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Where you go to school, does it matter?

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Replies to: Where you go to school, does it matter?

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1629 replies25 threads Senior Member
    An interview with one guy, and some hand-waving generalities, isn’t quite a rigorous analysis of the question.
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 407 replies8 threads Member
    I didn't read the article either but of course the answer is "it depends". Some people will rise to the top regardless of where they land. Others need more scaffolding and the door opening potentials that a degree from a top school can give.
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  • wis75wis75 14214 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Good comments. I get tired of the concept that money is the measure of success. I do suspect it is a lot easier to manage grad/professional school for those who go to the state flagship instead of the weakest school in the system. Notice that I am ignoring the many schools CC'ers seem to consider as well. Oh, and is the richest doctor in town the best, or just better at making money?
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1736 replies33 threads Senior Member
    I find it very telling when the OP's kid did not get enough merit at more selective, higher ranked colleges (e.g. Tulane) and couldn't afford to go there, then tries to rationalize their decision by saying there is no difference in the quality of education at more selective colleges and continues to create threads 6 months later about "where you go to college" doesn't matter?
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5054 replies22 threads Senior Member
    Well I think it depends on the situation. Just to say it matters or not is not correct either. In some situations it might matter a lot. But hard work and proficiency trump just about anything. A clueless person from Yale is still a clueless person.
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2931 replies161 threads Senior Member
    Dale and Kruger published a study that showed the status of the institution had less to do with success of the graduate than the individual themselves.

    Dale and Krueger's study found that applying to highly selective colleges, even if they rejected you, increased future earnings. This is a controversial result.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1736 replies33 threads Senior Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    I find it very telling when the OP's kid did not get enough merit at more selective, higher ranked colleges (e.g. Tulane) and couldn't afford to go there, then tries to rationalize their decision by saying there is no difference in the quality of education at more selective colleges and continues to create threads 6 months later about "where you go to college" doesn't matter?

    The OP started only one such thread, this one. Even if it were true, this is an ad hominem attack, as well as being snide. You should apologize to the OP.

    Apologize for what, all one has to do is view his other threads and see what is going on here. If you don't get into your highly selective college with enough merit, pivot and say "where you go to college doesn't matter". Really quite obvious with some, but not all, posters. Not sure how hard it is to acknowledge some highly selective colleges do a little better job of educating our kids and some employers, graduate schools, recognize this fact.

    It's the same with high schools. My D20 goes to a very good, large public high school in LA but her peers attending Harvard-Westlake college prep high school (one of the best in the country) have much more depth and breadth to their curriculum, smaller class sizes, and top notch faculty. No doubt in my mind D20 would get a better college prep education there than her large public high school she attends. Not sure why its so hard for parents to admit that some colleges (and high schools) do a better job of education than others....?
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  • RiversiderRiversider 934 replies111 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    A good college is one of the launcher/booster for personal success. Some do well from average schools, we don’t know if they would’ve quickly soared to even higher peaks if they attended a better school. Some do bad after attending good schools, no way of knowing if they would’ve done worse from average schools.

    However, on average, prestigious, selective, academically strong, resourceful wealthy colleges with top level faculty and top performing peers and good fit can serve you better if you take full advantage of opportunities offered to you.

    If you are poor, first generation college student, minority or immigrant on aid then benefits are even higher. It can literally change your life.
    edited October 2019
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3359 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    What you study matters more than where you study, within reason. Engineering, Business, Nursing, CS, and the hard sciences pay a lot more than than the soft sciences and the remainder of liberal arts. All assuming that you only have an undergrad degree.

    Being an electrician, plumber or other skilled trades pays better than all but the top university degrees too.

    Certain firms only hire from certain universities, with some exceptions. Those are mostly the name brand firms in each industry, usually a small fraction of total employment. They only select a small number of top university graduates too. That might be a consideration if you already know what you want to do or work.

    A lot of the statistics in overall career earnings don't consider that the students who attend highly ranked universities (even in english, philosophy, etc.) often go to graduate or professional school. Some schools specializing in technology also have higher earnings because of the mix of their majors.

    One important consideration is the location of the university. Most hiring is fairly local, and wages are not the same everywhere. If you go to a NYC school, and work in NY, you'll have to earn a much higher salary to enjoy the same standard of living. The difference can be huge, 50% or more, so you have to adjust the figures to reflect what works best for you.

    Finally, consider the quality of your peers at each university. Public colleges are always ranked far lower than private ones, often on criteria not directly applicable to the undergraduate experience. Look at the details and make your own decisions.

    Always consider value. If you get a free ride at a lower ranked college vs an expensive OOS or private, you'll need to decide what works best for you and your family.
    edited October 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79732 replies714 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    What you study matters more than where you study, within reason. Engineering, Business, Nursing, CS, and the hard sciences pay a lot more than than the soft sciences and the remainder of liberal arts. All assuming that you only have an undergrad degree.

    By "the hard sciences", do you mean math, statistics, and perhaps physics and geology? Because the largest group of science majors (biology) may not have as good job/pay prospects at the bachelor's level, due to large supply compared to the number of biology-specific jobs at the bachelor's level.

    For business, it appears that the name of the school is significant at the top end of the prestige scale. Otherwise, there appears to be a difference based on subarea, with some subareas finding much better job and pay prospects than others which seem to be little different from most social studies majors.
    Certain firms only hire from certain universities, with some exceptions. Those are mostly the name brand firms in each industry, usually a small fraction of total employment. They only select a small number of top university graduates too. That might be a consideration if you already know what you want to do or work.

    That does depend on the industry. In some industries, the "name brand firms" recruit widely for new graduates, but are more selective in the hiring process. In others, they focus on elite colleges, depending on the colleges' selection process to do much of the selection for them.
    edited October 2019
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