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A Prestige Workaround

WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 533 Member
edited April 21 in Parents Forum
We've all been stuck in the infinite loop of "prestige matters-spend the money", "prestige doesn't matter-don't be an idiot"

We argue about it non-stop on here, but we all know that we live in a world where most people have very limited knowledge about colleges. If most people were asked to pick the more rigorous school out of Xavier and Williams, most people would probably pick Xavier.

Instead of arguing about prestige on here day and night, how do we get the message out to the outside world?

We all know that the education a kid would get at Fairfield is no different than what they would get at Villanova.
How do we get that message out, so that everyone knows it, not just all of us? I actually think it's not possible,
based on my experiences here, I think we need a workaround.

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.

I was thinking about the people reading her resume with Fairfield on it. If I could only make every person reading her resume think about the fact that she "went" to Fairfield, but "she could have gone to" Villanova, Bucknell, etc." that would make the world a more fair place. Maybe she could put that right after her degree - "Admitted to Villanova, Attended Fairfield".

I'm kidding, of course, but you see what I'm saying. I'm going to be bold, and say that anyone who disagrees with me is full of it. And my apologies to any Fairfield people. I love the school, and I think my daughter might very well end up attending there. I'm just being honest.

But is there a way to get people to read resumes the way I just described? It seems reasonable, in today's college market, to assume that any kid who is isn't rich, is at a school which is at least one tier below where they could have attended.

Is there any way to get the resume readers to read resumes this way? It seems like a simple thing. It seems much easier than the way most people on here approach the problem - convince people that prestige doesn't matter at all. It clearly does.

I don't have a solution to the resume reader problem, other than having all of us harass our friends and family about it, which isn't a bad start. I'm going to think about it some more, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Post edited by MaineLonghorn on

Replies to: A Prestige Workaround

  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 533 Member
    @doschicos, thanks for your response. You're saying that prestige doesn't matter. I respect that, but I disagree.

    I'm saying that if you agree that prestige matters,. how do you deal with it, given limited resources?
  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 533 Member
    @LBowie, they are both Catholic. Villanova is outside Philadelphia, and Fairfiled is in Connecticut,. If you have 20K, I can stop worrying right now - I'll meet you in Pennsylvania for the handoff :-)

    Just kidding - where are your kids going to school?

    People in NY know the difference between Fairfield and Villanova. Some people on here pretend that there's no difference, but everyone knows that there is one. That's the whole point of this thread - stop pretending that there is no difference in prestige(different than quality of education) and deal with it.
  • LBowieLBowie Registered User Posts: 1,723 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    My kid 1 went to Vanderbilt (sometimes confused with Villanova) and kid 2 goes to Skidmore (sometimes confused with Swarthmore.) :-). I am in Massachusetts, and have lived in California. I've worked in academia and have attended or worked at 6 universities, but I don't know them all! (I did not know what state Vanderbilt was in until my son was applying to college.)
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,400 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    Looking at your other posts, it looks like your daughter hasn't even applied to colleges yet? I'm confused. Isn't this putting the cart in front of the horse?

    Also, I assume this is an error on your part or was it intended? "If most people were asked to pick the more rigorous school out of Xavier and Williams, most people would probably pick Xavier."
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 52,133 Senior Member
    Maybe its best to let your daughter decide where to apply rather than the parent trying to decide "where to send her". Just sayin'
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,206 Senior Member
    I was wondering about the Williams comment as well. Williams is one of the most selective and excellent schools in the country.

    It sounds trite but really is true: think about the quality of the experience and education, not prestige.

    The difference in prestige between the schools you mention may be negligible: some of us don't know these schools much at all.

    If your daughter visits schools and loves the size, location, academics and most of all the "vibe" of one or a few, and you can pay for it/them, great. If her favorite school is out of your financial range, that's a tough one. Sometimes it is good to avoid visiting that school in the first place!
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 8,046 Senior Member
    I agree with @blossom....it is not what the general public thinks but what employers think about a college that counts.
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