Anything vs. Ivy

@NotVerySmart I promise not to quibble just for the sake of it :slight_smile: or to prolong this side issue to the OPs distraction, but what you assert is simply wrong. I picked a CTCL at random, Ursinus. It has a 66% admit rate. You can check the info yourself, Ursinus grads have considerable postgraduate success in grad school and careers, certainly on a par with big name research universities. I’d also argue for many professions your grad or professional school matters far more than undergrad.

Other Ivy League school–>possible success
Anywhere else–>failure

It looks like this

Princeton–>Chance to succeed
UPenn–>Chance to succeed
Any other top 100 school with a strong program in your area of interest -->Chance to succeed
Somewhat selective colleges with strong programs in your major–>Slightly lower chance of success
Community college–>Considerably lower chance of success
For-profit college–>Degree that may or may not be worth the paper it’s printed on.

I’ve seen people who started at a COMMUNITY college and ended with a great success. So I’m not sure where you are going.

Where’s Pizzagirl when you really need her?

@snarlatron @NASA2014 I don’t intend to demean people who attend a community college or a CTCL and have achieved what they wanted in their respective fields, and if that seemed to be my point then I should’ve phrased it better.

I’m merely saying that, statistically, such people are outliers. When one compares a CTCL with a 80% graduation rate (for instance, Ursinus) to a school like the University of Michigan, with a 90% graduation rate, there is a noticeable difference in the odds of a student getting a degree out of their time at the college. Moreover, when a typical philosophy major from the U of M earns more than an average student from Ursinus, even if that student has majored in lucrative fields like computer science, I see forces at work beyond the students’ respective abilites: the alumni network and the gap in the schools’ name recognition are foremost among them.

As for CC’s: at a perfectly average community college, about 40% of students enrolled earn a degree at a 2-year or 4-year institution within 6 years. A quarter don’t return for their second semester. This doesn’t mean you can’t succeed at a CC. It does mean the odds are against it.

If I implied that a student at a CC or a CTCL can’t achieve what he/she wants in life, that certainly wasn’t my intent. My point is merely that the odds they face will be longer than those of your run-of-the-mill freshman at a top 20 or top 50 college. On average, although I don’t know that many employers would share this view, I actually believe successful graduates of a CC will actually be a more capable bunch, because it’s much easier to succeed by coasting along at a top school than at a CC.

See: for one account illustrating that final point.

That is because CCs are open admission, so they get many students who are not actually seeking an associates or bachelor’s degree, and many weaker students who would not meet the basic college readiness tests to be admitted to even low-selectivity four year schools. I.e. much of what you are seeing is selection effect, not treatment effect.

If you take cohorts of students of similar academic ability, motivation, and interests, but with one cohort starting at CC on the transfer path and the other starting at a four year school, the differences in bachelor’s degree graduation rates are likely to be much smaller (if any) than if you compared the general populations of those schools. Of course, there are confounding factors (e.g. finances, since many of those starting at CC do so because of difficulty affording the four year school) that also need to be considered in this comparison.