Fit vs. Prestige (help)

<p>I'm having a problem deciding on what school I would like to go to. My favorite school is Northeastern University in Boston, but it is ranked lower than some other schools such as Penn St. and Maryland which I will most likely be admitted to, along with UVA which is my reach school.</p>

<p>In your opinion, would it be worth it to go to NEU because it is my personal favorite school or will the names of the other schools get me better jobs after graduation?</p>

<p>BTW I have visited each of the schools so I am aware of what each has to offer, I just want to know how big of a drop people would consider NEU to be, not that it is considered a bad school.</p>

<p>The drop between NEU and PSU or Maryland is not that significant, so it is manageable. The drop between NEU and UVa is significant and therefore, IMHO, not manageable.</p>

<p>Prestige is not as important as the important things that employers look at. For the important things, look at 10 Things Your Employer Wants You to Learn in College by Bill Coplin.</p>

<p>Have you applied to the schools yet? Why don't you apply to the schools first and then see if you even get accepted. Then decide.</p>

<p>But if you have to decide right away, pick the one you like best because it fits your needs better.</p>

<p>Fit is more important. </p>

<p>Employers don't memorize rankings. There are some schools they recognize as good schools, but that's about it. The things they really look for are talent, experience, work ethic, a good attitude, etc. </p>

<p>And Northeastern isn't too far below Penn State. PSU and Maryland are better known, but that's mostly due to football. If you go to NEU, you'll get a solid eduation, along with plenty of real-world experience. As long as you put yourself out there, you'll get just as many opportunities as you would at any other school.</p>

<p>i personally think that 10~20 difference in rank is meaningless but 30+difference worries me..haha</p>

<p>well first, why are u interested in NEU? If you don't have reasons than i would say it is best to go to the better school (which i would say UMD and UPUP are better, but not by a ton)</p>

<p>If it is the Co-op then definitely go. Just make sure you have concrete reasons really. Like why does it fit for you.</p>

<p>I think Maryland and Penn State are among the very best flagship state universities. They have considerable prestige, Their Peer Assessment scores are 3.6+. Northeastern is more like a vocational training school, akin to Rochester and Illinois Institutes of Technology. Its PA is about 3.0. I think you would get a better overall experience at Penn State or Maryland. I think you would be disappointed in Northeastern.</p>

<p>The graduation rate at Northeastern is 65%. At Maryland and Penn State it is 79% and 85% respectively. That says a lot.</p>

<p>Northeastern is not a vocational school, but th enviroment is very different tha the other schools you mention in that there is not the big campus feel. Boston is your campus, if you like that, I loved it!</p>

<p>The coop program is exceptional, as much for finding what you don't want to do as much as what you love.</p>

<p>Look at what makes NEU your first choice, if it is unique go there, there is not a huge difference between maryland and penn state in academics.</p>

<p>Your reach of UVA sounds great.</p>

<p>Ranking is very important when you get to a over 40-50 rank drop, as in the case between University of Virginia and Northeastern. "Fit" Is only so important, and in the end remember that EVERY University should be a good fit, since they provide you with food, housing, lots of nice facilities and other trash worth hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions. Northeastern, Penn State, and Maryland are about the same though. UVA however, will definetly land you a better job than Northeastern "Normally" (not the 'normally', there are exceptions) will.</p>

<p>The one thing that really bothers me about this place is how obsessed everyone is with rankings. The bottom line is that it just doesn't matter in the real world. With the exception of maybe investment banking, employers don't care. My dad is the division head of a major corporation. He does job interviews all the time, and he's even said that he doesn't know anyone in his field who actually looks at college rankings. </p>

<p>On that note, a lot of the most successful adults I know went to mediorce third-tier schools. </p>

<p>The heart of the matter is that if you're a dedicated and hard-working person, you can be just as successful no matter where you go. So you might as well go where where you'll be happy. I disagree with the whole "every university should be a good fit" statement - there's much more to happiness than having food and shelter. The atmosphere, the people, and just the way things are structured are also big components of whether or not you're going to like a school.</p>

<p>Fit is a million times more important than rankings. If a school is not for you, then it won't matter that it's the #1, super duper, absolutely fabulous, single bestest, most extreme, ultra superior, Dom Perignon of colleges. Why spend four years at a place you only marginally like, when you could spend them at a place you absolutely love? </p>

<p>And RootBeerCaesar, you're missing the point about fit. It has nothing to with the facilities. It's about size, attitude, and social norms. A kid who loves big time college football, wants to join a fraternity, wants a huge campus and wants to be away from home yet close enough to drive home for a weekend (when he lives in Kansas), is never going to love a place like Harvard.</p>

<p>^ Suppose that's true, guess I overexaggerated a bit.</p>

<p>Of course the value between rank and fit also is based on what you want to do in life. Some people don't want to find an employer or get employed by some big fat boss. If you want to go somewhere like Law School, its prob easier to get into it from Harvard than from your local community college. If you want to start the next google or big time thing, its prob better to go the higher-ranked prestige-obsessed expensive university where you'll meet a bunch of rich people who will help you out. Of course, this stuff only 'helps', but as you can see most modern CEO's and big time politicians come from Yale, Harvard, JHU, and all of the top 30. If a person isn't aiming hard to become a super-bigshot, then the fit part matters more. Of course, there are always exceptions.</p>

<p>I think NEU is a better fit for me because I like the urban environment, but there is still a campus feel there. It is also not considered a party/frat school like UMD or PSU, but it still has the option to go to parties when I feel like it. I also like the co-op program and the 5 year program.</p>

<p>Step one might be to identify the colleges that fit your personal preferences.
Step two is to identify which of these 100 schools are most highly rated/are highest in quality.
For many, "fit" involves getting into the best, most highly rated, most prestigious college you can.</p>

<p>Fit and ratings are not necessarily distinct. That's the concept behind reach, match, safety.</p>