Question - Why are you all so interested in what college you attend?

<p>OK this is actually a serious question because I think a lot of you misinformed. I am currently a Junior at my University, and I was also really into the whole college admissions etc when I was your age. However, since then, I have realized that just because someone ends at top undegrad school, sure as hell doesn't mean they will be rich or have high-paying jobs. In fact, most students who graduate from top schools (say Notre Dame, Emory) actually have the same starting salaries and job prospects as those graduating from much lower ranked schools. </p>

<p>I am not joking - just look at the stats and start talking to graduates. I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions out there today - that just because someone goes to a top school, they will get a good job. Unfortunately, THAT is nowhere near the case. SO really if you are just planning to get your bachelor's degree and go straight to work, it REALLY does not matter what college you go to in terms of your probable salary. Of course I am not referring to Ivy League schools (which do have graduates getting top jobs) - but this does apply to schoos like Emory, UCLA, USC etc.</p>

<p>Most high-paying jobs in the market today require at least a Master's degree and so essentially, your Undegrad school will not make a difference AT ALL if you do attend a Graduate school. If you decide you just want to get a BA and go straight to work, no matter if you you get bad or good grades at a small little state school, you will be in the same position in terms of starting jobs and salaries as someone graduating from UCLA!</p>

<p>Anyway, I was also shocked by this when I first started researching it back when I was your age. When you get to the job market, you will soon realize that all this college admissions stuff to top schools is crap, especially if you're not going to get you Master's. </p>

<p>To sum up:</p>

<p>Your graduate school is what is most important - and a BA from a great University won't get you ****.</p>

<p>"your Undegrad school will not make a difference AT ALL if you do attend a Graduate school. "</p>

<p>In a way it is like H.S. again (it does not matter what school you went to if you don't have the grades and can't get decent GMAT/GRE scores) Many MBA programs want work experience.</p>

<p>How true, how true. Did undergrad at Baruch (CUNY) completed Masters at both Cornell & NYU and that is what gets the ohhh's on the resume (thank goodness for employers with full tuition aid plans)</p>

<p>I fyou go to the parents forum, you will see that there are a lot of others who have done the same.</p>

<p>I don't mean to be condescending to anyone of you. I just wanted to point out that a lot of you are misinformed and will be in for a shock once you graduate and start looking for jobs.</p>

<p>So, basically what I'm trying to tell you is, hold off on all the studying and worrying about all of these stupid college applications. Worry about doing well in college and try to get into a good Graduate program. You are essentially wasting your time hanging around this board trying to get into a top school. In the end, it will most likely not make a difference!</p>

<p>I don't like what I'm telling you and I was really shocked to learn a lot of this stuff, but it's true.</p>

<p>It's true though, you need a good undergrad to get into a good grad school.</p>

<p>Absolutely not. You can go to a measley state school, have a high GPA, and get into any Grad school you want. I know this from experience talking to a lot of people.</p>

<p>But having an ivy under doesn't hurt. Isn't that why people go to Harvard? Because it's the best ticket to a grad school?</p>

<p>Yeah, if you go to an Ivy, you're in good shape - but I was assuming not a lot of people actually go to these schools. I was referring to top schools like UCLA, Berkeley, Michigan, Virginia, and the like.</p>

<p>I am actually eager to hear your opinions on this because I would love to hear you say that by going to a top school, someone will probably get a great job. I'm just afraid that's actually not true. But please - let me know your thoughts!</p>

<p>No of course that's not the only reason. I want to go to a top school because I want to be challenged academically as well as have lots of resources. The connections/networks you make at a top, prestigious institution are also valuable. I've visited many schools and the feeling I got at some lower ones was that the students didn't care so much for learning, or that people were involved, but I just wouldn't be challenged at all. I think some competition is a good thing.</p>

<p>I'm interested in schools not because they're "top schools" and all that it implies, but because they match my interests for places in which I would LOVE to live for four years.</p>

<p>Yeah, I want to go to the college of my choice because it's the closest thing I'll get to Utopia. Seriously, don't have to look for housing, meals are pre-paid, just get to study and live with like-minded people. I have no idea what I want to do after undergrad, so grad school or a job isn't really a huge consideration for me.</p>

<p>This has to be the most myopic thread I've ever seen. The original poster basically ASSUMES that the only reason that anyone would want to attend <strong>insert any top school here</strong> is so they can get a cozy, high-paying job afterwards. First of all, I seriously doubt that anyone is as naive to think that going to a top undergrad will automatically get you preference for a cozy Wall Street job with a six-figure salary. Secondly, there are a plethora of other reasons to attend a top university other than the job prospects or career networking options available from that university. Some people want to attend <strong>insert any top school here</strong> because they know that it has the best program for what they want to study and they want to receive the best education possible for their field. </p>

<p>Others may want to attend said top university because they feel it is the best FIT for them and they love the atmosphere, location, faculty, etc. I wanted to attend a top university because I know that the top schools have the best faculty and I'm particularly interested in research in my field so working with a top faculty member was important to me. I also wanted to attend a school that offered plenty of undergraduate research opportunities and there are only a limited number of these schools because there are only about 10 or so top "research universities" in the country. Not everyone thinks that college is just a waystation into the work force. College isn't supposed to be a trade school and students really shouldn't treat it like it's a ticket into high-paying job. </p>

<p>And the most glaring flaw in your argument is the fact that what undergrad you attend WILL affect which graduate school you attend. You stated that what undergraduate school you attend won't really have any bearing on graduate school placement but it actually has a HUGE influence on graduate school admissions committees. The Wall Street Journal dedicated a whole article about ranking colleges according to graduate school placement into the top law, medical, and business schools in the country. For instance, look at the undergraduate institutions represented at Johns Hopkins University Medical School posted below. On page 14 of the link, it shows how many students from each undergraduate school are enrolled in the entering class of 2002-2003. Notice how ALL of the Ivy League schools have huge representations at Johns Hopkins Medical School whereas the vast majority of state schools only have one person represented. </p>

<p>The only public university that actually hit double-digits was UC Berkeley and keep in mind that this school is considered the #1 public university in the country. There are a clustering of really motivated, bright students at the top undergraduate schools in the country and graduate schools admissions committees know this. The reason the top schools do so well at getting their graduates into top graduate schools is because they top undergrads generally take the cream of the crop from the nation's best high school students. In turn, these schools do disproportionately well in the graduate school admissions process because they have such a large concentration of top students. You said that grad schools don't care about which undergrad you attended and you just justified this argument by saying that you've "talked to a lot of different people" about this topic. That's anecdotal evidence and no one here can really verify that. It doesn't just apply to medical school too, it also applies to law school, business school, and PhD programs. </p>

<p>Link to undergraduate schools represented at Johns Hopkins Medical School (go to page 14):</p>

<p><a href="http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/Academics/Catalog/MCAT11b_03.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/Academics/Catalog/MCAT11b_03.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Using Johns Hopkins Med School matriculation as an model for judging undergraduate schools is a weak one. The University of Maryland has 25 graduates at JH (over twice more than Berkeley). Brigham Young has 11 grads there, and USC 10. By your argument, these schools would be in the same league as (or w/ the case of UMaryland better than) Duke, Stanford, and the Ivies.</p>

<p>I believe what privatejoker06 meant to say is that it's all a matter of percentages. The University of Maryland, BYU, and USC are obviously also going to send lots of students to JH Med, simply because those are schools with very large undergraduate student populations and (in the case of Maryland) it's local. Obviously if you have lots and lots of students, and lots of them will choose to apply to a particular graduate school because they happen to be local, then obviously you are going to end up with lots of your students at that grad-school. That's just a matter of sheer numbers. </p>

<p>Put another way, Harvard sends 24 students to JH Med, whereas the University of Maryland-College Park sends 25. Does that mean that Maryland is better than Harvard. Well, when you consider that Maryland has 25000 undergrads and Harvard only has 6000 undergrads, you can scale the ratios for yourself. Furthermore, again, the 'home-field-advantage' of undergrads preferring to apply to and matriculate at local graduate schools is not to be ignored. I would rather doubt that the University of Maryland sends a huge number of students to, say, Harvard Medical. </p>

<p>I do agree that privatejoker06's invocation of Berkeley students in JHU Med is not the best argument to use. The fact is, Berkeley also has a huge number of undergraduates, and Berkeley should be sending lots of students to top-ranked graduate schools simply due to sheer numbers. </p>

<p>Yet I think the takehome point that privatejoker06 was making is valid - all things equal, attending a top undergrad school can help to get a top job and/or get to a top graduate school. I think this point is best demonstrated with employers. Consider this following quote in Fortune Magazine about the hiring policies at Google.</p>

<p>"For the most part, it takes a degree from an Ivy League school, or MIT, Stanford, CalTech, or Carnegie Mellon—America's top engineering schools—even to get invited to interview [at Google]. "</p>

<p><a href="http://www.mafhoum.com/press6/171T41.htm%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.mafhoum.com/press6/171T41.htm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>And this is not just true of Google. There is a tendency among extremely selective and elite employers to only recruit at the very best schools. Some private equity funds, hedge funds, and venture capital firms have the attitude that they prefer to hire only MBA's and/or guys with lots of industry experience, but if they're only going to recruit at one undergrad program, it's going to be Harvard. If they're going to recruit at 5, it will be HYPSM. That sort of thing. </p>

<p>Now, having said that, I do think that abpexcel does have a point that is well taken. You should not worry about getting into a top undergrad program to the point of obsession. Getting into a not-so-famous undergrad program but doing very well there will also open doors for you. Going to a top school, even an Ivy, certainly does not guarantee you anything. It does improve the odds, but it does not guarantee anything.</p>

<p>I think what's important to note about the JHU list is that going to a not-so-prestigious school does NOT preclude you from going to JHU med school...at least it didn't stop the folks who attended Alma College, the Univ. of Arkansas, University of Tennesee, Lasalle University, Asbury College, PRairie View A&M, University of South Dakota, Loyola Marymount U, the University of Kansas, Willamette, Roanoke College, University of Puget Sound, Colorado College, Missouri Western State College, University of Florida, Bethel College, Indiana U, Baylor U, University of Denver...etc., etc., etc.</p>

<p>Sure, your "chances" may rise if you attend an ivy for undergrad but you are not out of the game if you go elsewhere.</p>

<p>I agree with Carolyn....</p>

<p>To put it in perspective, choosing a college or university for your BA or BS should be about fit--what is right for the individual. If that is done well, on the undergraduate level, the person who choose a particular school that 'fits' tends to do well, which helps when applying to graduate school.</p>

<p>People often blossom during their four years of undergrad, and discover their passions. Thus, people who have attended many different colleges or universities make it to the 'best' grad schools. It is precisely that they have demonstrated a passion for a subject and the ability to succeed that they are given entry. At least, that is how I understand it.</p>

<p>It does matter where you went to get a BA or BS, and whether you were happy about the choice. Fit, as always, seems to matter whether as an undergrad or grad student.</p>

<p>Just my 2 cents.</p>

<p>If you fit well you will be more likely to succeed and probably be happier as well!</p>

<p>Now tell me when that is a bad thing</p>

<p>Gosh, there are so many opposing view but yet everyone seems to be making very good points. </p>

<p>Unfortunately, going to a top school for undergrad DOES matter. It matters for job prospects and it matters for grad school. This is just a sad, or perhaps fair, fact. That is not to say that one should choose an undergraduate institution simply because of prestige. I am a firm condoner of choosing an undergraduate education that is based on individual fit. Some schools are better for some people than others. At the same time, one should not believe that just because he/she goes to a good undergraduate school they are automatically entitled to a good job or acceptance into a good grad school. Many, many people succeed in the job market and/or get into a good grad school that come from “lesser” schools.</p>

<p>Well, I wouldn't be so negative about it, shyboy13.</p>

<p>A truism in life is that sometimes you have to do things you don't really like to do in order to get to do the things that you do like to do. Sometimes I don't like waking up and going to work. However, if I don't, then I know I may get fired. Nobody likes doing the dishes and nobody likes taking out the trash. But we all have to do those tasks if we don't want to live like pigs. </p>

<p>So, along those lines, sometimes it makes sense to choose a school that you don't really like if it will help you get something you do want, like a better career or a better chance at a graduate school that you really want to be at. The direct analogy would be a guy who chooses to major in something like engineering even though he doesn't really like it because he knows it will increase his chances of getting a good salary upon graduation. Or look at all the jobs that people in the world hold. I would say that 99.9% of all people in the world hold the job that they have not because they really like it or because it really 'fits' them, but because they need the money. They put up with something they don't really like because it puts food on the table. </p>

<p>Now obviously, you can take this too far. That's why I believe everybody has to find their own balance. It is obviously a harsh and sad life to do something you absolutely totally hate. On the other hand, nobody gets to do what you really like to do all the time. I think it really comes down to how much delayed-gratification a person can take.</p>

<p>Amen Sakky. There is an overall tone on CC of just doing what will make you happy. Advice from not to worry about career early to that you'll do great no matter where you go! This goes along with the generation--which psychologists now recognize as the most spoiled, coddled one ever.</p>

<p>Why am I interested? </p>

<p>Hmmm, maybe because I want to be happy these next 4 years?</p>