions) and they are all very capable of doing the work or they would not have been chosen.

    It's not snobby to want your kid to attend school with the smartest kids they can be with, but remember there are different types of "smarts" from which to learn from. One of my kids first friends at her school was a 25 year old who took some time off to start and then sell a business. I think that's pretty impressive. Another good friend is a "free spirit" who taught my kid how to relax a bit and not be so incredibly academically uptight. My kid is still a perfectionist but I can tell she is way less stressed than she used to be, and she still gets the grades she wants. And yes.... she still has the traditional "smart kids" to hang with.

    There is a whole world out there beyond the confines and college talk of your northeast HS. Right now it's hard to see it but you will eventually- and you will understand that it doesn't matter. Find an affordable school that she likes and don't give it another thought.
  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 533 Member
    Good point about different types of smarts, @twogirls. One of my best friends from college was not the best student, but he's one of the smartest people I met in college. Definitely the wittiest person I've ever met.

    Were your daughter's stats high for the school she ended up at? I'm not hell bent on my daughter attending the school that's hardest for her to get into. I just want to make sure she's with serious kids. A few free spirits is great, but I think she'd get distracted at a school with too many of them.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,861 Senior Member
    edited May 25
    @WalknOnEggShells my D is at an excellent OOS flagship and yes, her stats placed her above the 75% for the school. I want to point out that there is absolutely no shortage of "traditional smart kids." My D graduated at the top of her HS class and feels very comfortable academically- she still works hard and continues to do well, but she has the balance we wanted and has time for clubs, occasional concerts, speakers, dinners out on a Friday night, etc. She is with serious kids- her senior friends are getting into medical school, phd programs, etc. The occasional "free spirit" keeps her laughing, which is important. When we went to accepted students day at this school, they told us there was a perfectionist support group and they pride themselves on balance ( among other things). That's what sold me.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,861 Senior Member
    I wanted to add that my other D was at a SUNY. It was not my original top choice school for her, but after visiting 4 times (!) we knew she belonged there due to the sports programs and major. She had a great 4 years and to this day her grad school advisor still tells her how well prepared she was coming into grad school. I recommend the Frank Bruni book - Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be. My younger D read it during her senior year of HS.
  • CTDadof2CTDadof2 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    WalkonEggShells. We get it. You don't think Fairfield is as prestigious as Villanova. It's obviously a huge deal for you. I think you should take out the loans you need to finance your child's time at Villanova so you can sleep at night and so the world can know My Child Attended Villanova. Your attitude is highly disrespectful. Villanova was founded in 1842, Fairfield in 1942. Villanova should be ahead in the prestige contest as its been around for a century longer. Despite that, Fairfield earned its own chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in record time, the average income earned by its graduates 10 years after graduation exceeds the graduates of all other Catholic universities in the US save 3 according to the government's College Scorecard website, and it's alumni include the newly named CEO of General Electric, a former president of the federal reserve bank of New York, the chief administrative officer at Harvard, the former CEO of LL Bean, an admiral who is the physician to Congress and another pioneering physician who is on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Medical School who was named one of a Time magazines 100 most influential people a few years ago. I don't think your child!'s career will be damaged too badly if he chooses to attend.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    Quite the contrary! FWIW, neither of my older kids met anyone that fit that description at their schools. Granted, just as at any other college, the students are not all paragons of virtue or perfect as far as psychological maturity. Some students abused substances. But even those kids still worked pretty darn hard.

    @TheGFG

    All that means is that one is far less likely to meet too many lazy unmotivated students at Ivy/peer elite schools...not necessarily that they do not exist.

    After all, there are always a few exceptions to the rule.

    The fact your kids didn't meet anyone who is lazy/unmotivated is likely due to the fact they gravitated towards the critical mass who are just as motivated/hardworking as they are,

    However, lazy and/or unmotivated Ivy/peer elite students do exist. Especially considering some may not have been such when they applied/entered as people can and do change due to setbacks or life-changing events in the intervening period.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that a few of the lazy and unmotivated may be able to skate by and even excel at an Ivy/peer elite precisely because their level of academic giftedness/acumen is high enough that they could slack off and still do well academically.

    To some extent, this was how some of my salutatorian HS friend's MIT roommates described him considering he never pulled an all-nighter, slept more than they did, and seemed to have much more free time to enjoy all the campus/college parties and leisurely pleasures that Boston/Cambridge could offer than they did....and yet he managed to graduate near the top of his BS and MS classes in EE within 4 years and after a stint as a working engineer in Europe, returned to MIT to complete an EE PhD.

    They were all struck by a mix of awe with some tinge of jealousy at how he made it all seem effortless compared with their own experiences.
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