Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

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staythecourse
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by staythecourse »

Well after reading MANY posts on this topic and great arguments either way and looking over the only objectives (salary) from the previous link it would seem if there is an argument it is: IF going to a prestigous school is worth it really lies in only a few schools: HYPS+ MIT+ other ivy's. It looks like if yout get into those you think about it, but otherwise a great instate school with less/ no debt seems to be the better option. I am sure there are exceptions like going to college X as they are well respected in the field of Y which is what you want to do with your career.

Still can't believe in Illinois it makes not real difference if you attended: University of Chicago, Northwestern, or U of I in Champaign. Not to knock the latter, but could swear if you asked ANYONE around they would have sworn a bigger difference in future salaries for the grads.

Good luck.
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cheapskate
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by cheapskate »

staythecourse wrote:Well after reading MANY posts on this topic and great arguments either way and looking over the only objectives (salary) from the previous link it would seem if there is an argument it is: IF going to a prestigous school is worth it really lies in only a few schools: HYPS+ MIT+ other ivy's. It looks like if yout get into those you think about it, but otherwise a great instate school with less/ no debt seems to be the better option. I am sure there are exceptions like going to college X as they are well respected in the field of Y which is what you want to do with your career.

Still can't believe in Illinois it makes not real difference if you attended: University of Chicago, Northwestern, or U of I in Champaign. Not to knock the latter, but could swear if you asked ANYONE around they would have sworn a bigger difference in future salaries for the grads.

Good luck.
My personal experience is only limited to CS/EECS, there I can tell for a fact that if you are getting a CS or EECS degree, there will be ZERO difference in pay between comparable candidates from UIUC/U Chicago/Northwestern in Silicon Valley. I would assume that the salary difference would be ZERO for other engineering majors as well (although hard to compare because U Chicago does not really have an engineering school).

I would take this further and say there will be ZERO difference in salary between UIUC grads and Stanford grads or Harvard grads - for coding roles. An MBA from Stanford or Harvard will put you in a different tier though.

The big leg up that grads at Stanford or Harvard have is that they get a chance to get to know the next Larry Page or Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg - and get the opportunity to be very very early employees at the next Google or Facebook (basically networking). But these probabilities are very small (nearly zero).
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heartwood
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by heartwood »

Perhaps its already posted, but the WSJ has a special section today (Sept 28) "College Rankings".

http://www.wsj.com/graphics/college-rankings-2016/

You might use it to compare the several schools of interest to you. The hard copy version of the table also has a 10 year salary estimate for each school that seems missing in the link above. I found that interesting in comparing the several schools I have ties to.
randomguy
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by randomguy »

cheapskate wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Well after reading MANY posts on this topic and great arguments either way and looking over the only objectives (salary) from the previous link it would seem if there is an argument it is: IF going to a prestigous school is worth it really lies in only a few schools: HYPS+ MIT+ other ivy's. It looks like if yout get into those you think about it, but otherwise a great instate school with less/ no debt seems to be the better option. I am sure there are exceptions like going to college X as they are well respected in the field of Y which is what you want to do with your career.

Still can't believe in Illinois it makes not real difference if you attended: University of Chicago, Northwestern, or U of I in Champaign. Not to knock the latter, but could swear if you asked ANYONE around they would have sworn a bigger difference in future salaries for the grads.

Good luck.
My personal experience is only limited to CS/EECS, there I can tell for a fact that if you are getting a CS or EECS degree, there will be ZERO difference in pay between comparable candidates from UIUC/U Chicago/Northwestern in Silicon Valley. I would assume that the salary difference would be ZERO for other engineering majors as well (although hard to compare because U Chicago does not really have an engineering school).

I would take this further and say there will be ZERO difference in salary between UIUC grads and Stanford grads or Harvard grads - for coding roles. An MBA from Stanford or Harvard will put you in a different tier though.

The big leg up that grads at Stanford or Harvard have is that they get a chance to get to know the next Larry Page or Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg - and get the opportunity to be very very early employees at the next Google or Facebook (basically networking). But these probabilities are very small (nearly zero).
Sure. But UIUC is like the number 5 or 6 computer science school (i.e. it is better than harvard) in the country. If your state school (Berkely, UIUC, U of washington for CS) is in the top 10 in your field, that is a very different choice than if your public school is say the University of Oregon (~60). Now you run into the issue where you might not know your major when you hit schools so you want to make sure your 2nd and 3rd choice majors are also good.

It should be pointed out that both Larry Page or Sergey Brin went to state schools for undergrad. I have no clue why (money, acceptance, personal choice,...).
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tomander
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by tomander »

No not really.
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IFRider
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by IFRider »

ks289 wrote: I agree that high quality data is largely lacking, but the available data does seem to support the fact that the student's ability is probably more important in determining future monetary success than the college they attend.

Payscale data for all alumni (unlike bachelors only data) is below, with the top salaries clearly skewed towards the top schools.
https://www.payscale.com/college-salary ... rs?page=66

Mid career salaries for higher ranked schools including examples you listed.
UChicago (#30 - $117,000)
Northwestern (#62 - $106,000)
UIllinois-UC (#64 - $105,000)
I'm going to vote 'No'.

According the data in that link, I graduated from school #310 and made the money of a Notre Damer last year. I expect to be at the University of Chicago level this year.

I went to a satellite campus of the state university and spent about $18k for my degree (paid for by benefits received from my military service).
stoptothink
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by stoptothink »

IFRider wrote:
ks289 wrote: I agree that high quality data is largely lacking, but the available data does seem to support the fact that the student's ability is probably more important in determining future monetary success than the college they attend.

Payscale data for all alumni (unlike bachelors only data) is below, with the top salaries clearly skewed towards the top schools.
https://www.payscale.com/college-salary ... rs?page=66

Mid career salaries for higher ranked schools including examples you listed.
UChicago (#30 - $117,000)
Northwestern (#62 - $106,000)
UIllinois-UC (#64 - $105,000)
I'm going to vote 'No'.

According the data in that link, I graduated from school #310 and made the money of a Notre Damer last year. I expect to be at the University of Chicago level this year.

I went to a satellite campus of the state university and spent about $18k for my degree (paid for by benefits received from my military service).
My wife has no degree and makes top-10 school mid-career money as a 30yr old who has been in her industry for just over 2yrs. Like you, based on the available data, I've also out-earned my school (tied for #235) and I am just starting my career. We've all shared our anecdotes and they are all equally irrelevant. Like so many topics, the only answer is "it depends".
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IFRider
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by IFRider »

stoptothink wrote:Like so many topics, the only answer is "it depends".
True. But "it depends" is really short, only requires 1 response, and probably isn't very satisfying to the OP.
Hulk
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Hulk »

Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this in one of his excellent books. (I cant remember which one, it may have been Outliers.) The research that he quoted basically showed that school you attend matters much less than being in the top percentage in your class. I cant remember exactly but it was something like this. One is statistically much more likely to go on to be a high earner/leader (with advanced degrees if necessary) if one graduates at some top percentage of their class in an less prestigious school than if one graduates middle of the road in a top school. He mentioned some psychology/sociology as part of the reasoning. This was a retrospective study looking back at who has succeeded in various fields and where they went to school.

My opinion is that grit matters more than just about anything; more than your intellectual IQ, your social IQ, where you went to school or even the connections you have. All that stuff matters and can tip the scale for people with those advantages, but in the end its the guy or gall that is willing to sacrifice and work their butt off that will rise to the top.

Some specific fields, investment banking perhaps, may require a prestigious pedigree to gain access. In my field, medicine, national test scores seems to be the main gatekeeper to lucrative, highly sought after specialties.
cheapskate
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by cheapskate »

randomguy wrote:
cheapskate wrote: My personal experience is only limited to CS/EECS, there I can tell for a fact that if you are getting a CS or EECS degree, there will be ZERO difference in pay between comparable candidates from UIUC/U Chicago/Northwestern in Silicon Valley. I would assume that the salary difference would be ZERO for other engineering majors as well (although hard to compare because U Chicago does not really have an engineering school).

I would take this further and say there will be ZERO difference in salary between UIUC grads and Stanford grads or Harvard grads - for coding roles. An MBA from Stanford or Harvard will put you in a different tier though.

The big leg up that grads at Stanford or Harvard have is that they get a chance to get to know the next Larry Page or Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg - and get the opportunity to be very very early employees at the next Google or Facebook (basically networking). But these probabilities are very small (nearly zero).
Sure. But UIUC is like the number 5 or 6 computer science school (i.e. it is better than harvard) in the country. If your state school (Berkely, UIUC, U of washington for CS) is in the top 10 in your field, that is a very different choice than if your public school is say the University of Oregon (~60). Now you run into the issue where you might not know your major when you hit schools so you want to make sure your 2nd and 3rd choice majors are also good.

It should be pointed out that both Larry Page or Sergey Brin went to state schools for undergrad. I have no clue why (money, acceptance, personal choice,...).
I mentioned UIUC (and the 2 other private schools) in my response because those were the schools referenced in the post I was responding to. My main point is that for *coding* roles, the only thing that matters is performance in the interview. Nowadays, coding interviews have become pretty intense. Compensation does not depend on school - for entry level candidates. Of course, for candidates for experience, school does not come into play at all.

I've done literally hundreds of interviews over the past 10+ years (many of them have been university interviews given to fresh college grads). The way interviews (for software roles) work nowadays in the valley is. You interview, enter your feedback in an online tool. Once you enter your feedback, you can see feedback entered by all the interviewers. To make the cut, the candidate has to get a Hire recommendation from almost all interviewers. A weak coding performance in an interview is not overruled/undone by a better graduating college. Conversely, strong coding performance in the interview by a candidate from a lesser college results in the candidate being considered for an offer. For candidates that the company wants to extend offers to, there is a followup meeting where the final decision is made(hiring managers, HR, select interviewers who are called upon to make the case for the candidate).

I've done far fewer interviews for management roles, there the candidates have all been very experienced - and again there school did not matter. Experience and interview performance was paramount.

Google's chief of HR recently made it pretty clear that Google does not care where the candidate went to school. I think a quick google search will unearth plenty of those articles.
soboggled
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by soboggled »

Hulk wrote:Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this in one of his excellent books. (I cant remember which one, it may have been Outliers.) The research that he quoted basically showed that school you attend matters much less than being in the top percentage in your class. I cant remember exactly but it was something like this. One is statistically much more likely to go on to be a high earner/leader (with advanced degrees if necessary) if one graduates at some top percentage of their class in an less prestigious school than if one graduates middle of the road in a top school. He mentioned some psychology/sociology as part of the reasoning. This was a retrospective study looking back at who has succeeded in various fields and where they went to school.

My opinion is that grit matters more than just about anything; more than your intellectual IQ, your social IQ, where you went to school or even the connections you have. All that stuff matters and can tip the scale for people with those advantages, but in the end its the guy or gall that is willing to sacrifice and work their butt off that will rise to the top.

Some specific fields, investment banking perhaps, may require a prestigious pedigree to gain access. In my field, medicine, national test scores seems to be the main gatekeeper to lucrative, highly sought after specialties.
I think that is true except in fields where innate high intelligence or talent is also required, you either have it or you don't and the field is very competitive: Pure math, theoretical hard science, artist, musician, professional sports. I don't think just anyone can have a lot of success in those fields no matter how hard they work. Most other professions and jobs like businessman, salesman, entrepreneur, craftsman, teacher, lawyer, doctor, etc. are open to most people of moderate intelligence and talent if they work hard enough.
randomguy
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by randomguy »

cheapskate wrote: I mentioned UIUC (and the 2 other private schools) in my response because those were the schools referenced in the post I was responding to. My main point is that for *coding* roles, the only thing that matters is performance in the interview. Nowadays, coding interviews have become pretty intense. Compensation does not depend on school - for entry level candidates. Of course, for candidates for experience, school does not come into play at all.

I've done literally hundreds of interviews over the past 10+ years (many of them have been university interviews given to fresh college grads). The way interviews (for software roles) work nowadays in the valley is. You interview, enter your feedback in an online tool. Once you enter your feedback, you can see feedback entered by all the interviewers. To make the cut, the candidate has to get a Hire recommendation from almost all interviewers. A weak coding performance in an interview is not overruled/undone by a better graduating college. Conversely, strong coding performance in the interview by a candidate from a lesser college results in the candidate being considered for an offer. For candidates that the company wants to extend offers to, there is a followup meeting where the final decision is made(hiring managers, HR, select interviewers who are called upon to make the case for the candidate).

I've done far fewer interviews for management roles, there the candidates have all been very experienced - and again there school did not matter. Experience and interview performance was paramount.

Google's chief of HR recently made it pretty clear that Google does not care where the candidate went to school. I think a quick google search will unearth plenty of those articles.

The point is the UIUC is an elite school. The fact that it is public doesn't change anything but the cost (good for instate. Not much cheaper for out of state)

School doesn't matter after you get the interview (or heck much after that first couple years of employment). But go look at where the last 5 years of college hires came from for your company. If it is like any of the valley companies I have been at, they all interview at about 4-10 schools and that is pretty much it. I can't think of a single direct from college hire that didn't come from the schools we sent recruiters to. The set up is we sent a person(s) to the campus. They interview people for a day or two, and we bring in candidates that make that initial cut. At the second stage nobody cares about the school. But you don't get to that second stage if you don't go to the right schools. Google used to be notorious for hiring only from top tier universities. They have backed away from that policy quite a bit but I haven't seen a list of where they are getting their new college hires. You would need to see the list of schools they send recruiters to and what the distribution of hires to see how much is talk and how much is action.
cheapskate
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by cheapskate »

randomguy wrote: The point is the UIUC is an elite school. The fact that it is public doesn't change anything but the cost (good for instate. Not much cheaper for out of state)

School doesn't matter after you get the interview (or heck much after that first couple years of employment). But go look at where the last 5 years of college hires came from for your company. If it is like any of the valley companies I have been at, they all interview at about 4-10 schools and that is pretty much it. I can't think of a single direct from college hire that didn't come from the schools we sent recruiters to. The set up is we sent a person(s) to the campus. They interview people for a day or two, and we bring in candidates that make that initial cut. At the second stage nobody cares about the school. But you don't get to that second stage if you don't go to the right schools. Google used to be notorious for hiring only from top tier universities. They have backed away from that policy quite a bit but I haven't seen a list of where they are getting their new college hires. You would need to see the list of schools they send recruiters to and what the distribution of hires to see how much is talk and how much is action.
Outside of the top 10, I've seen (and interviewed and worked with) fresh college grads from U Washington, Wash U, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maryland, one from U of Alabama, Purdue, U of Arizona. Several from UC Davis, UCSB and UCSD. Harvey Mudd, USC and Cal Poly. The list goes well beyond the top 10. Campus recruiters that I knew well were sent a couple of times every year to UCSB/UCSD/Davis and Cal Poly. Many recent grads were willing (and happy) to go to their alma mater to recruit in following years.

There is a lot of competition for good coders. If the company restricted hiring to Stanford, CMU, MIT, Cal, UCLA and the rest of the top 10, they would not have been able to hire adequately.

But this is just looking at CS, I strongly agree that for other majors, especially ones feeding into Law and Business, graduating from the elite colleges confers many advantages. I just don't see college rank being a deal for engineering majors.
randomguy
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by randomguy »

cheapskate wrote:
randomguy wrote: The point is the UIUC is an elite school. The fact that it is public doesn't change anything but the cost (good for instate. Not much cheaper for out of state)

School doesn't matter after you get the interview (or heck much after that first couple years of employment). But go look at where the last 5 years of college hires came from for your company. If it is like any of the valley companies I have been at, they all interview at about 4-10 schools and that is pretty much it. I can't think of a single direct from college hire that didn't come from the schools we sent recruiters to. The set up is we sent a person(s) to the campus. They interview people for a day or two, and we bring in candidates that make that initial cut. At the second stage nobody cares about the school. But you don't get to that second stage if you don't go to the right schools. Google used to be notorious for hiring only from top tier universities. They have backed away from that policy quite a bit but I haven't seen a list of where they are getting their new college hires. You would need to see the list of schools they send recruiters to and what the distribution of hires to see how much is talk and how much is action.
Outside of the top 10, I've seen (and interviewed and worked with) fresh college grads from U Washington, Wash U, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maryland, one from U of Alabama, Purdue, U of Arizona. Several from UC Davis, UCSB and UCSD. Harvey Mudd, USC and Cal Poly. The list goes well beyond the top 10. Campus recruiters that I knew well were sent a couple of times every year to UCSB/UCSD/Davis and Cal Poly. Many recent grads were willing (and happy) to go to their alma mater to recruit in following years.

There is a lot of competition for good coders. If the company restricted hiring to Stanford, CMU, MIT, Cal, UCLA and the rest of the top 10, they would not have been able to hire adequately.

But this is just looking at CS, I strongly agree that for other majors, especially ones feeding into Law and Business, graduating from the elite colleges confers many advantages. I just don't see college rank being a deal for engineering majors.
You are not going far outside the top 10 of CS programs for most of those schools:)
UW #6
UC SD 15
USC 20
Wisconsin 11
Michigan 13
Maryland 15
purdue 20

I wouldn't read too much into these type of rankings. And yes we are doing the same thing. We are sending people back to where they went to school. Carnige Mellon is a fine school. But it was 2500 miles away from us and we had no history with them. To some extent I am sure it depends on the size of your company (500-1500 people companies aren't recruiting from as many places as say a 25k person company. ). Heck in reality our major recruiting effort was more at getting interns. Try to get like 15-20 of them in per year and hire anyone who was remotely decent. Paying someone like 20k to figure out if they were any good was a lot more effective. YMMV.
cheapskate
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by cheapskate »

randomguy wrote: Heck in reality our major recruiting effort was more at getting interns. Try to get like 15-20 of them in per year and hire anyone who was remotely decent. Paying someone like 20k to figure out if they were any good was a lot more effective. YMMV.
No question there at all. There were quite a few interns who I felt needn't have to go back to school to continue their degree and could just convert to FTE right away :)

I don't know why schools in the US don't do what Waterloo does (internship/practicum required for graduation).
Hulk
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Hulk »

soboggled wrote:
Hulk wrote:Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this in one of his excellent books. (I cant remember which one, it may have been Outliers.) The research that he quoted basically showed that school you attend matters much less than being in the top percentage in your class. I cant remember exactly but it was something like this. One is statistically much more likely to go on to be a high earner/leader (with advanced degrees if necessary) if one graduates at some top percentage of their class in an less prestigious school than if one graduates middle of the road in a top school. He mentioned some psychology/sociology as part of the reasoning. This was a retrospective study looking back at who has succeeded in various fields and where they went to school.

My opinion is that grit matters more than just about anything; more than your intellectual IQ, your social IQ, where you went to school or even the connections you have. All that stuff matters and can tip the scale for people with those advantages, but in the end its the guy or gall that is willing to sacrifice and work their butt off that will rise to the top.

Some specific fields, investment banking perhaps, may require a prestigious pedigree to gain access. In my field, medicine, national test scores seems to be the main gatekeeper to lucrative, highly sought after specialties.
I think that is true except in fields where innate high intelligence or talent is also required, you either have it or you don't and the field is very competitive: Pure math, theoretical hard science, artist, musician, professional sports. I don't think just anyone can have a lot of success in those fields no matter how hard they work. Most other professions and jobs like businessman, salesman, entrepreneur, craftsman, teacher, lawyer, doctor, etc. are open to most people of moderate intelligence and talent if they work hard enough.
Ill try not to be insulted that doctors dont require innate high intelligence or talent :wink:
Law.74
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Law.74 »

Me: state undergrad/ state prof school / state postdoc
Colleague: Harvard / Stanford / Hopkins
Same mid six figures
YMMV
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lightheir
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by lightheir »

Law.74 wrote:Me: state undergrad/ state prof school / state postdoc
Colleague: Harvard / Stanford / Hopkins
Same mid six figures
YMMV
I'm like your colleague, and I have a colleague who is like you. We make the exact same amount, so you could def argue that the HYP college was pointless for me.

Then again, had he been in my exact shoes and tried to even apply for the same position he had now during the peak recession years when I was applying, he wouldnt have had a chance (he got into my company 5 years before I did, and 5 years before peak recession hit.) His application wouldn't have even been remotely considered. Mine was only considered because of the people I knew at the workplace from my top-tier medical residency, further backed up by my HYP college credentials. I was the ONLY person that was considered for the job, and it was a combo of the resume performance combined with people who actually knew me well.

So it does depend. In good times, it seems that almost anyone can find a good gig, as the labor pool is in short supply. But in the lean times (peak recession years in particular most recently), those big-name degrees and the connections they confer can make or break.

The job market in my field was so tight when I was looking for a job that I only had two interviews during my entire last year of training, so I credit my resume-credentials with a lot for getting me to where I am - mainly because I was forced to job-hunt at peak recession years where NOBODY wanted to hire.
Incendiary
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

Ideally you should go to the school that best fits you and will maximally help you grow to be the person you should be. The perfect school is affordable, has resources in the fields that interest you, is either close to or far from home (depending on what type of person you are), has diverse professor and student population in terms of thought and background, and provides the social scene you need.

For some, this fit is a community college. For others a vocational/technical school. Small, private, liberal arts college; Ivy; directional school; land grant school; and everything in between can all work for others.

That said, and all else being equal, relatively few occupations will snub the elite school graduate in favor of the "third tier" school graduate. Far more likely the other way around. And for those exploring themselves in life, he well connected schools will provide greater opportunities for self discovery and growth just because they are better funded and endowed.

You can get very far in life by having the right character traits and with, perhaps just as important, serendipity. A prestigious educational signal is not crucial for doing well. I would certainly prefer my offspring be able to have that leg up in life, though.
texasdiver
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by texasdiver »

This wired magazine article has a very interesting graphic showing where the major west coast tech companies are drawing most of their employees. The graphic is too wide to link here directly so you'll have to click through the link to see it.

https://www.wired.com/2014/05/alumni-network-2/


Here is the chart for just Google

Image
youdiditr2
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by youdiditr2 »

I say no.

It definitely helps get you through the door since some companies only recruit from the Elite schools. Some of the founders of tech company wouldn't even get hired by their own company because they didn't graduate from college. My brother is a manager at one of the big tech company and the people he hired all went to Elite schools, but he went to a crappy state college. I went to a crappy state school myself and the people I hired all went to a better school than I did. Some of the people that we hired went to Stanford or Harvard and they didn't last more than 2 years.

But once you have experience, it really doesn't matter where you went to school. No one cares about which school when went you, it's what you know and more importantly, who you know in your industry.
stoptothink
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by stoptothink »

Incendiary wrote: That said, and all else being equal, relatively few occupations will snub the elite school graduate in favor of the "third tier" school graduate. Far more likely the other way around. And for those exploring themselves in life, he well connected schools will provide greater opportunities for self discovery and growth just because they are better funded and endowed.
I don't think anybody can argue with this. You just have to consider if the added financial cost is worth that (possibly minuscule or irrelevant) benefit. Really, unless you are in a field where it obviously matters (law, finance), it is almost impossible to know ahead of time. You also have to consider that very few students know exactly what they want to study and what career field they want to go into when they are applying for colleges. It's all a crapshoot. For this reason, I personally side with getting the best deal financially when it comes to education, but I can't fault anybody for choosing the other option.
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Pajamas
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Pajamas »

HomerJ wrote:
Pajamas wrote:Rarely is going to a top school going to be a hindrance, but it can often help.
Crippling debt can be a hindrance.
One of the biggest advantages for a high-achieving students is being around other high-achieving students
The top 10% at State U all end up in the same classes. No matter where you go, there will be plenty of high-achieving students to interact with.
These are facts, not opinions:

Many of the top private universities have large endowments and provide plenty of scholarships and often have needs-blind admissions. That is true of the top public universities to a lesser extent, but they also generally have lower tuition in the first place. If you look at lists of colleges with students with the least debt, Princeton is in the top ten, Caltech is in the 20s, and Harvard is in the 30s. Dartmouth, Amherst, Williams, Pomona and other top schools are also in the top fifty. Going to a top school does not necessarily entail crippling debt.

There are plenty of high-achieving students at most good schools but the top schools have much higher-achieving students on average because of their selective admission standards.
cheapskate
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by cheapskate »

Honors colleges within large public universities was mentioned here a few times (like ASU Barrett), but wanted to bring that up again. More than 100 public universities offer Honors Colleges. These are good alternatives to consider, especially with instate tuition and scholarships - for high achiever students. The perks offered by Honors colleges varies, of course.
halfnine
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by halfnine »

If the person who you work for thinks it matters then...yes
If the person who you work for doesn't think it matters then...no
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by stoptothink »

halfnine wrote:If the person who you work for thinks it matters then...yes
If the person who you work for doesn't think it matters then...no
So true. 3 of the 4 founders of my employer, including my boss, graduated from the same local university. That very middle-of-the-road university holds way more cache with my employer than does any school, period, and for other reasons (cough cough, religion) in my experience that seems to hold true for a ton of businesses in this area. I did not graduate from said university, but I have been adjunct on-and-off there over the last 4yrs so I'd like to think I'm pretty safe on the job front as long as I remain in this general area. FWIW, I don't think I'd push my children to attend said university because I have my own personal issues with it despite it being decent academically (elite in a few fields), having taught there myself, and it being the cheapest private university in the country (and by a very significant margin).
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HomerJ
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by HomerJ »

Pajamas wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
Pajamas wrote:Rarely is going to a top school going to be a hindrance, but it can often help.
Crippling debt can be a hindrance.
One of the biggest advantages for a high-achieving students is being around other high-achieving students
The top 10% at State U all end up in the same classes. No matter where you go, there will be plenty of high-achieving students to interact with.
These are facts, not opinions:

Many of the top private universities have large endowments and provide plenty of scholarships and often have needs-blind admissions. That is true of the top public universities to a lesser extent, but they also generally have lower tuition in the first place. If you look at lists of colleges with students with the least debt, Princeton is in the top ten, Caltech is in the 20s, and Harvard is in the 30s. Dartmouth, Amherst, Williams, Pomona and other top schools are also in the top fifty. Going to a top school does not necessarily entail crippling debt.

There are plenty of high-achieving students at most good schools but the top schools have much higher-achieving students on average because of their selective admission standards.
These are facts, not opinions:

The top private universities do not offer scholarships based on scholarship, but on need. People on this board asking this question very likely make too much money and will have to pay full price. The top public universities, on the other hand, DO offer scholarships based on scholarship. A high test score will likely get you a full ride at State U, but only admittance at Harvard.


These are opinions:

You made a good point, and I was wrong to talk about Crippling Debt. Almost no one going to Harvard will end up with Crippling Debt. If the family has no money, they will likely get a scholarship.

If money is no object, and your kid gets into Harvard, send her. If your kid gets a full scholarship to Harvard, send her. I don't think anyone is debating that. If money is not unlimited, a choice must be made. I believe the education at Harvard may be slightly better, but in no way is it worth $250,000 more.

Any student who is admitted to Harvard would very likely be far better off (financially) if given $250,000 in cash after graduating from State U with a full ride instead of giving all that money to Harvard. I find it hard to believe anyone can dispute that.

I guess one can bank on the lottery ticket chance that your kid's roommate will be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but I thought the people on this board were too smart to spend $250,000 on lottery tickets.
Last edited by HomerJ on Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
FireProof
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by FireProof »

stoptothink wrote:
BolderBoy wrote:
Five wrote:Any thoughts or real life examples?
My basic thought is that is 99% the student and only 1% the school that matters.
This is my basic thought, but IMO there is no way to prove it. You are going to hear a million anecdotes in this thread, and none of them are going to be relevant to your individual situation (mine as well, but I'll tell it anyway).
It's already been posted, but there actually is good proof, a controlled study instead of worthless anecdotes:

"Once the two economists added these new variables, the earnings difference disappeared. In fact, it went away merely by including the colleges that students had applied to — and not taking into account whether they were accepted. A student with a 1,400 SAT score who went to Penn State but applied to Penn earned as much, on average, as a student with a 1,400 who went to Penn."

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/ ... -colleges/

Intelligence and ambition are the 99%. The university attended is the 1% (if anything). A good college may polish a turd, but a good student will be equally successful wherever he goes.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by aqan »

DTSC wrote:After you get your first job, no one cares where you went to school.
I used to think the same until I got a new boss.. First thing he does when he has to go to a meeting is - check the degree/school of all the new people coming to the meeting.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by HomerJ »

FireProof wrote:Intelligence and ambition are the 99%. The university attended is the 1% (if anything). A good college may polish a turd, but a good student will be equally successful wherever he goes.
I agree with this. I think Harvard (etc.) takes way too much credit for their students' success. They only accept the top 0.1% of students. These are people who are ALREADY amazing. And then Harvard claims the reason they do well in life is because of Harvard.
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HomerJ
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by HomerJ »

aqan wrote:
DTSC wrote:After you get your first job, no one cares where you went to school.
I used to think the same until I got a new boss.. First thing he does when he has to go to a meeting is - check the degree/school of all the new people coming to the meeting.
I'm guessing he's not the best boss you've ever had. But that's just a guess.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

HomerJ wrote:People on this board asking this question very likely make too much money and will have to pay full price.
I didn't know that those on the board asking the question all make more than $200k. Many elites are free for families making $65k with one child in college, and the FA tapers down until around $200k (assuming consistent assets).

You've made your assertion about FA repeatedly, but I would suggest you Google, for example, "Yale financial aid."
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by joe8d »

HomerJ wrote:
FireProof wrote:Intelligence and ambition are the 99%. The university attended is the 1% (if anything). A good college may polish a turd, but a good student will be equally successful wherever he goes.
I agree with this. I think Harvard (etc.) takes way too much credit for their students' success. They only accept the top 0.1% of students. These are people who are ALREADY amazing. And then Harvard claims the reason they do well in life is because of Harvard.
:thumbsup
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by whodidntante »

If the primary determinant in your success is the connections you build, it matters a great deal. But if you just want a great education, and you're willing to put in the work, you don't need to spend as much.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by staythecourse »

HomerJ wrote:
I agree with this. I think Harvard (etc.) takes way too much credit for their students' success. They only accept the top 0.1% of students. These are people who are ALREADY amazing. And then Harvard claims the reason they do well in life is because of Harvard.
I did my residency and fellowship at Harvard and there is an old saying, "The only people who care about Harvard are those who have either never been or those who have never left".

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by lightheir »

HomerJ wrote:
FireProof wrote:Intelligence and ambition are the 99%. The university attended is the 1% (if anything). A good college may polish a turd, but a good student will be equally successful wherever he goes.
I agree with this. I think Harvard (etc.) takes way too much credit for their students' success. They only accept the top 0.1% of students. These are people who are ALREADY amazing. And then Harvard claims the reason they do well in life is because of Harvard.

This is true but it is a required part of the lifelong vetting process.

It's much harder to convince someone you were harvard caliber but just chose not to go. In fact, I would judge this negatively, as harvard is one of the most financially accommodating, and I'd question why this student was unwilling to step up for this once in a lifetime challenge.

I also disagree greatly that 250k plus state Ed is unilaterally better than a degree from a top tier school. Colleges are not meant to be money making machines for their students and many if the world's best leaders work in low paying fields.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by ks289 »

lightheir wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
FireProof wrote:Intelligence and ambition are the 99%. The university attended is the 1% (if anything). A good college may polish a turd, but a good student will be equally successful wherever he goes.
I agree with this. I think Harvard (etc.) takes way too much credit for their students' success. They only accept the top 0.1% of students. These are people who are ALREADY amazing. And then Harvard claims the reason they do well in life is because of Harvard.

This is true but it is a required part of the lifelong vetting process.

It's much harder to convince someone you were harvard caliber but just chose not to go. In fact, I would judge this negatively, as harvard is one of the most financially accommodating, and I'd question why this student was unwilling to step up for this once in a lifetime challenge.

I also disagree greatly that 250k plus state Ed is unilaterally better than a degree from a top tier school. Colleges are not meant to be money making machines for their students and many if the world's best leaders work in low paying fields.
I agree.
I think your view is shared by others (students, parents, employers, etc), which is one of the reasons the matriculation rate for Harvard (undergraduate) is over 80%.
As you stated, the impact of student talent/ambition vs. school question is largely unanswerable because of the multitude of different outcomes to consider. Even when looking at only financial outcomes, the main weakness of the Dale/Krueger study is lack of randomization. It is probable that many talented students who attended less competitive schools did so for a range of reasons (better fit, strong program in area of interest, regional/local ties, etc) and were not making a purely financial choice.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by randomguy »

aqan wrote:
DTSC wrote:After you get your first job, no one cares where you went to school.
I used to think the same until I got a new boss.. First thing he does when he has to go to a meeting is - check the degree/school of all the new people coming to the meeting.

Easy solution: https://www.theharvardshop.com/collections/sweatshirts
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by travellight »

"+1. Does not mean it is fair, right, logical, etc. But it is.

Years (many years...) later, I cannot begin to tell you how many doors that name opens...people don't care which major / program I graduated from, or even if I excelled or barely graduated. The brand name is all that matters to some people."

+1 I think for schools in the top 20 or so, it can be an advantage. Beyond that, I don't think it makes much of a difference. With regard to cost, this really comes down to state school versus top school. As stated earlier, the top schools give great financial aid so unless the parents are wealthy, the cost may be close. The top schools at full pay are about the same price tag as mid level private schools (example: look up Caltech versus SMU); I don't think mid level private schools at full pay are worth the money. For my kid, my plan was full pay for a top 20ish school or state school at lower prices.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

travellight wrote:"+1. Does not mean it is fair, right, logical, etc. But it is.

Years (many years...) later, I cannot begin to tell you how many doors that name opens...people don't care which major / program I graduated from, or even if I excelled or barely graduated. The brand name is all that matters to some people."

+1 I think for schools in the top 20 or so, it can be an advantage. Beyond that, I don't think it makes much of a difference. With regard to cost, this really comes down to state school versus top school. As stated earlier, the top schools give great financial aid so unless the parents are wealthy, the cost may be close. The top schools at full pay are about the same price tag as mid level private schools (example: look up Caltech versus SMU); I don't think mid level private schools at full pay are worth the money. For my kid, my plan was full pay for a top 20ish school or state school at lower prices.
I find it discouraging that, at least on BH, so many people are blind to the realities of financial aid and the true COA at elite schools. I can only hope that their children's guidance counselors are better informed than their parents.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
travellight wrote:"+1. Does not mean it is fair, right, logical, etc. But it is.

Years (many years...) later, I cannot begin to tell you how many doors that name opens...people don't care which major / program I graduated from, or even if I excelled or barely graduated. The brand name is all that matters to some people."

+1 I think for schools in the top 20 or so, it can be an advantage. Beyond that, I don't think it makes much of a difference. With regard to cost, this really comes down to state school versus top school. As stated earlier, the top schools give great financial aid so unless the parents are wealthy, the cost may be close. The top schools at full pay are about the same price tag as mid level private schools (example: look up Caltech versus SMU); I don't think mid level private schools at full pay are worth the money. For my kid, my plan was full pay for a top 20ish school or state school at lower prices.
I find it discouraging that, at least on BH, so many people are blind to the realities of financial aid and the true COA at elite schools. I can only hope that their children's guidance counselors are better informed than their parents.
Even for a BH family making $500k and an average number of kids?
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by skepticalobserver »

No client EVER asked me where I went to school (or, for that matter, class standing).

Once you get that degree it's all up to you.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by SouthernCPA »

I went to a state university down here in the SEC. I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything. Where you went to college, at least in my experience, is not nearly as important as your work ethic. That said, there are great alumni networks in the southeast for each of the SEC schools and that can help you land an interview - after that, it's up to you.

As mentioned above, no client has ever asked what college I went to. Having the CPA license on my wall generally means I must be some what mentally functioning :sharebeer
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Incendiary wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
travellight wrote:"+1. Does not mean it is fair, right, logical, etc. But it is.

Years (many years...) later, I cannot begin to tell you how many doors that name opens...people don't care which major / program I graduated from, or even if I excelled or barely graduated. The brand name is all that matters to some people."

+1 I think for schools in the top 20 or so, it can be an advantage. Beyond that, I don't think it makes much of a difference. With regard to cost, this really comes down to state school versus top school. As stated earlier, the top schools give great financial aid so unless the parents are wealthy, the cost may be close. The top schools at full pay are about the same price tag as mid level private schools (example: look up Caltech versus SMU); I don't think mid level private schools at full pay are worth the money. For my kid, my plan was full pay for a top 20ish school or state school at lower prices.
I find it discouraging that, at least on BH, so many people are blind to the realities of financial aid and the true COA at elite schools. I can only hope that their children's guidance counselors are better informed than their parents.
Even for a BH family making $500k and an average number of kids?
No, but I'm in that camp, and as far as I'm concerned, I should just put my big boy pants on and pay my fair share. That works for me. It might not work for someone else. I believe that an elite education provides something that is not easily gotten in a larger and more anonymous school setting. I'm not saying that it's impossible. I also believe, to my very core, that an undergraduate education should provide something that one can't quantify into an ROI.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by stoptothink »

skepticalobserver wrote:No client EVER asked me where I went to school (or, for that matter, class standing).
A poster earlier stated that they would never seek out the services of a physician who did not graduate from a top school. I have a very difficult time believing that statement is true, who here has a clue or cares at all about what school their family physician or pediatrician attended?
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Da5id »

I believe there is something to the signalling argument, and something to the quality of surrounding students and resulting network one.

I also think there is a real question of exactly how much the above is worth. I assume many (but not all) of those advocating for the lower cost choices would select an elite private university over their state school if there was no difference in out of pocket costs. In that case, the issue is exactly what premium is Elite U worth. And that is a question up to each person doing the spending :)

I think another interesting question about Elite U is teaching quality. I attended Elite U as undergrad, and got a Ph.D from Elite U. And I have to say, whatever the schools say, teaching undergrads is not the top priority of professors at Elite U. Some professors do a great job and care very much about it, but that certainly is not where the career rewards/incentives lie. At least in the sciences, you are hired for your research and ability to get grants. You are promoted for your research (publication record) and ability to get grants. As long as you don't molest the undergrads and do a minimally acceptable job, teaching quality doesn't seem to be a big factor in tenure decisions. While I was in grad school, an extremely popular professor who had just won the university teaching award failed to get tenure, much to the shock/dismay of the undergraduates. I think teaching is a much higher priority at colleges than universities. I had a friend at top level private college (no grad school, small size). Students were the clear priority of professors, and classes were small. Worth thinking about...
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Dottie57 »

mouses wrote:
soboggled wrote:Malcolm Gladwell's "David and Goliath" touches on this subject. He concludes that many talented people are lost and discouraged by the fierce competition at a prestigious school but would shine at a good one.
I have a hard time thinking that someone who is discouraged by competition is a potential first class employee.
Depends on what you consider first class. I have been a software developer since 1982. I don't like competition but really enjoy collaboration on projects. My reviews always show exceeds expectations and am well paid.

Competiton is not for every one. Lack of that quality does not detract from veing a first class employee.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by texas lawdog »

Depending on your financial situation, I'd recommend going to a community or small regional college for the first couple of years and then transfer to a bigger university for the last years, so that you wouldn't have all the student debt but still have the "branding" of a bigger school.

Does it matter? I don't think it matters within the tiers (Yale vs Harvard) but between tiers (for example Harvard vs University of Texas vs LeTourneau University which is in Longview, TX). As someone said, it will probably open more doors and opportunities for you down the road...
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

stoptothink wrote:
skepticalobserver wrote:No client EVER asked me where I went to school (or, for that matter, class standing).
A poster earlier stated that they would never seek out the services of a physician who did not graduate from a top school. I have a very difficult time believing that statement is true, who here has a clue or cares at all about what school their family physician or pediatrician attended?
There are definitely people out there who think this way. I will vouch for the previous poster.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by bigred77 »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
travellight wrote:"+1. Does not mean it is fair, right, logical, etc. But it is.

Years (many years...) later, I cannot begin to tell you how many doors that name opens...people don't care which major / program I graduated from, or even if I excelled or barely graduated. The brand name is all that matters to some people."

+1 I think for schools in the top 20 or so, it can be an advantage. Beyond that, I don't think it makes much of a difference. With regard to cost, this really comes down to state school versus top school. As stated earlier, the top schools give great financial aid so unless the parents are wealthy, the cost may be close. The top schools at full pay are about the same price tag as mid level private schools (example: look up Caltech versus SMU); I don't think mid level private schools at full pay are worth the money. For my kid, my plan was full pay for a top 20ish school or state school at lower prices.
I find it discouraging that, at least on BH, so many people are blind to the realities of financial aid and the true COA at elite schools. I can only hope that their children's guidance counselors are better informed than their parents.
I think what Travellight wrote is correct. The problem is we cannot agree on what the cutoff for "wealthy" is in this discussion.

If your kid gets into Ivy/Stanford/MIT, you make 50k a year and have a net worth of 200k, its not going to cost you "much". It will be cheaper than full pay at your state school.

If you make 500k a year and have a net worth of 5M, your gonna pay through the nose.

I don't know where the cutoff is. I know that most of what I'll call "middle bogleheads" (150k+ in income; $1M in net worth including home equity; don't shoot me here, I'm just using this guesstimate/example) are probably going to feel that the COA is pretty onerous and burdensome at these types of schools. If they didn't plan for this, its going to be painful. I don't have a good solution for this range of people other than try to save early and often with an eye on a huge cash outlay over these years if your child is so inclined to get into one of these schools and you feel it's worth it.
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