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Does going to a top college actually affect the success of your future endeavors?

As a junior in high school, I am starting to prepare to apply to colleges. My school is quite small (a total of 175 students only in my grade). Although this is so, previous graduates of my high school have gone out to Columbia, Stanford, NYU, Cornell, Yale, and other elite universities. I am in the top tenth percentile of my school, but I am not so sure if I should apply to Ivy Leagues or colleges with much lower percentage rates. The financial aspect of the colleges greatly affect my choices as well. If it is better to not apply to Ivy Leagues, what colleges are the next best thing for me? #college #university #student #high-school #ivy-league #top-colleges

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Erickarlos’s Answer

'No', but, sometimes 'Yes'.

The academic institutions you go to only tell one part of the story. Increasingly employers are looking to understand your history, performance track record, skill-set and career trajectory. With that said, it helps to go to challenging academic institutions because you'll be likelier to come across high performing peers. Those students are found everywhere, and at all institutions, so you just have to seek them out.

However, if you are looking to study a very niche field that requires highly specialized professors at MIT or a similar school, then the answer is that your choice of academic institutions matters a lot. Decide what it is that you want to study, and then make your decisions. If you are unsure as to the course of study that you want to take, or want time to figure it out, then go to a community college to complete all of the liberal arts courses. In those two years you'll learn more about yourself, and be able to pay for your classes out of pocket because of the lower cost (get a full-time job), and make better decisions about your education and career.

My own college trajectory started at a community college (graduated with my Associate's), then a traditional four year college (graduated with my Bachelor's), and am now a candidate for the Columbia University Executive MBA program.

Never held a penny of student loan debt. And this process has had no negative impact whatsoever to my career prospects.

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Karen!

You asked a very important question. The answer is no. The most important thing that an employer will look at is how you performed where ever you went to school, not where you went to school. After spending over 20 years in Human Relations, I have found that the name of the school does not show how the person is going to preform on the job. The person and their qualities that they bring to the job are the most important parts of the equation.

Best of luck Please let me know if and how this has been helpful. Please keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress!

Hi Ken! As always, you have the greatest advice for students who are looking to apply to college. Thank you! Karen P.

You are welcome! Please keep me informed. I would like to follow your progress! I have gained much over the years from my experiences and those of others, and I enjoy sharing it so that they might not make some of the mistakes which I and others have made. Best of luck!! Ken Simmons

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