How does the importance of prestigious national colleges vary by region?

Or two, e.g. Carnegie Mellon University.

No point. Just that coming from the west coast I always assumed that Rutgers and Purdue were private universities because of their names. I’m sure I’m not alone in assuming that Rutgers is some private east coast school and not the state university of NJ. A place like Rutgers is pretty far off the radar of a Pacific Northwest kid growing up in the shadow of the Pac-12.

Here in the west, named public universities usually have ‘state’ attached so you know. Not that it really matters I guess:

Weber State
Humboldt State

Both of those are named after their counties, I think. But still. It’s not Weber University or Humboldt University.

Growing up in the SF Bay Area, I didn’t know Rutgers or Purdue were public schools too. Maybe in the last 5-10 years I learned they were publics.

I have spent most of my life on the east coast and didn’t find out until I started coming to CC that Cal and UC Berkeley were the same place. Bottom line is that people are familiar with schools that are near where they live.

This is why many privates (USC, Ivies etc.) have the most % of students from their region compared to other regions (or in USC’s case, state.)

So are any universities prestigious? If so does that carry any weight?

Hold on while I put my Orville Redenbacher in the microwave. ?

I think if you read through this thread the answer is no. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You may find one school prestigious and I have never heard of it. That goes for public, private, big and small.

I totally agree. Are schools are equally superb. I include community and junior colleges in that assessment as well.

I know in our part of TX most of the top students go to UT, A&M, Rice, SMU, Trinity, or TX Tech depending on what they want to study. There are so many good and affordable choices in the state most kids don’t see much reason to look elsewhere. Here if you want to go far away go to Tech. It seems like another part of the country. Even Baylor or UD seem far away. We hire from all over but really don’t need to look far from home to find great engineers. We just hired 2 from TAMU this month.

That given I have a S who wanted out of TX, a land grant U with a vet school, and good merit. Hopefully with an early admit to vet school program. His GCs of his 850 person graduating class couldn’t help at all. He did his own research and ended up at Kansas State which has been a fantasic experience for him. (How in first year of vet school). But that was totally an anomaly in TX. Only reason people ever heard of it was because it is in the Big 12. Everyone wanted to know why not A&M? He never liked that school and it was WAY too big for what he wanted! BUT most Texans stay in TX.

I grew up in Texas. I went to UT, brother went to Tech, sister went to SMU. When I tried to get our son to consider UT he laughed. I was sad.

I live in TX and the top kids around here know about Ivies, Stanford, MIT, U Chicago, SLAC, and other Top 20 schools, just like every other place.

Around here it comes down to cost and most are not willing to pay more for a private school when there are great public options here. Our kids that choose private schools only do so if they are cheaper due to FA or scholarships.

@Rivert2000 Except for for-profit schools.

Clearly, they are evil…

Just checked in on this thread, so I’m a little late to reply

You’re very right, this made me laugh. It was more similar to NorCal than I expected to be when I actually got here, but that is probably a consequence of living in a college bubble within the bubble of a major city.

TCU definitely became big after its Rose Bowl win in 2011. Something interesting is the university itself really tries to downplay the religious aspect. If you may notice, I and pretty much everyone calls it TCU and not “Texas Christian University.” I don’t intentional do this, but the school has in their brand standards references that the full name should hardly ever be used, if at all in official literature. I guarantee if you take a campus tour, at some time your guide will say “You can make the C in TCU as big or small as you want it to be.”

Very true, most tend to stay on the West Coast. If I look at my SnapMap right now, there are 2 people on the East Coast. There’s many many times that on the other ocean. A fair amount in the ski slopes of Utah and Colorado as well. TCU’s largest out of state contributor is CA, but probably 80% of those are SoCal by my estimates. I considered some other southern state schools when thinking about financials, but ended up mostly applying in Texas. I’m truly so happy with my choice, I love this community, and people back home see how much I love it and support me. I have a lot to be thankful for!

For a similar West Coast anecdote to @SuperfrogFan (except I’m not from CA,) the majority of my school’s students stay in the Pacific Northwest, next highest to CA, and after that it’s Arizona schools and then probably BYU with other schools in smaller amounts.

Regional preference is definitely common amongst colleges----USC has ~50% of its class from CA while Rice has ~40-50% from TX—these are both national universities that admit students from all over, yet, sometimes students want to be in a familiar environment, especially if they love their home city/state.

It’s not just a numbers game, though. The Ivies have long had an outsized impact on American politics, literature, etc.

To cite a couple of examples from politics, 8 of the 9 current Supreme Court Justices attended Ivies, as did all 5 of the most recent presidents.

We sure have a lot of Texans on this thread! And we haven’t even fought over the schools! I can imagine how a Texas guidance counselor would not tend to come up with Kansas State. What a great story and result.

I have a good friend who is a professor at A&M and he wanted his STEM-oriented kid to go to Tech just because it is not as huge and is more manageable. A fair number of kids from our high school go to Stephen F Austin. It’s a nice size, beautiful area of East Texas and not quite as intense as the big flagships.

William and Mary was established when Virginia was a colony.

^ And I believe W&M started as a private school and converted to public (perhaps after UVA was founded, not sure).

You are including law/grad school and referring to older persons who graduated many decades ago, but I do agree that Ivy grads are overrepresented in national politics. I think the more important question is why that relationship exists. Are people who aspire towards national politics and/or come from well connected families more likely to attend Ivies? Or does attending an Ivy make one more likely to be elected than attending a home state public?

It’s not a general rule that you need to go into Ivies to become a high ranking politician. For example, looking at governors of Texas, I believe George W. Bush is the only Texas governor who attended an Ivy. I believe all of the Texas governors for more than 100 years have either attended a college in Texas or did not attend college at all. In fairness Bush did apply to UT for grad school, but was rejected, so he attended Harvard instead. I expect both being admitted to Ivies and being elected had a lot to do with his last name. A similar pattern exists for many other states. If you include grad school, most governors attended college within the state that they govern and did not attend an Ivy.

Similarly if you look at the Texas supreme court members, I believe only 1 attended an Ivy for undegrad. By far the most frequently attended college was UT Austin – both the most common for undergrad and the most common for law school. Again a similar pattern exists for state and local elected officials elsewhere. As a general rule of thumb, I doubt that attending a big public in your home state is going to hurt you in being elected to a state or local office. If anything, it may offer some special benefits that would not be found at an Ivy.