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The reality of ivy league universities and private institutions

Since I was little, my peers have often talked about great universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc. While looking at it from a strategic point of view, it is great to be accepted into such a low acceptance school, and to graduate from such an institution would surely guarantee work for whatever proffession they have worked on in college. Is it really that important to go to the elite universities?

#private universities
#ivy leagues

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Thomas’s Answer

Don't be fooled! Where you go to college is not nearly as important as what you majored in. A degree in computer science from a mid-tier, in-state college is much more valuable than a humanities degree from Yale. in this example, the ivy leaguer will be searching for a job for a long time, while the in-state student will find a job much faster, and with much more pay! Remember: at the end of the day, we go to college so we can get a good job. Focus more on college majors that will give you the most opportunities. Once you graduate college, no one cares anymore where you went to school. Companies care about your work experience.

For me personally, I'm glad I went to an in-state school. I now have much less debt than a lot of my friends who went out of state. I now work in IT, and I know I have a lot of opportunities down the road.

Check out this list for best college majors:


Thomas recommends the following next steps:

Research the best college majors for job opportunity

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Margaret’s Answer

I think it depends. Regardless of industry or major there are social norm's associated with those who attend Ivy League institutions. When you apply for jobs, or even introduce yourself in social situations there's a solid chance people will ask where you attended school. As someone who attended a state school and then transferred to an Ivy- I can tell you people treated me very differently based upon my answer. Simply graduating from an Ivy regardless of how well you preformed or your industry does in fact (for better or for worse) make most people assume you are smart. I of course was the same person while attending both schools however the way people perceived me, the companies who recruited me, and even the opportunities I had available were vastly expanded upon transferring.

For me personally the education I received at an Ivy was actually tremendously more challenging, enriching and applicable to my career path than the one I received at a state school. However there are so many people who attend state schools, community colleges, or forgo a traditional education experience all together and still end up in the same jobs, pay grade, and with the same level of "success" as those who attend prestigious universities! Going to an Ivy is not "better" but it may make accomplishing your goals easier.

Margaret recommends the following next steps:

Evaluate the pro's and con's of a college education as it relates to your personal situation
Determine safety, target, and reach schools based upon your preferences and academic credentials.
Evaluate respective acceptances based upon your life goals and the advantages of each (distance, financial aid, interests, etc)