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A Prestige Workaround


Replies to: A Prestige Workaround

  • moooopmoooop Registered User Posts: 1,575 Senior Member
    Somewhere in the resume you could put "Academic Achievements," and list scholarships, class rank, GPA, and even SAT/ACT scores. It would be a little odd, but it would be a quick & easy way to say, "Although I went to Southeast Baloney Tech, I had the qualifications to go to Oxford."
  • runswimyogarunswimyoga Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    Op, I wholeheartedly agree with the advice being given to you here!

    Just want to add- in my experience, prestige of the school opens the door a bit easier with regards to securing top internships while in school. For example, older son's NYC IB internship had Villanova Business School interns but none from Fairfield...

    This isn't an insurmountable problem though.

    Find out the algorithm that gets your Ds resume into the interview pile (as most resumes are computer read first round these days). Follow the advice given above about maximizing honors/ research opportunities/outside scholarships in order to stand out in her chosen field. Once she gets her foot in the door for the interview, her story can show that she has the character and ability to thrive among the interns from more prestigious schools.

    Son has been to many early insight programs from IBs and they all have said its important in the interview to have an organic story about your interests rather than just achievements listed on resume ... so at this point she could highlight the due to financial constraints chose x school but have maximized opportunities in pursuit of interests story...

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,545 Senior Member
    I think the point of the Xavier/Williams comment is that most people DON'T know the difference.
  • VAOptimistVAOptimist Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    edited April 21
    BTW, I agree with the other comments that you can get a rigorous education by applying yourself at the college you attend. But if you are looking for a signifier - those merit scholarships count.
  • 4kids4us4kids4us Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    WRT specifically to Villanova and Fairfield, IMHO the only reason Villanova is better known than Fairfield is due to winning the NCAA basketball title 30 years ago and then again last year. Coincidentally, their first champion win occurred the year I was applying to college and their second win the same yearD17 was applying to college (obviously, this past fall). I happened to apply to Villanova but not due to that. I was told during my interview that they were being very selective because "everyone wants to go here now b/c of our basketball win." My visit did not leave a very good impression due to that and a few other things. My father was secretly pleased he told me later b/c I ended up at Jesuit university not too far from Fairfield (My father highly regards the Jesuits having been educated by them himself). I actually spent several weekends at Fairfield visiting friends and attending games when our schools played each other. In terms of prestige, I personally don't think Villanova has an edge over Fairfield. More popular, yes, but not more prestigious.

    I keep telling my own daughter, it's not where you go but what you make of your college years that is important - coursework, research, internships, etc. Ever heard of Mercyhurst? I hadn't until my niece decided to go there. When my husband asked where she was going, he immediately recognized Mercyhurst - he has actually hired several graduates from their Intelligence Studies department. It's one of the best programs in the country for the work that his company does. It doesn't matter to him that hardly anyone outside of that part of the country has heard of the school.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,075 Senior Member
    JHS- and to my eternal shame, during the brief period when I was recruiting lawyers at a law firm, I had to run decision meetings where we debated whether working on NYU's Law and Liberty journal (so the candidate clearly hadn't made law review) outgunned making Law Review at Duke (a lesser ranked law school but clearly a more prestigious journal).

    Aah, memories.....
  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    I can tell you that a year ago I didn't know the difference between Xavier and Wiliams, and would have assumed Xavier was probably more prestigious since I had at least heard of it. I am reasonably sure that 95% of the educated professional people in my town and probably state have never heard of Williams (deep into flyover country).

    This is actually a issue with my son, I think if he can get in Williams would be a perfect fit for him. He kind of agrees but also thinks that all the local employers and everyone he knows personally will think of Williams as being no different than going to a directional state school, just further away and more expensive. I've told him that Wall Street, Apple and the Ivy League grad schools all know who Williams is, who cares what your knucklehead buddies think? The answer is of course that HE cares. Oh well, it's a work in progress. And he probably could go to the local state school for free, so who knows.
  • northwestynorthwesty Registered User Posts: 2,749 Senior Member
    All the worrying about the various shades of prestigiosity gray are what economists call a "signaling device." There's lots of them -- degrees, awards, GPAs, honors, clerkships, scholarships, honors colleges, etc. etc. etc.

    How well the signal works in a particular context depends on a lot of factors. Having a full scholarship and being #1 in your class from Villanova is a very good signal -- that person clearly could have been a solid graduate from an Ivy.

    That Nova credential probably won't get you a job at Goldman Sachs over a mid-class Harvard graduate. But more than likely it will do a much better job getting you into Harvard Law School.

    My wife (who went to a meh college and then very well at a top ten law school) does periodically point out to me (and select others) that she did in fact get into YLS (which I did not). She's been tempted over the years to drop that little detail on the bottom of her resume...
  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    @JHS I think that your old supervisor may be my neighbor, certainly could live in my town. I'm surprised he didn't think you were studying to be a locksmith. That Yale school does make some mighty fine padlocks.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,474 Senior Member
    " It would be a little odd, but it would be a quick & easy way to say, "Although I went to Southeast Baloney Tech, I had the qualifications to go to Oxford.""

    It would be VERY odd! Don't!
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,407 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    ^ Yeah, that is cringe worthy. "I had the qualifications to get into Oxford." Don't do that.

    I also agree with the commenter that encouraged students to make the most out of wherever they go.

    I also have to say that being Midwesterner I don't know the difference between Fairfield and Villanova except for basketball prominence. I have heard that many (non-CCers) outside of the Midwest have not heard of Macalester. Last year there was a news story about a student from WI who went to Connecticut College and then to Penn and ended up with Yuge amounts of debt. But in Wisconsin many had never really heard of Connecticut College or knew that it was expensive.
  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 Registered User Posts: 3,420 Senior Member
    "I was thinking about it the other night. My daughter could probably get into Villanova or Lehigh, but I can't afford it, because we make too much money. So I might have to send her to Fairfield, which is a great school, but definitely has less prestige."

    So your daughter has not applied to colleges yet?

    And how do you know Fairfield is more affordable than say your examples of Villanova or Lehigh without applying?
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    How about this -- and each person can adjust the number based on their idea of relative quality:

    - If two schools are within X ranking spots of each other, choose based solely on fit and cost, and do not consider prestige/rep. If the difference is greater than X, prestige/rep may become a factor in your equation.

    * Which ranking? Well you can choose a ranking, or average some rankings, or create your own ranking. I'm in favor of C, but that takes time. hehe
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