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Helping kids and families shed their Ivy-worship


Replies to: Helping kids and families shed their Ivy-worship

  • silverladysilverlady Registered User Posts: 562 Member
    There are over 3000 colleges and universities in the United States. Therefore, over 300 in the top 10%. If you are in the Northeast, there are wonderful schools in the Midwest and South that are often overlooked because they aren't on the coasts. Point out that lots of smart, self made Americans did not come from the Ivy League. I know several billionaires who did not receive their undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school.
  • colfac92colfac92 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    And over 30 institutions in the top 1% -- a lot more than just the eight Ivies.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    Try to point out that there are multiple paths to success in the US and you don't have to go to an Ivy or peer school to achieve whatever it is that you want. Try to get them to focus on longer-term goals other than what college they get in to. And even if they fixate on an Ivy or something like that, point out that there are all sorts of alternate paths out there. Good respected unis overseas, good options for working adults (Columbia GS, Penn LPS, and Harvard Extension), and 3-2 engineering programs by Columbia and WashU (guaranteed transfer in the case of Columbia if you hit the requirements and elite masters programs), so killing yourself and stressing yourself out in HS just for the crapshoot of elite American college admissions seems crazy. Broaden their minds. Unlike like in some other countries, you don't have to follow a narrow rigid path on a time scale determined for you to do amazingly well in life.
    I presume they know of Jobs and Buffett and the founders of Google. Where did they get their undergrad degrees from?
  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    Most of them did not grow up in this country,
    I wonder where these parents who push their kids to Ivies came from, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America? I know some US and Asian parents stir their kids into whatever schools that help them get to medical schools in 4 years, if not a BS/MD combo in the first place.
  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 2,610 Senior Member
    Our school normally sends about a dozen kids to the Ivy's each year. This year, the pattern was different. With what was a strong class, we had fewer Ivy matriculation's, but more kids attending non-Ivy top 20 schools.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 990 Member
    edited May 18
    For families who are under certain income/asset levels, I think it's a great thing to attend Ivy League or similar colleges because they give you a near free education because these schools have good financial aid. For people who can afford the tuition, there is a prestige involved just like why people buy Benz. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get into one of top-ranked schools but the problem is when you don't get in, you have to learn to adjust and proceed with a positive attitude. And you have to select good safety schools and make sure you have different options. You have to take a very business like attitude about this such as "If no Plan A, then Plan B; if not Plan B, Plan C." We had up to Plan D going into this college admission adventure.

    Having said this, I am generally against people applying to too many Ivies or similar type; imo you should apply to only 2 top reach schools at the most.
  • dadoftwingirlsdadoftwingirls Registered User Posts: 679 Member
    I would show them a list of astronauts and show what college they attended.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,073 Senior Member
    I would show them a list of astronauts and show what college they attended.

    The problem then is someone will show them a list of the Presidents in the past century, and what colleges (and professional schools) they attended. Apart from Warren Harding, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, it's a pretty prestige-heavy list.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited May 18
    True, @JHS, but professional/graduate school is a different beast. Many of the elite professional/graduate programs are considerably easier to get in to now (or are at least more certain) than the tippy-top American undergraduate programs for those who can get great test scores and great grades and are driven.

    Thus a reason to not stress out/kill yourself in HS and to hone skills & interests that will serve you well in life. If you do awesome in the marketplace/workplace, trust me, HBS/Stanford/Wharton will want you.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,073 Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan : It's a pretty prestige-heavy list at the undergraduate level, too, although there are a few people (like Nixon) who only got prestige degrees for law school (not that there is anything low-class about Whittier).

    Here are the undergraduate colleges of Presidents in the past century: Johns Hopkins, Ohio Central, Amherst, Stanford, Harvard, [none], West Point, Harvard, Texas State, Whittier, Michigan, Annapolis, Eureka, Yale, Georgetown, Yale, Columbia, Penn. It's hardly a monolithic list, but it's not great evidence that a prestigious college doesn't matter.

    Also, it's a little misleading to say that many of the elite professional programs are easier to get into now than the corresponding undergraduate programs. Sure, 12% (Harvard Business School) or 9% (Yale and Stanford Law Schools, and Stanford Business School) are "considerably" higher acceptance rates than the <5% undergraduate admission rates. But because students applying tend to have longer resumes, and there is more agreement on the value of various credentials to an application, there are fewer applications that are complete shots-in-the-dark, too. Nine percent, or 12% or even 16% (Harvard Law School) are very low acceptance rates, and no one, least of all a high school senior, can count on meeting that standard years into the future.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @JHS: Yes, but my main point is that graduate school admissions are more within your own control, and many grad/professional school admissions are more stats-wise than undergrad, so it makes more sense to focus on doing stuff that will prepare you to succeed in life than to get in to certain undergrad programs.
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