edge wrote:A number of the Ivy schools have fairly poor (for the money) undergraduate programs. I think the only one that is really supposed to have a good all-around undergraduate program is Princeton. Besides, it is unlikely for a high priced undergraduate degree to really be worth it. Undergraduate degrees are a commodity these days.
You're right, at least from my experience.
UPenn was next door to my Private Uni and unless you're in the Wharton school, it's not all too different then my Uni at 1/2 the cost.
I beg to differ, for a couple reasons:
First, I can't answer for Penn, but I believe that Columbia has one of the best undergraduate programs. All students must take two one year great books courses. One studies the great work of literature, and one studies the great works of philosophy. They must take a half-year music survey course, and a half-year art survey course. All these classes have 25 students or less. Any graduate receives a well-rounded education.
Second, ou can also make courses in the graduate school with some of the world's experts on subjects. For example, I studies Horace and Catullus with Steele Commager in a class of about 15 students, and Ulysses with Wallace Gray.
Third, like it or not, Ivy leaguers yield a lot of power in this country. Look at the number of presidents that went to Ivy League Schools. Or look at ther recent elections. Both Bushes went to Ivy league schools, both Clintons, Kerry, Gore, Obama.
Fourth, if you get an Ivy League degree you have a huge advantage in getting jobs. All other things being equal, if one guy went to Harvard and the other one went to the state university, the Harvard grad is probably getting the job.
I think the statements that ivy league colleges are not that good is simply wrong. I think there are many fine schools that are not ivy league schools. However, I think that most Ivy Leaguers would uniformly agree they received an excellent education.