right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Pros and Cons of Public Flagship vs Private Colleges

11113151617

Replies to: Pros and Cons of Public Flagship vs Private Colleges

  • CorralenoCorraleno 141 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @CU123 Actually multiple studies have shown that outcomes are very similar for students who are accepted to elite schools, whether or not they actually *attend* those schools. There is a boost for low-income, URM, and 1st Gen students, but no statistical increase in earnings for other students *with equivalent stats* who attend a flagship vs an elite private. The slight increase in *lifetime* earnings for women who attend elite schools is the result of marrying later and spending more years in the workforce, not because they earn more per hour. There are actually very few careers, like banking/finance, where an elite private education is a significant factor in hiring. In other areas there may even be a "reverse snobbery" effect, where companies may be more likely to go for the Penn State grad vs the Harvard grad. And it's not as if schools like Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, UT, etc. don't have huge and very active alumni networks.
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 2904 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 1
    @moooop fair enough point about size of the student body might not be an issue but was just talking with friends kid who is a junior at UCLA and she is still in some classes with 300+ students and mentioned something about attendance is optional (maybe because they don’t have enough seats?). You would think that by the time you were a junior with upper division courses the class size would be more manageable? These kinds of anecdotes concern me at our in state public universities...
    Among colleges I am familiar with, it's more common to have mandatory attendance in non-participation lecture type classes at less selective colleges (either public or private), rather than more selective colleges. At more selective colleges, students generally choose to attend, even if attendance is not directly graded. For example, nearly all of my non-lab engineering classes at Stanford were not directly graded on attendance. They were also recorded and could be viewed or reviewed at a later time. Many were also broadcast live on the campus TV channels. This made attendance optional. Nevertheless, students as a whole attended classes. The main exceptions were 8AM classes and bad weather days, which had much lower attendance rates than typical.

    You can view the number of classes with 100+ students in the CDS. UCLA shows ~11% of classes with 100+ students (varies by year), compared to ~1% at some of the smaller Cal States, such as a CS Bakersfield. Among privates, Cornell shows 7% of classes with 100+ students, while many smaller LACs have no classes this size, such as CMC.

    However, one should also consider the context and implications of different class sizes. For example, a college with no 100+ classes might restrict enrollment, which can make it more difficult to enroll in desired classes. A larger college with few in 100+ classes might also have less experienced persons teaching classes, such as grad students. While a college with huge classes of 300+ might have no restrictions on enrollment, a well known professor in the field teaching the class, and might be split up in to sections of ~10 students each, giving a more personal environment to ask questions about the lectures and material. The class size is also often highly dependent on field and level. Large classes may be common in some majors, while others may have almost all small classes. It's difficult to make generalizations across a full college, even more so across all of public vs private.


    edited June 1
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3432 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 1
    @Corraleno The studies have a lot of holes in them but it does show that generally comparing ALL elite private university students to SOME high achieving state university students they tend to do as well AFTER they have proven themselves capable. Also, the finance sector is the destination of a high number of elite school graduates but that is marginalized in the studies which to me is one of the holes (an initial bias toward the results desired). Both private and public schools have there place in our society but to equate them is erroneous.
    edited June 1
    · Reply · Share
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2735 replies150 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 1
    @Corraleno Actually multiple studies have shown that outcomes are very similar for students who are accepted to elite schools, whether or not they actually *attend* those schools.

    This isn't exactly what the more recent Dale-Krueger study found. That study found kids who applied to elite colleges did as well as students who attended, regardless of whether they were accepted or rejected. Being a Harvard reject increased your earning power as much as attending or getting accepted did.
    edited June 1
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3432 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 1
    @roethlisburger Which at the back end is ridiculous, you do know that around 40-50% of the applicants to Harvard aren't academically qualified to attend, now suddenly they are just as successful. Doesn't pass the common sense test. Another hole in these studies with a predetermined bias to the outcome. I'd love to see the comparison with the actual numbers of "successful" rejected students against MIT grads, I would bet its not even close.
    edited June 1
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 2904 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 1
    Skimming through the studies,Dale-Kreuger looked at earnings for thousands of students attending a few dozen colleges, most of which were highly selective. The colleges included YPS..., some top LACs, and some public flagships. They also had a smaller number of not as selective colleges, including Penn State, Miami (OH),and Denison.

    They found that their models only explained ~12% of variance in earnings of students using their control variables. The overwhelming majority of variance in earning appeared to depend on other factors that were not evaluated. Among the analyzed variables, by far the strongest predictor of higher earnings was being male. SAT score of schools applied to also had a notable correlation, much more so than did individual SAT score, individual GPA, or parents' income.

    Some of the other conclusions were that the relatively small earnings predictive ability for SAT score of school attended dropped to almost exactly 0 when controlling for SAT score of schools the student applied to. The predictive ability of individual SAT score also dropped to near 0. That is, SAT score of schools the student applied to was a better predictor of earnings (after race, gender, HS GPA/rank, parents income, ... controls) than was the SAT score of school attended or individual SAT score. The SAT scores of colleges that accepted the student had a similar predictive ability to the SAT score of students the college applied to, and was again a better predictive than was the college the student attended. The author writes:
    Moreover, we consistently find that the average SAT score of the schools the student applied to, but either was rejected by or chose not to attend, has a large effect on earnings. For example, results from the model in row 7 show that a 100 point increase in the highest school-average SAT score among the colleges at which the student was rejected is associated with a 7 percent increase in earnings. These results raise serious doubt about a causal interpretation of the effect of attending a school with a higher average SAT score in regressions that do not control for selection.

    My first thought was that the results are largely influenced by differences in career plans and majors, which were not controlled for. For example, a student who is aiming for a field associated with an especially high salary may be more likely to apply to HYPSM, and that student aiming for a high salary field is likely to continue to aim for that same field at the college he does attend, regardless of whether he is accepted or rejected to HYPSM. The author briefly mentions that the earnings predictive ability of school attended remains near 0 when controlling for occupational aspirations as freshmen, still suggesting little earnings benefit for attending the more selective college when controlling for career plans. However, he does not specify other combinations with this freshman occupational aspirations control.
    edited June 1
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 2904 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2
    Which at the back end is ridiculous, you do know that around 40-50% of the applicants to Harvard aren't academically qualified to attend, now suddenly they are just as successful. Doesn't pass the common sense test.
    The Dale-Kreuger studies controlled for both HS GPA/rank and SAT score. They were comparing earnings of rejected and accepted students who had similar same stats, not "applicants to Harvard who aren't academically qualified to attend."
    edited June 2
    · Reply · Share
  • Twoin18Twoin18 1451 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    "My first thought was that the results are largely influenced by differences in career plans and majors, which were not controlled for."

    Or simply ambition and self-confidence. If you believe you are qualified for HYPSM then even if that is the result of not understanding your own shortcomings, you might still earn more in a field that is defined by self-belief (and most high income careers require the ability to sell yourself) compared to someone who is more able but lacking in self-confidence.

    For example, some of the studies about why men earn more than women suggest that part of the explanation is that men are more prepared to ask for a raise https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/04/women-are-still-not-asking-for-pay-rises-here-s-why/
    · Reply · Share
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2735 replies150 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Data10
    The Dale-Kreuger studies controlled for both HS GPA/rank and SAT score. They were comparing earnings of rejected and accepted students who had similar same stats, not "applicants to Harvard who aren't academically qualified to attend."

    Didn't you say: "The predictive ability of individual SAT score also dropped to near 0." So the low-stats kids who applied to Harvard would still do well?
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 2904 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2
    Didn't you say: "The predictive ability of individual SAT score also dropped to near 0." So the low-stats kids who applied to Harvard would still do well?
    The control for individual HS GPA didn't drop to the same extent as individual SAT and remained well above 0. Specific regression coefficients from one of the many different combinations of controls and cohorts is below.

    LOG (EARNINGS) REGRESSIONS with controls for SAT score of schools applied to
    High School GPA: +0.22 (0.02)
    Average SAT Score/100 of Schools Applied to: +0.10 (0.01)
    Student SAT Score/100: +0.01 (0.01)
    Attended College SAT Score/100: -0.02 (0.01)

    LOG (EARNINGS) REGRESSIONS without controls for SAT score of schools applied to
    High School GPA: +0.22 (0.02)
    Student SAT Score/100: +0.02 (0.01)
    Attended College SAT Score/100: +0.06 (0.01)
    edited June 2
    · Reply · Share
  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 3872 replies25 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2
    @CU123 A very small percentage of graduates of the elite schools go into finance. Instead of speculating based on anectod data, go see the numbers on their websites. It’s small. While it may seem higher based on CC posts, most grads at the elite schools do not go into finance or consulting. And no ALL grads of Stanford aren’t getting the benefit of the doubt. They still have to get hired. A job won’t be handed to them because they went to Stanford. Just at my D’s flagship, I regularly see top students beating out elite private school students with weaker resumes for top jobs.
    edited June 2
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3432 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @MWolf actually it’s quite the opposite, Harvard had admit rates approaching 50% a few decades ago, now they are sub 5% and your trying to tell me they are less qualified now???? Really??? I’m not talking about skill sets I’m talking about talented individuals.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2811 replies36 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Many professors apparently think so, @CU123.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1154 replies31 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Private elites generally provide more funding, better facilities, more interactions with professors, and have higher concentrations of more capable students, and cachet with some employers. But not all students can or will take advantage of these benefits. With a few exceptions, most of these elites aren't as meritocratic as they used to be, and their students are far from uniformly more capable than their public flagship counterparts. In fact, between high tuitions and finicky and inconsistent admission standards, many who would have gone to these private elites in years past have chosen or have had to choose public flagships. These students would generally do just as well. The determining factor is always the student himself or herself.
    · Reply · Share
  • MWolfMWolf 1287 replies8 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @CU123 You seem to be conflating "rich, going to right schools, and do well at tests" with "talented".

    Besides, once again, Harvard does not teach their students about 50% of the skills that they need to succeed at jobs, and no matter how well a kid does on homework, quizzes, exams, and standardized tests, it says very little about how well they do in a real life situation.

    As a scientists and a combat soldier, I can tell you that how well a person does in a classroom is, more often than not, a bad indicators of how well they'll do in real life situations. This is especially true for kids who have had their path to an Ivy paved with money and privilege.

    @1NJParent Elites are just about as meritocratic as they have been since the started with "holistic admissions" in the early 20th century.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1154 replies31 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Elites are just about as meritocratic as they have been since the started with "holistic admissions" in the early 20th century.
    No. Not all holistic admissions are the same. There are various degrees of holism. For example, some top public flagships are holistic too, but they're clearly much less "holistic" than the private elites. Many private elites have become much more "holistic" over the years. Near universal grade inflation in both high schools and colleges, easier and less discriminating standardized tests, the desire for more diversity, etc. have all contributed to much more holistic approaches we see today. The trend is continuing as some colleges become test optional. The definition of "holistic admission" has been changing, if it ever were defined.
    · Reply · Share
  • natty1988natty1988 608 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    SMU is very popular with students at my California private school. And every year we have anywhere from 5-10 kids applying and at least 3 or 4 who choose to attend. The year before D graduated we had 6 kids who went to SMU! In S's class we only had 6 kids applying and only 1 kid has decided to attend. But, it is a popular school!
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity