I know this probably has been asked many times...

<p>but CC is acting up on me and it's taking forever to load searches, so I'll have to ask here.</p>

<p>Basically, for grad schools (and employers), do they want one of the top graduating student from an average school or an above average/borderline one from the top school in the country.</p>

<p>I'm asking this because I decided to stay close to home to pursue university studies instead of attending the top Canadian universities, which I feel basically teaches the same curriculum (I compared the course syllabus) as the institution that I will be attending.</p>

<p>I'm feeling a bit worried about my decision, but do you guys think it was wiser for me to stay in my province and dedicate my time to other extra-curricular things on top of doing well in studies instead of moving and constantly worrying about food, finding apartments and school?</p>

<p>Also, if you guys have any anecdotes of people entering very successful grad schools/careers from average universities, please share it with me!</p>

<p>Students from "average" universities do indeed get into top graduate programs. Grades and GRE scores might be slightly more important than for someone coming from a top school, to give the admissions committee a better sense of your academic abilities. However, as is the case with all programs, the real tipping point for admissions is research and letters of recommendation. Make sure you do top notch research as an undergraduate, both during the year and as part as one or more REUs. Cultivate working relationships with your professors.</p>

<p>Momwaitingfornew is absolutely correct. </p>

<p>Focus on research, and take advantage of your professors' office hours (not to suck up or waste time, but to advance your knowledge of your areas of interest).</p>

<p>Extracurriculars have absolutely nothing to do with graduate admissions, so budget your time wisely.</p>

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not to suck up or waste time, but to advance your knowledge of your areas of interest

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<p>The above is not said enough on CC. Several students have mistaken the advice to "get to know your professors" as sucking up, and have said as much. Your interactions with professors should be much more dynamic than that. Professors love students who are genuinely interested in their research areas, and most will be happy to mentor them or assist in other ways -- advice, letters of recommendation, contacts, etc. The trick is to find the balance between nuisance and prot</p>

<p>^Wholeheartedly agree. Professors will try to avoid those students they know are brownnosing for no reason or just to look good, but genuine interest goes a long way.</p>

<p>I went to Spelman College - it's in the top 100 but <em>shrugs</em> it's not at the tippy-top. Now I go to Columbia for graduate school, which is top 10 in one of my fields and top 20 in the other. Here there are people from a wide range of different types of schools, from top schools to ones I've never heard of.</p>