Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

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

Post by itstoomuch »

OP;

1st problem in college search is, "getting in". Everything else is secondary. :oops:

Son did Carnegie-Mellon. 2002-2006. Double engineering. high honors. 1/6th off list from grants and scholarships. Popular kid and always active and remains active today.
IMO, the everyone at CMU was within his peer group. Building a network was easy and later became valuable in getting into grad school, later postgrad internships, and finally his first couple of jobs. He now does inhouse research, floating from one group to another. No real direct. He's in nirvana.

He probably would have done well at a state school. Our neighbor's son did stateU and now is a successful manager at a well-known R & D firm.

We could. He could. We still hold his student PLUS debt. Another 10 years. :( in return we get to visit him often but only as a Airbnb maid provider. :annoyed
YMMV
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harrychan
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by harrychan »

Too long didn't read. But here are my .02.

I think it is far more important one figures out the RIGHT MAJOR that matches their skills than the type of college they go to. I know numerous people who spend a lot of money in after school and weekend SAT courses to get in top school of their choice only to struggle throughout. They graduate with a measly GPA and end up doing jobs which can be done without a college degree. On the other hand, if they find the right major that they are good at and interested in, it can mean a world of difference as well as success in the 'real' world.

OP, I would recommend you spend more time exposing your kids to meet your friends and talk about what they do for a living and go see them in their workplace. It'll open their eyes to the possibilities out there and it will help them understand their career path which will help them choose major and ultimately their school. It shouldn't be the other way around.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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Hector
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Hector »

I think priority and affordability matters. Lots of parents want to put their kids in best possible situation. Top colleges are likely to help kids more than other colleges. Families who can afford are likely to put their kids to top colleges.

Most kids do not go to top colleges because most kids do not get admission or most families can not afford (either financially or kids can not get scholarship). We are very good in rationalizing everything; this thread is an example of it. There are alway exceptions, but the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others. Its a different story if you go to a top school which is lets say best for chemical engineering and you end up with music degree after changing your major few times; where that top school is only a decent option for music major.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

Hector wrote:I think priority and affordability matters. Lots of parents want to put their kids in best possible situation. Top colleges are likely to help kids more than other colleges. Families who can afford are likely to put their kids to top colleges.

Most kids do not go to top colleges because most kids do not get admission or most families can not afford (either financially or kids can not get scholarship). We are very good in rationalizing everything; this thread is an example of it. There are alway exceptions, but the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others. Its a different story if you go to a top school which is lets say best for chemical engineering and you end up with music degree after changing your major few times; where that top school is only a decent option for music major.
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

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

Post by Pajamas »

Hector wrote: We are very good in rationalizing everything; this thread is an example of it.
Agreed. All other things being equal, go to the best school you can. Most significant decisions in life have trade-offs.

I have attended and earned degrees from a range of schools from community college to decent regional universities to a top 50 university. Better schools are better.
ks289
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by ks289 »

KlangFool wrote:
Hector wrote:I think priority and affordability matters. Lots of parents want to put their kids in best possible situation. Top colleges are likely to help kids more than other colleges. Families who can afford are likely to put their kids to top colleges.

Most kids do not go to top colleges because most kids do not get admission or most families can not afford (either financially or kids can not get scholarship). We are very good in rationalizing everything; this thread is an example of it. There are alway exceptions, but the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others. Its a different story if you go to a top school which is lets say best for chemical engineering and you end up with music degree after changing your major few times; where that top school is only a decent option for music major.
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
I think this is overblown.
Look at the grade inflation data- Harvard and Brown have average GPAs over 3.6. The doormats at these schools often still look pretty good!

One could take this rationale a step further and say that the state flagship is more rigorous (and may be more expensive) than some of the directional schools. For example one should aim to both excel AND save $25,000 over four years by attending Northern Michigan instead of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
I think this is overblown.
Look at the grade inflation data- Harvard and Brown have average GPAs over 3.6. The doormats at these schools often still look pretty good!
ks289,

<<I think this is overblown.>>

Just to be clear here. Have you experience this kind of situation and / or environment over a long period of time? Do you ever study at a school where you are below average and almost everyone is smarter than you? And, regardless of how hard you work, you get below average grade. And, this continues for 4 years. So, what will this do to you as a person? Especially when you are young and fresh out of high school.

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

Post by staythecourse »

Pajamas wrote:
Hector wrote: We are very good in rationalizing everything; this thread is an example of it.
Agreed. All other things being equal, go to the best school you can. Most significant decisions in life have trade-offs.

I have attended and earned degrees from a range of schools from community college to decent regional universities to a top 50 university. Better schools are better.
I am not sure what others feelings are, but I accept HYPS+ MIT+ other IVY+ a few other schools have an advantage. I also accept that those from community colleges and low riding state schools are not looked at as favorable as others. What I am wondering is does it makes sense to go to a Colgate, villanova, vanderbilt schools with its attached prices over a good state school? That difference (if any) might not be as obvious. That is really where the meat of this argument lies (in my opinion). The two ends of the spectrum I think is a bit more clear, but the real haziness comes in the middle. Likely the answer (like many things in life) is there is no answer.

For example, As mentioned I Iive in Illinois I would have agreed with the premise University of Chicago and Northwestern are significantly better then UofI, but that is not what the data shows. So in these cases I am not sure it is so obvious as you would think.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
mac808
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by mac808 »

Better schools tend to have smarter, more accomplished, more motivated peer groups for students.

''You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around'' and what not.

I went to HYPSM and the brand name effect is real and powerful. I think the brand name effect starts to drop off sooner than people think, maybe after the top 10 or 15 nationally ranked schools. The most valuable part of my undergrad was peers who went on to become global leaders in their fields. Now that I'm 15+ years out the network effect is insane. I imagine there are more gradually diminishing returns the lower you go in the rankings in terms of peer group and network effect down the road.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Just to be clear here. Have you experience this kind of situation and / or environment over a long period of time? Do you ever study at a school where you are below average and almost everyone is smarter than you? And, regardless of how hard you work, you get below average grade. And, this continues for 4 years. So, what will this do to you as a person? Especially when you are young and fresh out of high school.
The Ivies and similar are honest in saying that they could make a class perfectly capable of excelling at the school out of the students they did not accept.. The kids not accepted are not doormats, neither are the accepted.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
pochax
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by pochax »

mac808 wrote:Better schools tend to have smarter, more accomplished, more motivated peer groups for students.

''You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around'' and what not.

I went to HYPSM and the brand name effect is real and powerful. I think the brand name effect starts to drop off sooner than people think, maybe after the top 10 or 15 nationally ranked schools. But the most valuable part was peers who went on to become global leaders in their fields. Now that I'm 15+ years out the network effect is insane.
wow, so the principle of compounding interest applies to top-tier school networking too! :)
Da5id
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Da5id »

TomatoTomahto wrote: The Ivies and similar are honest in saying that they could make a class perfectly capable of excelling at the school out of the students they did not accept.. The kids not accepted are not doormats, neither are the accepted.
From personal experience, the Ivies do indeed let in kids who can't hack it. I recall one student in my dorm, nice kid, who was not academically prepared and didn't do very well (lost track of him after freshman year, but wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make it).
ks289
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by ks289 »

KlangFool wrote:
ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
I think this is overblown.
Look at the grade inflation data- Harvard and Brown have average GPAs over 3.6. The doormats at these schools often still look pretty good!
ks289,

<<I think this is overblown.>>

Just to be clear here. Have you experience this kind of situation and / or environment over a long period of time? Do you ever study at a school where you are below average and almost everyone is smarter than you? And, regardless of how hard you work, you get below average grade. And, this continues for 4 years. So, what will this do to you as a person? Especially when you are young and fresh out of high school.

KlangFool
KF,
I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives. This is not unlike your argument about the benefits of real world experience and developing grit from not being pampered. For me, I have felt challenged many many times: organic chemistry during college, surgery clerkship during medical school, 36 hour shifts during internship, and on and on.

My point about the Harvard/Brown average GPAs is that even below average students can often have perfectly respectable grades (mix of A's and B's). At Brown for example, there are no D's at all, and C's are not common. There aren't even any F's (it appears as NO CREDIT internally only and doesn't appear on your transcript so won't affect your GPA).
soboggled
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by soboggled »

KlangFool wrote:
ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
I think this is overblown.
Look at the grade inflation data- Harvard and Brown have average GPAs over 3.6. The doormats at these schools often still look pretty good!
ks289,

<<I think this is overblown.>>

Just to be clear here. Have you experience this kind of situation and / or environment over a long period of time? Do you ever study at a school where you are below average and almost everyone is smarter than you? And, regardless of how hard you work, you get below average grade. And, this continues for 4 years. So, what will this do to you as a person? Especially when you are young and fresh out of high school.

KlangFool
This is exactly the argument Gladwell presents in "David and Goliath". He provides anecdotal evidence that some merely talented people give up when surrounded by geniuses and presents statistics to show students with high test scores are more likely to have successful careers if they attended a "good" school rather than a "great" one. (I don't think the grade matters that much, it's the personal comparison with your fellow students, i.e., competitors - who are also more likely to act competitively at a great school.)
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
I think this is overblown.
Look at the grade inflation data- Harvard and Brown have average GPAs over 3.6. The doormats at these schools often still look pretty good!
ks289,

<<I think this is overblown.>>

Just to be clear here. Have you experience this kind of situation and / or environment over a long period of time? Do you ever study at a school where you are below average and almost everyone is smarter than you? And, regardless of how hard you work, you get below average grade. And, this continues for 4 years. So, what will this do to you as a person? Especially when you are young and fresh out of high school.

KlangFool
KF,
I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives.
ks289,

I am asking specifically what if this happened to you every day for 4 years? Have you ever experienced anything close to this? Now, what would this do to you as a person?

<< I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives. >>

In this case, it is not a feeling. The student is below average in the class. He / she cannot keep up with their peers. It is a reality. And, the reality slaps you in your face every day for 4 years.

KlangFool
ks289
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by ks289 »

KlangFool wrote:
ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
I think this is overblown.
Look at the grade inflation data- Harvard and Brown have average GPAs over 3.6. The doormats at these schools often still look pretty good!
ks289,

<<I think this is overblown.>>

Just to be clear here. Have you experience this kind of situation and / or environment over a long period of time? Do you ever study at a school where you are below average and almost everyone is smarter than you? And, regardless of how hard you work, you get below average grade. And, this continues for 4 years. So, what will this do to you as a person? Especially when you are young and fresh out of high school.

KlangFool
KF,
I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives.
ks289,

I am asking specifically what if this happened to you every day for 4 years? Have you ever experienced anything close to this? Now, what would this do to you as a person?

<< I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives. >>

In this case, it is not a feeling. The student is below average in the class. He / she cannot keep up with their peers. It is a reality. And, the reality slaps you in your face every day for 4 years.

KlangFool
Nope. I've done ok in school.

Despite your hypothesis about the damage being done to 66% of students at elite schools, most below average students at competitive colleges still manage to graduate on time - look at 4 year graduation rates. The top ranked schools are near the top (Princeton 90%, Columbia 89%, Yale 88%, Harvard 86%). Perhaps the below average students learn humility or change to a different field which suits their strengths better. Perhaps many of these students have other talents (music, football/athletics, etc) which still allow them to succeed (maybe on Wall Street for example-->dig at my sibling). Yes, and some probably can't hack it and give up or are permanently damaged.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote: ks289,

I am asking specifically what if this happened to you every day for 4 years? Have you ever experienced anything close to this? Now, what would this do to you as a person?

<< I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives. >>

In this case, it is not a feeling. The student is below average in the class. He / she cannot keep up with their peers. It is a reality. And, the reality slaps you in your face every day for 4 years.

KlangFool
Nope. I've done ok in school.
ks289,

So, in summary, you do not know whether my concern is overblown.

<< most below average students at competitive colleges still manage to graduate on time - look at 4 year graduation rates. The top ranked schools are near the top (Princeton 90%, Columbia 89%, Yale 88%, Harvard 86%). >>

The below average student changed their majors to an easier major in order to graduate. This is a well-known fact even in state schools. Except it is a lot more extreme in those schools. Those below average students could have stayed with their majors if they studied elsewhere. The damage to them was permanent.

Just because somebody cannot compete as computer science major at Stanford, the person should not study computer science at all? How does this make any sense?

The student should study in an environment where he / she can compete if he / she put in the effort.

KlangFool
ks289
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by ks289 »

KlangFool wrote:
ks289 wrote:
KlangFool wrote: ks289,

I am asking specifically what if this happened to you every day for 4 years? Have you ever experienced anything close to this? Now, what would this do to you as a person?

<< I think pretty much everyone in the world has felt like they won't be able to complete a difficult task or keep up with their peers in something at some point in their lives. >>

In this case, it is not a feeling. The student is below average in the class. He / she cannot keep up with their peers. It is a reality. And, the reality slaps you in your face every day for 4 years.

KlangFool
Nope. I've done ok in school.
ks289,

So, in summary, you do not know whether my concern is overblown.

<< most below average students at competitive colleges still manage to graduate on time - look at 4 year graduation rates. The top ranked schools are near the top (Princeton 90%, Columbia 89%, Yale 88%, Harvard 86%). >>

The below average student changed their majors to an easier major in order to graduate. This is a well-known fact even in state schools. Except it is a lot more extreme in those schools. Those below average students could have stayed with their majors if they studied elsewhere. The damage to them was permanent.

KlangFool
I agree that I am perhaps being insensitive here - this is also probably why reading David and Goliath book did not change my perspective.

However, several good friends of mine have been average or below average at elite undergraduate schools. It is well known which majors are easy and which aren't - I see nothing wrong with going with an easier major to graduate with good grades if that's what you want to do. As Gladwell admitted, someone who gets shellacked in an elite college setting may not have ultimately succeeded in that field anyway!

Granted, many of the not great students I knew were Division I athletes so I think that helped both their confidence and careers. Many of them got into med school or got good jobs in consulting or Wall Street.
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Petrocelli
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Petrocelli »

Five wrote:Hello all,
Does it matter......Yale vs. Ohio State?
If that's the question, it's almost a no-brainer. Yale. No question.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)
reggiesimpson
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by reggiesimpson »

My son was accepted to one of the top tier schools you mentioned. He chose to go to a top notch state school because they took his 19 AP credits and was far less in tuition than the "name" school. He was accepted to work in one of the worlds top 3 tech companies before he graduated. No regrets, no debt and a 6 figure career. I give partial credit to the advice I received from Kiplinger Letter editors many years ago. It made sense then and it makes sense now. Don't overlook good state schools.
hoops777
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by hoops777 »

Better to be a big fish in a small pond.Research has shown students in mid level colleges near the top of their classes are often more successful then students in more prestegious schools that are not near the top.It is very interesting and covered in Malcolm Gladwell's book "David vs.Goliath.Whoops...did not see this was already mentioned :D
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
randomguy
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by randomguy »

hoops777 wrote:Better to be a big fish in a small pond.Research has shown students in mid level colleges near the top of their classes are often more successful then students in more prestegious schools that are not near the top.It is very interesting and covered in Malcolm Gladwell's book "David vs.Goliath.Whoops...did not see this was already mentioned :D
Even better to be the big fish in the big bond:)
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by jackholloway »

Of course the better school is better - that is nearly tautological. The question is how much better and at what cost. I dean's listed at a tech school that fit my temperament. Based on peers, I would have been near top of class at a flagship state school, but later experience in larger schools indicated that I would not have been as happy, and would not have been as driven.

The people I know that just barely got out of that tough school still did well, and learned to recover from failure long before it happened in their career. Of course some did not, which brings us back to temperament.

Another chap at that same school did every freshman class at a JC before doing four years at expensive tech, so everyone would know him as an academic superstar. It sort of worked, sort of did not, but it made him confident at the cost of a year of career.

Figure out what will have the right balance of challenge, cost, risk, and nurturing, and realizes that neither my answer nor KlangFool's answer is yours. I saved enough for not quite three years of my alma mater, but that may not be the best choice when it comes time to decide. I wanted that option come the day.
Slacker
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Slacker »

I didn't read past the first page but wanted to put in my personal experience.

I graduated from a "bottom tier" school and I've competed alongside Stanford and Harvard grads with more experience and kept the job while they were deleted during the probationary period. I've also had a few job offers from law firms where they want to pay for my law school while I work for their law firms even though my "bottom tier" school was clearly listed on my LinkedIn profile where they contacted me (I never initiated any contact nor indicated on my profile that I was seeking a new job).

I make low six figures, have decent worklife balance and opportunities clearly laid out for how I still have another 30% of pay increases available to me without the drudgery of being middle management and anywhere between 4% to 14% in bonuses if I so desire putting in the effort.

The only other element to note is that I was, at one point, in a top 10 Electrical Engineering program but life circumstances forced me to transfer locations and schools.
hoops777
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by hoops777 »

Maybe the lesson from this is the person is more important than the school.
Same thing happens in college athletics.Big time rep,big time school but gets his %#}%%# kicked by the kid from the mid major who had 1 offer coming out of high school.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
grok87
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by grok87 »

heartwood wrote: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.
the WSJ rankings are interesting and i think add welcome competition to the US News rankings. It's good that the WSJ is 40% focused on outcomes- US News seems much less so. Some quibbles:

WSJ uses the 6 year graduation rate. I think 4 year graduation rate is better (which is what Kiplinger uses)
http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T ... ?table=all

The WSJ has a couple of weird things that are arguably controversial and may muddy the picture
1) Engagement: This seems to be solely based on something called the US Student Survey (an online survey where students were recruited through social media) and seems to be giving some odd results...
2) Enviroment: contrary to its broad name this seems to be basically a diversity measure and again may or may not add value to the rankings- i.e. YMMV.

cheers,
RIP Mr. Bogle.
laserdoc
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by laserdoc »

Nope. I work with over 1000 physicians. The schools they went to have no correlation with the quality and skills they bring to patient care. Additionally, in the workplace, nobody cares where you went to school, only if you are a good, reliable and provide quality care.
fasteddie911
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by fasteddie911 »

I think it depends on what field you're going into, but for my spouse and I (engineering and medical fields), what mattered more was what we actually did in school (grades, experience, etc.). I went to a broad range of schools; reputable, non-reputable, large, small, private and public. The main differences I noticed was that the teaching was more or less the same, only the level of competition changed, and the larger schools had more available to students (facilities, groups, extracurriculars, etc.).
squirm
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by squirm »

Get into a STEM major. Wife and I went to state college, both in STEM fields. Doing just fine.
squirm
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by squirm »

fasteddie911 wrote:I think it depends on what field you're going into, but for my spouse and I (engineering and medical fields), what mattered more was what we actually did in school (grades, experience, etc.). I went to a broad range of schools; reputable, non-reputable, large, small, private and public. The main differences I noticed was that the teaching was more or less the same, only the level of competition changed, and the larger schools had more available to students (facilities, groups, extracurriculars, etc.).
I have "counseled" a couple younger kids about college. One guy about 25 is just starting out, he wants to get into engineering (my field) but has doubts. I keep pushing him saying it's not easy, but if it was everyone would be doing it. I think he gets it. He's taking a few classes at the JC and will transfer into a university. I tell them its more about the major then anything and what you put into school is what you'll get out. Expect to study everyday, it's no walk in the park.
Incendiary
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

I find it interesting that people here rely so heavily on their personal anecdotes to steer the OP. If I came in here talking about how I'd killed it in the market by purchasing individual stocks and timing the dips, then most of you would point to mountains of studies to disprove the merit of my strategy. Seems likely that ex post facto rationalization and cognitive dissonance are playing factors in responses.

Also, for those of you citing Malcolm Gladwell, how certain are you that you (or your children, more to the point) will be a big fish in a little pond? And why are you not confident that you will be a big fish in a big pond?

Along the same lines of confidently predicting the future, I love the advice to only choose a STEM major or to "choose the right major." How many 18 year olds know exactly what they want to do in their senior year of HS?

And to those commenting on their peer group, realize that you don't know how easy or hard it was for them to get there based on their presence or absence of pedigree. Speaking to the medical field specifically, it's a heck of a lot harder to get into a U.S. residency if you are coming from a foreign medical school than if you are coming from a U.S. one. Yes, international graduates are accepted, and will end up alongside domestic ones, but the path to acceptance is more difficult.
staythecourse
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by staythecourse »

Incendiary wrote:Along the same lines of confidently predicting the future, I love the advice to only choose a STEM major or to "choose the right major." How many 18 year olds know exactly what they want to do in their senior year of HS?
This is another pet peeve of mine as this is such a U.S. attitude of: "Oh my kid is only 18 and is too young to know what he wants to do with his/ her life". The answer is it is not too young. MOST of the world doesn't have college. They graduate from equivalent of high school and go STRAIGHT into their professional training. How is it that their kids in India "know" and kids in American can't.

It is a problems that we don't guide our kids well enough at an EARLY age to start figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Even though you don't agree folks salaries in their careers are paid based on their field. Meaning the worst doctors are going to be paid better then the a top engineer on average. Even in medicine the worst anesthesiologist is going to be SIGNIFICANTLY better then the the top pediatrician in the country. Pay lines up (right or wrong) in a range for each given profession. That is why many folks get advanced degrees to get into a different pay range.

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

Post by Incendiary »

staythecourse wrote:
Incendiary wrote:Along the same lines of confidently predicting the future, I love the advice to only choose a STEM major or to "choose the right major." How many 18 year olds know exactly what they want to do in their senior year of HS?
This is another pet peeve of mine as this is such a U.S. attitude of: "Oh my kid is only 18 and is too young to know what he wants to do with his/ her life". The answer is it is not too young. MOST of the world doesn't have college. They graduate from equivalent of high school and go STRAIGHT into their professional training. How is it that their kids in India "know" and kids in American can't.

It is a problems that we don't guide our kids well enough at an EARLY age to start figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Even though you don't agree folks salaries in their careers are paid based on their field. Meaning the worst doctors are going to be paid better then the a top engineer on average. Even in medicine the worst anesthesiologist is going to be SIGNIFICANTLY better then the the top pediatrician in the country. Pay lines up (right or wrong) in a range for each given profession. That is why many folks get advanced degrees to get into a different pay range.

Good luck.
Do they really know or are they just forced to choose because that is their system?

Other countries also have a substantially higher, or even 100%, reliance on standardized test scores determining one's future career prospects. Would you be comfortable with that approach in the US, as opposed to the current more holistic approach?
staythecourse
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by staythecourse »

Incendiary wrote:
staythecourse wrote:
Incendiary wrote:Along the same lines of confidently predicting the future, I love the advice to only choose a STEM major or to "choose the right major." How many 18 year olds know exactly what they want to do in their senior year of HS?
This is another pet peeve of mine as this is such a U.S. attitude of: "Oh my kid is only 18 and is too young to know what he wants to do with his/ her life". The answer is it is not too young. MOST of the world doesn't have college. They graduate from equivalent of high school and go STRAIGHT into their professional training. How is it that their kids in India "know" and kids in American can't.

It is a problems that we don't guide our kids well enough at an EARLY age to start figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Even though you don't agree folks salaries in their careers are paid based on their field. Meaning the worst doctors are going to be paid better then the a top engineer on average. Even in medicine the worst anesthesiologist is going to be SIGNIFICANTLY better then the the top pediatrician in the country. Pay lines up (right or wrong) in a range for each given profession. That is why many folks get advanced degrees to get into a different pay range.

Good luck.
Do they really know or are they just forced to choose because that is their system?

Other countries also have a substantially higher, or even 100%, reliance on standardized test scores determining one's future career prospects. Would you be comfortable with that approach in the US, as opposed to the current more holistic approach?
Good points. Some large countries, like India, the student chooses WHICH field he/ she wants and then takes the entrance exams. The scores then decide which school if any they get into. So it is not all black and white. I don't presume to know the answer, but as mentioned it is a BIG pet peeve of mine when a college student doesn't even have an idea of what they want to do. It is the responsibility of the parent to guide the child. If he/ she likes math and science in grade school expose them to STEM. If they like business then finance. If they like making arguments at the dinner table law, etc...

The problem I see is TOO many good parents are expecting the child to just figure it out. Colleges aren't going to help as they profit for staying an extra 1 or 2 years to figure it out. My contention is parents have to take a more active role to expose kids early to careers instead of just waiting around for some inspiration. Just my two cents.

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

Post by halfnine »

staythecourse wrote: This is another pet peeve of mine as this is such a U.S. attitude of: "Oh my kid is only 18 and is too young to know what he wants to do with his/ her life". The answer is it is not too young. MOST of the world doesn't have college. They graduate from equivalent of high school and go STRAIGHT into their professional training. How is it that their kids in India "know" and kids in American can't.
Well, one of the pet peeves of mine is unless one is planning on having their child succeed in India or any other foreign country for that matter, one should be very careful about extrapolating any data about how children are raised abroad.
staythecourse wrote: The problem I see is TOO many good parents are expecting the child to just figure it out. Colleges aren't going to help as they profit for staying an extra 1 or 2 years to figure it out. My contention is parents have to take a more active role to expose kids early to careers instead of just waiting around for some inspiration. Just my two cents.
Now this I agree with. Personally, I think there is too much emphasis on extracurricular activities and not enough on working, internships, or finding an appropriate mentor during the child's formative years.
Afty
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Afty »

I went to an HYPS for undergrad and a second-tier private university (ranked between 20-30 in U.S. News) for grad school, and a lot of this discussion really hits home for me. I have very mixed feelings about it.
  • Little fish in a big pond. I had a lot of trouble with this. I came from a small private high school with 75 people in my graduating class. I always stood out academically and got special treatment from the school and teachers because of it. There were a few of us who were almost minor celebrities in the middle-sized Southern city where I grew up. At HYPS, I was solidly average and no one took any special interest in me. I did in fact switch my major from a more demanding one to a less demanding one -- physics to computer science (!) -- and I wasn't the only one. It took me years to regain my confidence after undergrad. For context, the "big fish" at an HYPS are the folks who are going to go on to win a Nobel Prize, become President, found Google or Facebook, etc. If you think your kid is one of those, then sure, send them to HYPS.
  • Correlation vs. causation. It's true that people that go to HYPS tend to do well in life. But I claim that these people would have done well wherever they went, because the same attributes that help you get into a top school also help you succeed after college. It's correlation, not causation.
  • High-achieving peer group. This is true as well. 15 years after graduation, I have friends who are C-level execs at well known companies, professors at HYPS schools, etc. These are good people to know.
  • Quality of teaching. The type of professors who are faculty at HYPS are there not because they are great teachers, but because they are great researchers. My experience was that the quality of teaching varied widely, but was often terrible. On the other hand, because the students are so strong, the classes are typically harder than in other schools, and the kids can teach themselves the material even if the professor does not. I saw this firsthand comparing classes at my HYPS undergrad and second-tier grad school.
  • Job prospects. There are certain prestige-obsessed fields where having an HYPS degree is a big advantage -- think hedge funds or big law. There's probably also an advantage for someone who wants to found a startup -- having a founder who went to HYPS might help get the attention of VCs. There's also definitely the "foot in the door" consideration for your first job out of school. Finally, I think having an HYPS degree helps if you want to move around the country or even the world, since the degree is valued wherever you go.
I also think that the typical way we evaluate the impact of university choice -- e.g. income -- is flawed. What you really want is some sort of happiness or fulfillment metric. Once your income exceeds a certain level, it's all academic IMO.
itstoomuch
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by itstoomuch »

halfnine wrote:
staythecourse wrote: This is another pet peeve of mine as this is such a U.S. attitude of: "Oh my kid is only 18 and is too young to know what he wants to do with his/ her life". The answer is it is not too young. MOST of the world doesn't have college. They graduate from equivalent of high school and go STRAIGHT into their professional training. How is it that their kids in India "know" and kids in American can't.
Well, one of the pet peeves of mine is unless one is planning on having their child succeed in India or any other foreign country for that matter, one should be very careful about extrapolating any data about how children are raised abroad.
staythecourse wrote: The problem I see is TOO many good parents are expecting the child to just figure it out. Colleges aren't going to help as they profit for staying an extra 1 or 2 years to figure it out. My contention is parents have to take a more active role to expose kids early to careers instead of just waiting around for some inspiration. Just my two cents.
Now this I agree with. Personally, I think there is too much emphasis on extracurricular activities and not enough on working, internships, or finding an appropriate mentor during the child's formative years.
Ever "tell" a teenager what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why?
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo
staythecourse
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by staythecourse »

itstoomuch wrote:
halfnine wrote:
staythecourse wrote: This is another pet peeve of mine as this is such a U.S. attitude of: "Oh my kid is only 18 and is too young to know what he wants to do with his/ her life". The answer is it is not too young. MOST of the world doesn't have college. They graduate from equivalent of high school and go STRAIGHT into their professional training. How is it that their kids in India "know" and kids in American can't.
Well, one of the pet peeves of mine is unless one is planning on having their child succeed in India or any other foreign country for that matter, one should be very careful about extrapolating any data about how children are raised abroad.
staythecourse wrote: The problem I see is TOO many good parents are expecting the child to just figure it out. Colleges aren't going to help as they profit for staying an extra 1 or 2 years to figure it out. My contention is parents have to take a more active role to expose kids early to careers instead of just waiting around for some inspiration. Just my two cents.
Now this I agree with. Personally, I think there is too much emphasis on extracurricular activities and not enough on working, internships, or finding an appropriate mentor during the child's formative years.
Ever "tell" a teenager what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why?
Can't speak ask an expert as my kids are still preschool age. My plan is to see what they like and expose them in occupations that use that skill set at an early age (yes I am talking grade school). I may be completely off base, but an issue with kids and education is they don't take it seriously as they just see random classes that are shoved down their throats and grades they have to get to go on to the next set of random classes that get shoved down their throat. In their POV there is no purpose for all these classes.

What if one finds their kid is interested in math and have them go with you to see your accountant or explain what your reading from the stock market page in the WSJ or even just help balance the check book every month. The good news in all 3 of those examples you are spending time with your kid and maybe more important they KNOW you find it important as you are spending time with them in this activity.

No one said it was going to be easy, but then no one says raising kids are easy. What I have not seen reproducible is just cutting a check, sending them go to college, and have a lightning bolt hit them and have an epiphony. Even if that does happen that does not seem like reproducible action to bank on and least it isn't with my hard earned money.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
grok87
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by grok87 »

Afty wrote:I went to an HYPS for undergrad and a second-tier private university (ranked between 20-30 in U.S. News) for grad school, and a lot of this discussion really hits home for me. I have very mixed feelings about it.
  • Little fish in a big pond. I had a lot of trouble with this. I came from a small private high school with 75 people in my graduating class. I always stood out academically and got special treatment from the school and teachers because of it. There were a few of us who were almost minor celebrities in the middle-sized Southern city where I grew up. At HYPS, I was solidly average and no one took any special interest in me. I did in fact switch my major from a more demanding one to a less demanding one -- physics to computer science (!) -- and I wasn't the only one. It took me years to regain my confidence after undergrad. For context, the "big fish" at an HYPS are the folks who are going to go on to win a Nobel Prize, become President, found Google or Facebook, etc. If you think your kid is one of those, then sure, send them to HYPS.
  • Correlation vs. causation. It's true that people that go to HYPS tend to do well in life. But I claim that these people would have done well wherever they went, because the same attributes that help you get into a top school also help you succeed after college. It's correlation, not causation.
  • High-achieving peer group. This is true as well. 15 years after graduation, I have friends who are C-level execs at well known companies, professors at HYPS schools, etc. These are good people to know.
  • Quality of teaching. The type of professors who are faculty at HYPS are there not because they are great teachers, but because they are great researchers. My experience was that the quality of teaching varied widely, but was often terrible. On the other hand, because the students are so strong, the classes are typically harder than in other schools, and the kids can teach themselves the material even if the professor does not. I saw this firsthand comparing classes at my HYPS undergrad and second-tier grad school.
  • Job prospects. There are certain prestige-obsessed fields where having an HYPS degree is a big advantage -- think hedge funds or big law. There's probably also an advantage for someone who wants to found a startup -- having a founder who went to HYPS might help get the attention of VCs. There's also definitely the "foot in the door" consideration for your first job out of school. Finally, I think having an HYPS degree helps if you want to move around the country or even the world, since the degree is valued wherever you go.
I also think that the typical way we evaluate the impact of university choice -- e.g. income -- is flawed. What you really want is some sort of happiness or fulfillment metric. Once your income exceeds a certain level, it's all academic IMO.
nice post, my experience was similar.
Not sure if this has been posted yet but the economist last year released a ranking of colleges based on comparing graduates income 10 year later with what the economist forecasting model would predict (based on a bunch of variables). Harvard and Penn scored well. Yale not so much.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicd ... university


now i certainly agree with your point that "once your income exceeds a certain level" its less important and its important to look at happiness or fulfillment. Such things are harder to measure i guess. One proxy, albeit a poor one, is- did my undergrad experience get me fired up about a subject to go on and do a PhD? This link and particularly Table 4 points out that some of the smaller Liberal arts colleges like Harvey Mudd, Reed, Carleton, Swarthmore, and Grinnell are doing a terrific job here.
https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf13323/
Last edited by grok87 on Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
RIP Mr. Bogle.
itstoomuch
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by itstoomuch »

IMO,
Income is a measure but an incomplete measure of personal outcomes.
Some schools will concentrate on STEM majors. These STEM graduates will gravitate to the HCOL coasts.
YMMV
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SurfCityBill
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by SurfCityBill »

If you're choosing a profession that doesn't put a lot of importance on where you received your education (as long as you did so from an accredited institution) than spending extra money doesn't make sense for an Ivy or other "top brand" school. Examples would be nursing, computer science, physical therapy, or even engineering for the most part. However, if your goal is to get into the executive suites or you're planning to be a high flying attorney in Washington, DC, or a Wall St money manager etc, then the Ivy prestige may make sense.

That being said, I urged my son to strive for the Univ of Calif system for his Computer Science degree rather than a more affordable community college or even the well regarded Cal State colleges. This decision had nothing to do with the prestige of saying he went to UCLA or Berkeley but I found that the UC system was more selective in its admissions and offered few to no impacted majors and a higher percentage of students that were high achieving and like minded purpose driven students than in the other schools. We felt it offered the best learning environment for him.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

itstoomuch wrote:IMO,
Income is a measure but an incomplete measure of personal outcomes.
Some schools will concentrate on STEM majors. These STEM graduates will gravitate to the HCOL coasts.
YMMV
itstoomuch,

1) I agree that income is an incomplete measure.

2) But, unless the parent is rich enough that 100K to 200K extra are insignificant , the money need to be justified financially.

3) Even if the parent has the money, the parent can give the 100K to 200K to their children. That amount of money can change most people's life when they are starting out.

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

Post by alfaspider »

KlangFool wrote:
Hector wrote:I think priority and affordability matters. Lots of parents want to put their kids in best possible situation. Top colleges are likely to help kids more than other colleges. Families who can afford are likely to put their kids to top colleges.

Most kids do not go to top colleges because most kids do not get admission or most families can not afford (either financially or kids can not get scholarship). We are very good in rationalizing everything; this thread is an example of it. There are alway exceptions, but the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others. Its a different story if you go to a top school which is lets say best for chemical engineering and you end up with music degree after changing your major few times; where that top school is only a decent option for music major.
Hector,

<< the fact is on an average a person who went to top college would do better than others.>>

Given that only the top 33% of the student class do well and benefited from the experience, the correct answer should be on the average, a person that goes to top college does not do better.

So,the question should be is it worth the money and effort to send the student to the top college where on the average, the student does not benefit from the experience? They are the "doormats".

KlangFool
This assumes that grades are on a strict curve and that the "average" student at an elite school is not sought after like a high achieving student at a lesser regarded institution. But in many cases, the "average" student at the elite school is in a better situation than the high achieving student at a lesser regarded institution because of recruiting pipelines that focus on elite schools. At Harvard, the big banks, consulting firms, and tech companies are all going to come to campus and actively recruit students. At directional state, the top students are going to have to fight for attention from the same employers.

To some extent, I've experienced it both ways:

I attended a very selective, but not nationally known liberal arts school for my undergraduate education. It was my "safety" school when I was applying, and my academic profile was probably in the top 10-20% for the school. Some of my classmates were brilliant, many others were not, and I certainly experienced a few "face palm" moments in class. I really enjoyed my time at the liberal arts school, but if I'm honest with myself, I would admit that I pretty much rested on my laurels and didn't work too hard. It was very difficult to find any employer who would give me the time of day on graduation, and very few companies actively recruited on campus.

For law school, I went to a nationally recognized institution. All of my classmates were smart and driven and I had to work much harder to keep up. I graduated in the top half of the class, but certainly not the very top. Most importantly, this forced me to engage academically in a way the liberal arts school did not. Recruiting time was a bonanza. Over the course of my time there, I think I did something like 35-40 interviews, all with top employers. Even graduating into the worst of the great recession, I got a highly remunerative position at a good firm. I am 100% certain I would have struggled post-graduation if I had attended the second-tier institution to which I had been offered a substantial scholarship, as almost none of the graduates from that institution received comparable employment to mine (as evidenced by their reported employment statistics).

I recognize that not all fields are the same (as I posted earlier). But it's important for prospective students not to automatically assume the big fish in a small pond effect will work to their advantage.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

alfaspider wrote:
This assumes that grades are on a strict curve and that the "average" student at an elite school is not sought after like a high achieving student at a lesser regarded institution. But in many cases, the "average" student at the elite school is in a better situation than the high achieving student at a lesser regarded institution because of recruiting pipelines that focus on elite schools. At Harvard, the big banks, consulting firms, and tech companies are all going to come to campus and actively recruit students. At directional state, the top students are going to have to fight for attention from the same employers.

To some extent, I've experienced it both ways:

I attended a very selective, but not nationally known liberal arts school for my undergraduate education. It was my "safety" school when I was applying, and my academic profile was probably in the top 10-20% for the school. Some of my classmates were brilliant, many others were not, and I certainly experienced a few "face palm" moments in class. I really enjoyed my time at the liberal arts school, but if I'm honest with myself, I would admit that I pretty much rested on my laurels and didn't work too hard. It was very difficult to find any employer who would give me the time of day on graduation, and very few companies actively recruited on campus.

For law school, I went to a nationally recognized institution. All of my classmates were smart and driven and I had to work much harder to keep up. I graduated in the top half of the class, but certainly not the very top. Most importantly, this forced me to engage academically in a way the liberal arts school did not. Recruiting time was a bonanza. Over the course of my time there, I think I did something like 35-40 interviews, all with top employers. Even graduating into the worst of the great recession, I got a highly remunerative position at a good firm. I am 100% certain I would have struggled post-graduation if I had attended the second-tier institution to which I had been offered a substantial scholarship, as almost none of the graduates from that institution received comparable employment to mine (as evidenced by their reported employment statistics).

I recognize that not all fields are the same (as I posted earlier). But it's important for prospective students not to automatically assume the big fish in a small pond effect will work to their advantage.
alfaspider,

Just to complete your story in proper context.

1) You were never average or below average at both schools.

2) Did you pay for both schools?

KlangFool

P.S.: BTW, your story validated my points. Do not go to those schools unless you can be above average.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

alfaspider wrote:Recruiting time was a bonanza. Over the course of my time there, I think I did something like 35-40 interviews, all with top employers.
This was something new for me. DS is a junior, going through the recruiting process for internships, and he's doing a large number of interviews for the practice, even if he doesn't have any particular thoughts of interning there. It's great practice, and he's already pretty seasoned.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
alfaspider
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by alfaspider »

KlangFool wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
This assumes that grades are on a strict curve and that the "average" student at an elite school is not sought after like a high achieving student at a lesser regarded institution. But in many cases, the "average" student at the elite school is in a better situation than the high achieving student at a lesser regarded institution because of recruiting pipelines that focus on elite schools. At Harvard, the big banks, consulting firms, and tech companies are all going to come to campus and actively recruit students. At directional state, the top students are going to have to fight for attention from the same employers.

To some extent, I've experienced it both ways:

I attended a very selective, but not nationally known liberal arts school for my undergraduate education. It was my "safety" school when I was applying, and my academic profile was probably in the top 10-20% for the school. Some of my classmates were brilliant, many others were not, and I certainly experienced a few "face palm" moments in class. I really enjoyed my time at the liberal arts school, but if I'm honest with myself, I would admit that I pretty much rested on my laurels and didn't work too hard. It was very difficult to find any employer who would give me the time of day on graduation, and very few companies actively recruited on campus.

For law school, I went to a nationally recognized institution. All of my classmates were smart and driven and I had to work much harder to keep up. I graduated in the top half of the class, but certainly not the very top. Most importantly, this forced me to engage academically in a way the liberal arts school did not. Recruiting time was a bonanza. Over the course of my time there, I think I did something like 35-40 interviews, all with top employers. Even graduating into the worst of the great recession, I got a highly remunerative position at a good firm. I am 100% certain I would have struggled post-graduation if I had attended the second-tier institution to which I had been offered a substantial scholarship, as almost none of the graduates from that institution received comparable employment to mine (as evidenced by their reported employment statistics).

I recognize that not all fields are the same (as I posted earlier). But it's important for prospective students not to automatically assume the big fish in a small pond effect will work to their advantage.
alfaspider,

Just to complete your story in proper context.

1) You were never average or below average at both schools.

2) Did you pay for both schools?

KlangFool

P.S.: BTW, your story validated my points. Do not go to those schools unless you can be above average.
1) I was pretty much average at the second school, certainly in the middle band. The school didn't rank, so I can't tell you exactly where I ended up. The school was my "reach" school from an admissions profile standpoint, and I was wait listed or rejected from other comparable schools.

2) No the the former, yes to the latter. I paid off my student loans early.

How does my story validate your points? I went to an elite school as a marginal admit, finished mid-pack, and ended up far better than if I had attended a less selective school and finished at the top (and there's no guarantee I would have finished at the top).
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

@KlangFool, except at Garrison Keillor University, half of the students have to be in the bottom half.

Not saying that it holds for everyone, but I personally would be less devastated to be in the bottom half at a very selective school than slightly above average at a more modest institution. That's just me. You've made the point, often, that it's not you or part of your anecdata. That's okay, but alfaspider's experience is what it was.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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HomerJ
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by HomerJ »

alfaspider wrote:For law school, I went to a nationally recognized institution.
Yes, yes... Law school, you definitely want the "name" schools.

Engineering or Computer science... much less important (not zero importance, but much less important)
alfaspider
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by alfaspider »

TomatoTomahto wrote:@KlangFool, except at Garrison Keillor University, half of the students have to be in the bottom half.
Technically, this is true. But practically it is not because top schools do not stick to a strict curve and come up with grading plans that intentionally obfuscate the relative rank of various students. You don't know your rank except in very broad generalities. At my school, there was a cutoff for Latin Honors, but no other published ranking data. The most elite law schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) have dispensed with traditional grades altogether in favor of an Honors/Pass/Fail system (nobody actually fails).
Last edited by alfaspider on Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
alfaspider
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by alfaspider »

HomerJ wrote:
alfaspider wrote:For law school, I went to a nationally recognized institution.
Yes, yes... Law school, you definitely want the "name" schools.

Engineering or Computer science... much less important (not zero importance, but much less important)
I agree 100%. You have to know the program. Academia is another field where school matters quite a bit- you want a top program for your field, although those rankings may be dramatically different from the general reputation of the school.
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