Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

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

Post by Northster »

I remember many years ago in a high school career day the guy from a local business spoke. I don't remember the content but his visual aid really stuck with me. He had a jar filled with various size buttons and when he shook it the large buttons rose to the top. I think that is largely true of life as well.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

TomatoTomahto wrote:@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.
TomatoTomahto,

<< 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. >>

Just to put your statement in context.

A) Are you speaking from your own personal experience?

Or,

B) This is based on your opinion but you have not experienced this first hand.

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

Post by KlangFool »

alfaspider wrote:
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).
alfaspider,

In this thread, our focus was strictly on undergraduate education.

<<1) I was pretty much average at the second school, certainly in the middle band. >>

You were not average at the first school.

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

Thanks for completing the story.

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

Post by alfaspider »

KlangFool wrote:
In this thread, our focus was strictly on undergraduate education.

KlangFool

The thread seems to have evolved past that, but I think for certain desired fields, my experience can be equally instructive. A student looking to get into banking, finance, or management consulting after completing an undergraduate degree would benefit enormously from attending a target institution for employers in those fields, who primarily target elite institutions for hiring. But beyond purely career prospects, I felt that my educational experience was greatly enhanced by not being one of the top students. I learned as much from my fellow students as from the professors.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

alfaspider wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
In this thread, our focus was strictly on undergraduate education.

KlangFool

The thread seems to have evolved past that, but I think for certain desired fields, my experience can be equally instructive. A student looking to get into banking, finance, or management consulting after completing an undergraduate degree would benefit enormously from attending a target institution for employers in those fields, who primarily target elite institutions for hiring. But beyond purely career prospects, I felt that my educational experience was greatly enhanced by not being one of the top students. I learned as much from my fellow students as from the professors.
alfaspider,

Your story was instructive. Thank you for your contribution.

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

Post by lightheir »

KlangFool wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
In this thread, our focus was strictly on undergraduate education.

KlangFool

The thread seems to have evolved past that, but I think for certain desired fields, my experience can be equally instructive. A student looking to get into banking, finance, or management consulting after completing an undergraduate degree would benefit enormously from attending a target institution for employers in those fields, who primarily target elite institutions for hiring. But beyond purely career prospects, I felt that my educational experience was greatly enhanced by not being one of the top students. I learned as much from my fellow students as from the professors.
alfaspider,

Your story was instructive. Thank you for your contribution.

KlangFool
I would go so far as to say the nearly the entire point and benefit of college is interacting (not just working) with the peer group at the college. As a HYP graduate, I can say with confidence that my professors themselves contributed little to my education other than providing us painfully difficult hoops to jump through to get grades; there's only so much they can teach when they are lecturing to large classes with essentially zero person-person interactions with them. I'd have learned more by watching high quality lecture videos on the same subjects, for sure.

The peer group, however, is everything. And I'm not just talking about 'future networking' - being surrounded by a large number of similar-aged peers who are excellent, have proven it already, and have continued visions of excellence in whatever field, is a life-changing experience that is very hard to find outside of college.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
I would go so far as to say the nearly the entire point and benefit of college is interacting (not just working) with the peer group at the college. As a HYP graduate, I can say with confidence that my professors themselves contributed little to my education other than providing us painfully difficult hoops to jump through to get grades; there's only so much they can teach when they are lecturing to large classes with essentially zero person-person interactions with them. I'd have learned more by watching high quality lecture videos on the same subjects, for sure.

The peer group, however, is everything. And I'm not just talking about 'future networking' - being surrounded by a large number of similar-aged peers who are excellent, have proven it already, and have continued visions of excellence in whatever field, is a life-changing experience that is very hard to find outside of college.
lightheir,

Yes and no.

1) Yes, if that is not the norm among your neighbors and social classes.

2) No, if that is the peer groups that you grow up with. 4 more years of the same folks changes nothing.

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

Post by lightheir »

KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:
I would go so far as to say the nearly the entire point and benefit of college is interacting (not just working) with the peer group at the college. As a HYP graduate, I can say with confidence that my professors themselves contributed little to my education other than providing us painfully difficult hoops to jump through to get grades; there's only so much they can teach when they are lecturing to large classes with essentially zero person-person interactions with them. I'd have learned more by watching high quality lecture videos on the same subjects, for sure.

The peer group, however, is everything. And I'm not just talking about 'future networking' - being surrounded by a large number of similar-aged peers who are excellent, have proven it already, and have continued visions of excellence in whatever field, is a life-changing experience that is very hard to find outside of college.
lightheir,

Yes and no.

1) Yes, if that is not the norm among your neighbors and social classes.

2) No, if that is the peer groups that you grow up with. 4 more years of the same folks changes nothing.

KlangFool
To which I'd respond, if you're simply going to a college with the same exact peer group you grew up in, you're probably missing out on the biggest benefit of college, which is being surrounded by outstanding peers as I've described above.

I know that such colleges can be hard to get into, but I believe that if one puts their mind and effort into it, they can achieve going to a place where they can be surrounded by such people , even if it's not a top-tier school.

As I said, the professors and course content at schools like HYP are amongst the least important aspects of the school for most of the students save the very specific ones on the academic fast-track. It's the peers, peers, peers.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
To which I'd respond, if you're simply going to a college with the same exact peer group you grew up in, you're probably missing out on the biggest benefit of college, which is being surrounded by outstanding peers as I've described above.

I know that such colleges can be hard to get into, but I believe that if one puts their mind and effort into it, they can achieve going to a place where they can be surrounded by such people , even if it's not a top-tier school.

As I said, the professors and course content at schools like HYP are amongst the least important aspects of the school for most of the students save the very specific ones on the academic fast-track. It's the peers, peers, peers.
lightheir,

<<To which I'd respond, if you're simply going to a college with the same exact peer group you grew up in, you're probably missing out on the biggest benefit of college, which is being surrounded by outstanding peers as I've described above.>>

That is precisely my point. There is no such benefit for some of us to attend HYP. We are surrounded by those outstanding peers in our neighborhood. We do not have to go to an HYP college to find them. So, why bother?

<< I know that such colleges can be hard to get into, but I believe that if one puts their mind and effort into it, they can achieve going to a place where they can be surrounded by such people , even if it's not a top-tier school.>>

Why bother getting in if there is little to no benefit? Especially for people with high median income that will pay the full freight?

My son's high school classmate went into one of those HYP. He reported back that his college peers are exactly the same kind of people back in the high school. My respond to him is why should he expect anything else?

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

Post by FedGuy »

lightheir wrote:As a HYP graduate, I can say with confidence that my professors themselves contributed little to my education other than providing us painfully difficult hoops to jump through to get grades; there's only so much they can teach when they are lecturing to large classes with essentially zero person-person interactions with them. I'd have learned more by watching high quality lecture videos on the same subjects, for sure.
I'm sorry that was your experience. As an HYP graduate myself, I had a completely different experience. My professors were, with only one or two exceptions, highly gifted instructors that helped impart excitement and enthusiasm for their subject matter. that helped make difficult concepts easy to understand, and that encouraged and helped us to learn and improve. Nearly all of my professors knew my name, taught me in small discussion groups, and were easily available to speak with one on one during office hours. Most of my friends had similar experiences.

I guess it's true that these schools really aren't the same.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

FedGuy wrote:
lightheir wrote:As a HYP graduate, I can say with confidence that my professors themselves contributed little to my education other than providing us painfully difficult hoops to jump through to get grades; there's only so much they can teach when they are lecturing to large classes with essentially zero person-person interactions with them. I'd have learned more by watching high quality lecture videos on the same subjects, for sure.
I'm sorry that was your experience. As an HYP graduate myself, I had a completely different experience. My professors were, with only one or two exceptions, highly gifted instructors that helped impart excitement and enthusiasm for their subject matter. that helped make difficult concepts easy to understand, and that encouraged and helped us to learn and improve. Nearly all of my professors knew my name, taught me in small discussion groups, and were easily available to speak with one on one during office hours. Most of my friends had similar experiences.

I guess it's true that these schools really aren't the same.
My son's experience at Yale is also much more personal, except for a few large classes. He has remarked that you have to seek out the professors, but they have been very happy to engage. He has gone to office hours expecting a 5 minute conversation, and come out after a couple of hours feeling like he had a private seminar. He's CS/Math, but his GF has similar experience as a humanities major.

Yale has a concept called "shopping period," during the first two weeks of classes, where you get to sample courses you're considering.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
lightheir
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by lightheir »

KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:
To which I'd respond, if you're simply going to a college with the same exact peer group you grew up in, you're probably missing out on the biggest benefit of college, which is being surrounded by outstanding peers as I've described above.

I know that such colleges can be hard to get into, but I believe that if one puts their mind and effort into it, they can achieve going to a place where they can be surrounded by such people , even if it's not a top-tier school.

As I said, the professors and course content at schools like HYP are amongst the least important aspects of the school for most of the students save the very specific ones on the academic fast-track. It's the peers, peers, peers.
lightheir,

<<To which I'd respond, if you're simply going to a college with the same exact peer group you grew up in, you're probably missing out on the biggest benefit of college, which is being surrounded by outstanding peers as I've described above.>>

That is precisely my point. There is no such benefit for some of us to attend HYP. We are surrounded by those outstanding peers in our neighborhood. We do not have to go to an HYP college to find them. So, why bother?

<< I know that such colleges can be hard to get into, but I believe that if one puts their mind and effort into it, they can achieve going to a place where they can be surrounded by such people , even if it's not a top-tier school.>>

Why bother getting in if there is little to no benefit? Especially for people with high median income that will pay the full freight?

My son's high school classmate went into one of those HYP. He reported back that his college peers are exactly the same kind of people back in the high school. My respond to him is why should he expect anything else?

KlangFool



I'd say the peers at HYP are still 'people'. They still laugh, joke, and have typical insecurities of collegiate kids. THey're still kids.

But when a typical 5-person randomly selected group includes : national-cailber violinist, world-class figure skater, Intel/westinghouse science top 5, someone who started a national-level volunteer service group, and that's just in MY small circle, I'd say that's far, far from typical, and you are NOT going to remotely find that in your local home area.

Just because they've done these things doesn't make them 'more valuable' , 'better', or even wiser people, but there are a lot of intangibles above and beyond talent required into this type of high-level achievement that is part of the special peer experience at a place like HYP that will leave its mark on you for a lifetime - especially in conjunction with knowing that these very folks are still 'normal people' from a friends standpoint.

I will in addition say that I've learned as much and some even more valuable lessons from people with zero college degree, no prestigious career, and no income, but despite this reality, I'd be lying if I were to say that the peer experience at HYP was so mundane and common that you could get it from just staying in your neighborhood.
Incendiary
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

I counted four people in that random group. What were you?
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HomerJ
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by HomerJ »

FedGuy wrote:Nearly all of my professors knew my name, taught me in small discussion groups, and were easily available to speak with one on one during office hours.
This was my experience at State U, once I had declared my major and got past the large freshman (and some sophomore) classes.

You don't need to pay premium prices to find small classes, and professors who know your name, and who have open office hours.

The major problem with these discussions is we can't compare... You don't know what it was like to go State U, and I don't know what it was like to go to MIT. So we can't really compare very well.

But I do know that in my upper-level engineering classes, I had plenty of intelligent and hard-working peers, and small classes and excellent professors. I believe I got a quality education at State U. Probably MIT would have been better. But maybe not. Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics are the same subjects no matter where you study them. But maybe it would have indeed been better. But would it have been worth 2x or 3x the cost?

I don't know.
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TinkerPDX
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by TinkerPDX »

Five wrote:There are those who feel that a top notch college can help get their child (better springboard) into a top company, med school, law school...
Not for law school. Good GPA and LSAT are 100%...the rest is only relevant as tie breakers.
lightheir
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by lightheir »

Incendiary wrote:I counted four people in that random group. What were you?
I was one of those in that 5-person group of roommates, which were chosen at random during freshman year (we didn't choose each other to live with each other. I didn't just cherrypick 5 of my most accomplish friends at college - those were my immediate random roommates freshman year, and the rest of the class was very similar in terms of things accomplished to that point as we weren't a particularly outstanding group.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
I'd say the peers at HYP are still 'people'. They still laugh, joke, and have typical insecurities of collegiate kids. THey're still kids.

But when a typical 5-person randomly selected group includes : national-cailber violinist, world-class figure skater, Intel/westinghouse science top 5, someone who started a national-level volunteer service group, and that's just in MY small circle, I'd say that's far, far from typical, and you are NOT going to remotely find that in your local home area.
lightheir,

<< I'd say that's far, far from typical, and you are NOT going to remotely find that in your local home area. >>

Many of my peers send their children to TJ. The #1 ranked high school in USA. It is typical around here.

https://www.tjhsst.edu/
http://www.newsweek.com/high-schools/am ... hools-2016

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

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
I'd say the peers at HYP are still 'people'. They still laugh, joke, and have typical insecurities of collegiate kids. THey're still kids.

But when a typical 5-person randomly selected group includes : national-cailber violinist, world-class figure skater, Intel/westinghouse science top 5, someone who started a national-level volunteer service group, and that's just in MY small circle, I'd say that's far, far from typical, and you are NOT going to remotely find that in your local home area.
lightheir,

https://student.societyforscience.org/i ... -finalists

Out of 40 finalists. 3 from DC Metro area. One from TJ and the other 2 from same high school.

Mong, Arnold
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD
Exposing Non-Classical Properties of the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger States in Perfect Correlation Cases

Shroff, Kunal
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
The Relationship between Lethality and Genomic Instability in Euploid and Aneuploid Yeast Cells expressing Pathological Huntingtin

Yu, Josephine Jessica
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD
Lattice and Continuum Models of Solitons and Vortices in Bilayer Graphene

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

Post by Incendiary »

lightheir wrote:
Incendiary wrote:I counted four people in that random group. What were you?
I was one of those in that 5-person group of roommates, which were chosen at random during freshman year (we didn't choose each other to live with each other. I didn't just cherrypick 5 of my most accomplish friends at college - those were my immediate random roommates freshman year, and the rest of the class was very similar in terms of things accomplished to that point as we weren't a particularly outstanding group.
I figured that out. :) I was asking which one you were, or did you leave out your own descriptor?
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
Incendiary wrote:I counted four people in that random group. What were you?
I was one of those in that 5-person group of roommates, which were chosen at random during freshman year (we didn't choose each other to live with each other. I didn't just cherrypick 5 of my most accomplish friends at college - those were my immediate random roommates freshman year, and the rest of the class was very similar in terms of things accomplished to that point as we weren't a particularly outstanding group.
lightheir,

To each it's own. Your experience and exposure might be life-changing and significant to you. But, for some of us, it might be more of the same. Hence, it may not be as valuable.

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

Post by RoadHouseFan »

Unless your kid is a high school all-American athlete (football, basketball or baseball), then college choice doesn't matter.
Da5id
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Da5id »

I personally find the argument that an elite school isn't worth the money over a good state school very reasonable. And the post in the thread about incomes from the 3 different schools in Illinois was very good data that really contributed to the discussion of the lack of economic benefit of the more expensive school in that particular case.

I find the arguments that the student body at an elite school is identical to an average school odd. Are folks really saying that the bell curve of ability and intelligence at MIT is the same as an average engineering school? On what basis is that claim made, have you been to both as a student or have a study indicating it? Does not agree with my experiences, in that most of the kids at MIT are generally speaking the best in their high school in math/science...

Seems like this thread has lots of opinions (mine including), and few facts.
Last edited by Da5id on Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
awizard
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by awizard »

I am a chemist by training and have done years of corporate recruiting. In my field I see two distinctions:

1) Undergraduate degrees- I see elite schools and large universities (eg. Penn State) having the advantage. Biggest advantage is the shear number of employers that go to a career fair. Opportunities are endless if one has a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Larger companies typically pay more to start and tend to hire from a list of top schools over smaller universities. This, on average, leads to higher lifetime pay due to elevated starting point. I think this also holds true for any degree from these universities from what I hear from other recruiter in other disciplines.

2) Graduate level (PhD) degrees - Most graduates come from large or elite universities by default (only places that offer programs). Elite university is based not on Ivy league status or some arbitrary ranking, but by the quality of the program for that discipline. Ex. In Polymer chemistry, some of best schools are Akron, UMass Amherst, Viginia Tech and Lehigh. Not exactly your Ivy league schools. That said, our finance recruiters tend to recruit from Stanford, MIT, Yale, UPenn, etc.

PS. A masters degree is considered a consolation prize for failing a PhD program. They are unique and do not follow either distinction above as only certain companies tend to hire that level.
Incendiary
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

awizard wrote:I am a chemist by training and have done years of corporate recruiting. In my field I see two distinctions:

1) Undergraduate degrees- I see elite schools and large universities (eg. Penn State) having the advantage. Biggest advantage is the shear number of employers that go to a career fair. Opportunities are endless if one has a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Larger companies typically pay more to start and tend to hire from a list of top schools over smaller universities. This, on average, leads to higher lifetime pay due to elevated starting point. I think this also holds true for any degree from these universities from what I hear from other recruiter in other disciplines.

2) Graduate level (PhD) degrees - Most graduates come from large or elite universities by default (only places that offer programs). Elite university is based not on Ivy league status or some arbitrary ranking, but by the quality of the program for that discipline. Ex. In Polymer chemistry, some of best schools are Akron, UMass Amherst, Viginia Tech and Lehigh. Not exactly your Ivy league schools. That said, our finance recruiters tend to recruit from Stanford, MIT, Yale, UPenn, etc.

PS. A masters degree is considered a consolation prize for failing a PhD program. They are unique and do not follow either distinction above as only certain companies tend to hire that level.
Why get a PhD if you know you're going to go into industry? Seems like a masters should be sufficient?
student
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by student »

Incendiary wrote: Why get a PhD if you know you're going to go into industry? Seems like a masters should be sufficient?
Depending on the job, a Ph.D. may be necessary. A significant number of high-level jobs in chemical engineering and industrial engineering/operations research require a Ph.D.
Incendiary
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Incendiary »

student wrote:
Incendiary wrote: Why get a PhD if you know you're going to go into industry? Seems like a masters should be sufficient?
Depending on the job, a Ph.D. may be necessary. A significant number of high-level jobs in chemical engineering and industrial engineering/operations research require a Ph.D.
Interesting. I'd always thought PhDs were primarily for academia. Guess I shouldn't paint with broad brush strokes.
lightheir
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by lightheir »

KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:
Incendiary wrote:I counted four people in that random group. What were you?
I was one of those in that 5-person group of roommates, which were chosen at random during freshman year (we didn't choose each other to live with each other. I didn't just cherrypick 5 of my most accomplish friends at college - those were my immediate random roommates freshman year, and the rest of the class was very similar in terms of things accomplished to that point as we weren't a particularly outstanding group.
lightheir,

To each it's own. Your experience and exposure might be life-changing and significant to you. But, for some of us, it might be more of the same. Hence, it may not be as valuable.

KlangFool
Yes, to each their own. To the response that 3 of those Intel finalist were from the same area, yes there are areas of academic strongholds even out of Ivy league colleges. But again, there is no way you will find the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as a HYP institution. Even if you have 3 INtel finalists in your home area.

Of course, if you don't value the things HYP selects for (not all of them are necessarily good, like 'legacy' donations), you won't care one bit.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
Yes, to each their own. To the response that 3 of those Intel finalist were from the same area, yes there are areas of academic strongholds even out of Ivy league colleges. But again, there is no way you will find the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as an HYP institution. Even if you have 3 INtel finalists in your home area.

Of course, if you don't value the things HYP selects for (not all of them are necessarily good, like 'legacy' donations), you won't care one bit.
lightheir,

<< the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as an HYP institution.>>

To some, that is a good thing. To others, it is a lack of diversity. Unless you work in one of those areas that you never need to deal with REAL NORMAL PEOPLE, it may not be a good thing. Flagship state university has a better representation of the general population that a person needs to work with.

I am not trying to change anyone's mind. I am here to provide a different point of view. For some of us, whatever that is valued by people going to an HYP may not mean as much to us. And, some of those HYP attributes are actually counter-productive from our standpoint.

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

Post by cheapskate »

Incendiary wrote:
student wrote:
Incendiary wrote: Why get a PhD if you know you're going to go into industry? Seems like a masters should be sufficient?
Depending on the job, a Ph.D. may be necessary. A significant number of high-level jobs in chemical engineering and industrial engineering/operations research require a Ph.D.
Interesting. I'd always thought PhDs were primarily for academia. Guess I shouldn't paint with broad brush strokes.
In a lot of STEM majors (mostly in the S - Sciences), a PhD seems like a necessity to get any job beyond your basic entry level Lab job. Close friends with kids who have majored in things like Chemistry or various Biological Sciences tell me that if the kid does not go to med school, then a PhD seems to be a necessity.
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

cheapskate wrote:
Incendiary wrote:
student wrote:
Incendiary wrote: Why get a PhD if you know you're going to go into industry? Seems like a masters should be sufficient?
Depending on the job, a Ph.D. may be necessary. A significant number of high-level jobs in chemical engineering and industrial engineering/operations research require a Ph.D.
Interesting. I'd always thought PhDs were primarily for academia. Guess I shouldn't paint with broad brush strokes.
In a lot of STEM majors (mostly in the S - Sciences), a PhD seems like a necessity to get any job beyond your basic entry level Lab job. Close friends with kids who have majored in things like Chemistry or various Biological Sciences tell me that if the kid does not go to med school, then a PhD seems to be a necessity.
+1.

Or, they need to get a master degree in education. Then, they will be a high school science teacher.

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

Post by lightheir »

KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:
Yes, to each their own. To the response that 3 of those Intel finalist were from the same area, yes there are areas of academic strongholds even out of Ivy league colleges. But again, there is no way you will find the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as an HYP institution. Even if you have 3 INtel finalists in your home area.

Of course, if you don't value the things HYP selects for (not all of them are necessarily good, like 'legacy' donations), you won't care one bit.
lightheir,

<< the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as an HYP institution.>>

To some, that is a good thing. To others, it is a lack of diversity. Unless you work in one of those areas that you never need to deal with REAL NORMAL PEOPLE, it may not be a good thing. Flagship state university has a better representation of the general population that a person needs to work with.

I am not trying to change anyone's mind. I am here to provide a different point of view. For some of us, whatever that is valued by people going to an HYP may not mean as much to us. And, some of those HYP attributes are actually counter-productive from our standpoint.

KlangFool

Again, I am making the point that is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity to be in such a accomplished and diverse student body at a HYP or other top tier college.

These student bodies are NOT meant to mirror 'real world' workplace ability or diversity. They're meant to be special places where you get special interactions with peers. And no, you don't become unable to work with 'normal' people after going to such institutions.
Da5id
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by Da5id »

lightheir wrote: Again, I am making the point that is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity to be in such a accomplished and diverse student body at a HYP or other top tier college.

These student bodies are NOT meant to mirror 'real world' workplace ability or diversity. They're meant to be special places where you get special interactions with peers. And no, you don't become unable to work with 'normal' people after going to such institutions.
I agree. If the argument is that a uniformly top notch student body is some how inferior to a student body that goes from mediocre to top notch in ability, it is not an argument that resonates with me...
KlangFool
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:

Again, I am making the point that is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity to be in such a accomplished and diverse student body at a HYP or other top tier college.

These student bodies are NOT meant to mirror 'real world' workplace ability or diversity. They're meant to be special places where you get special interactions with peers. And no, you don't become unable to work with 'normal' people after going to such institutions.
lightheir,

Correction. It is not a once in a lifetime opportunity. Many people with a non-HYP undergraduate degree went on to an HYP for their graduate degree. In fact, in most cases, they were sponsored by their employer or with a full scholarship from the HYP.

Actually, this is a better route. If a student is smart enough, they could get to the HYP this way with a full scholarship. If the student is not good enough, they should not waste money on an HYP undergraduate degree.

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

Post by lightheir »

KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:

Again, I am making the point that is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity to be in such a accomplished and diverse student body at a HYP or other top tier college.

These student bodies are NOT meant to mirror 'real world' workplace ability or diversity. They're meant to be special places where you get special interactions with peers. And no, you don't become unable to work with 'normal' people after going to such institutions.
lightheir,

Correction. It is not a once in a lifetime opportunity. Many people with a non-HYP undergraduate degree went on to an HYP for their graduate degree. In fact, in most cases, they were sponsored by their employer or with a full scholarship from the HYP.

Actually, this is a better route. If a student is smart enough, they could get to the HYP this way with a full scholarship. If the student is not good enough, they should not waste money on an HYP undergraduate degree.

KlangFool
I'm not going to argue which is a better route, but the peer experience in graduate school is very different than undergraduate, with very different selection criteria, especially in terms of diversity and breadth of exposure.

I will still argue college is a unique experience that cannot be replicated by graduate school. (Plenty of good arguments though as to which is more career-useful grad vs college, both pro or con, that is beyond the scope of this discussion.)
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

lightheir wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:

Again, I am making the point that is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity to be in such a accomplished and diverse student body at a HYP or other top tier college.

These student bodies are NOT meant to mirror 'real world' workplace ability or diversity. They're meant to be special places where you get special interactions with peers. And no, you don't become unable to work with 'normal' people after going to such institutions.
lightheir,

Correction. It is not a once in a lifetime opportunity. Many people with a non-HYP undergraduate degree went on to an HYP for their graduate degree. In fact, in most cases, they were sponsored by their employer or with a full scholarship from the HYP.

Actually, this is a better route. If a student is smart enough, they could get to the HYP this way with a full scholarship. If the student is not good enough, they should not waste money on an HYP undergraduate degree.

KlangFool
I'm not going to argue which is a better route, but the peer experience in graduate school is very different than undergraduate, with very different selection criteria, especially in terms of diversity and breadth of exposure.

I will still argue college is a unique experience that cannot be replicated by graduate school. (Plenty of good arguments though as to which is more career-useful grad vs college, both pro or con, that is beyond the scope of this discussion.)
lightheir,

That is fine. It is up to the parent to decide whether it is worth paying 100+K extra for that experience.

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

Post by awizard »

Incendiary wrote:
Why get a PhD if you know you're going to go into industry? Seems like a masters should be sufficient?
Like previously state, there are many jobs and positions that are only filled by PhD candidates. Many materials based industrial companies do their own applied research to advance their products. This also applies to other industries like finance, tech. etc. In my area of matrials companies, it is primarily PhD candidates that are hired over masters. It seems to me in finance that it is typically masters (MBAs) that are hired over PhDs.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by awizard »

lightheir wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
lightheir wrote:
Yes, to each their own. To the response that 3 of those Intel finalist were from the same area, yes there are areas of academic strongholds even out of Ivy league colleges. But again, there is no way you will find the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as an HYP institution. Even if you have 3 INtel finalists in your home area.

Of course, if you don't value the things HYP selects for (not all of them are necessarily good, like 'legacy' donations), you won't care one bit.
lightheir,

<< the concentration of achievement and talent in the entire student body as an HYP institution.>>

To some, that is a good thing. To others, it is a lack of diversity. Unless you work in one of those areas that you never need to deal with REAL NORMAL PEOPLE, it may not be a good thing. Flagship state university has a better representation of the general population that a person needs to work with.

I am not trying to change anyone's mind. I am here to provide a different point of view. For some of us, whatever that is valued by people going to an HYP may not mean as much to us. And, some of those HYP attributes are actually counter-productive from our standpoint.

KlangFool

Again, I am making the point that is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity to be in such a accomplished and diverse student body at a HYP or other top tier college.

These student bodies are NOT meant to mirror 'real world' workplace ability or diversity. They're meant to be special places where you get special interactions with peers. And no, you don't become unable to work with 'normal' people after going to such institutions.
Special places with special interactions do not lead to a job if it requires certain abilites. I know that he companies that I worked for and in my technical area would not hire from the HYP schools as they would not have the required skill sets. They would hire someone from MIT, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Minnesota, PennState, UMass Ameryst, etc. Why? Because they have top notch engineering programs. I am a firm believer that you need to go to a school that accels in what you want to do. IMO, going to a HYP school only makes sense if it gives you the experienece you need to do your future job(s). Going for the experience is why America has a student loan debt problem.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by stoptothink »

awizard wrote: Going for the experience is why America has a student loan debt problem.
I can't say that it is the primary reason, but it is definitely a very large factor. Having attended 3 universities and taught at a 4th (none of them HYPS, but one just a notch below), I still don't understand when people start talking about "the college experience". Maybe it was because I was too busy working to graduate debt-free and maintain my grades; the experience was IMO no different for me at 3 vastly different schools. I can appreciate the discussion about the benefits of a very high achieving peer group, although in my situation (as someone who is not social at all and intensely self-motivated) I honestly don't think it would have made any difference.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by KlangFool »

awizard wrote: Going for the experience is why America has a student loan debt problem.
awizard,

I disagreed. For any significant amount of student loan, the parent has to cosign the loan. The parent chooses to cosign for the experience. The student at 18 years old has no idea of what they are getting into and whether they can pay for this off. Hence, the parents are responsible for this mess.

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

Post by Rodc »

Whatever you do, do not go to a college you cannot or will not graduate from, ESPECIALLY, if you are taking on any debt.

I just finished a long article in the Boston Globe on kids going to very expensive private colleges they cannot afford. It does not work well if you graduate in a lot of debt. It works out a great deal worse if you leave with debt and no degree. Some private colleges have shockingly low graduation rates and not a lot of funding to help the students so they tend to have a lot of debt.

If you can realistically afford the college, even if that means a small amount of debt relative to future earnings, and if you realistically will graduate, go where you want. Whether or not you will get a good ROI for your choice vs some other choice is up for debate but over a life time you will likely be fine.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
awizard
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by awizard »

KlangFool wrote:
awizard wrote: Going for the experience is why America has a student loan debt problem.
awizard,

I disagreed. For any significant amount of student loan, the parent has to cosign the loan. The parent chooses to cosign for the experience. The student at 18 years old has no idea of what they are getting into and whether they can pay for this off. Hence, the parents are responsible for this mess.

KlangFool
KlangFool,

Fair enough point. However, my statement still stands. They are going for the experience and not with a job prospect in mind. I never said that the parents were not partly responsible. The whole teaching of "Go find yourself" is just odd.

Why go to college to find yourself? Why not get a job? Why not join the armed forces? Why not just sit at home for a year? Why would anyone want to spend thousands of $$$$$ to find yourself??? I have seen this mentality in some family members. They found themselves alright. Went to college, got a degree when they "found themselves" and now years later they went for another degree. Why? Because after entering the work force and seeing how the real world works they finally realized what they wanted to do. Except now they are up to their eye balls with debt. Good luck with that. To each their own.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by edge »

Yes, it typically matters. How much it matters is situational.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by MrKnight »

Leemiller wrote:I'm an attorney and where you went to law school never stops mattering. I also won't go to a doctor whose medical school isn't a name I recognize. I went to a name law school, and I've worked at places were almost everyone else did as well. My clerkship came out of an internship I got with an alum.

Certain schools offer networking opportunities, I worked with a Stanford grad whose career moves happened solely because of who he knew, and he wasn't a trust fund kid. It's not just the teachers, it's the other students. But I think there are only a handful of schools in the country with that kind of cache.

For undergraduate, I'm a fan of the smaller liberal arts colleges. My child is so young that it's impossible to tell what her preferences will be in that regard. I think if your kid does get into Yale, Harvard, etc, it presents some difficult choices unless you are very wealthy.

My friends brother grades wasn't good enough to get into an American medical school, so he went and attended a medical school in the Caribbean islands. He now is in his 30s and is making close 400K in a private practice group.

My understanding is that this is a fairly common path for a substantial number of doctors.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by GoldenFinch »

In my family, it has all come down to what we did in college, not where we went. The super student, hard workers have all been very successful in life, the slackers have floundered.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by mlebuf »

Investing in education is very much like investing in mutual funds in the sense that cost matters. What a student chooses to major in is far more important than where they go to school, as long as the curriculum they major in has national accreditation. I also believe that the odds of graduating are far better when students are allowed to choose a school where they believe they would be most comfortable spending 4 years. Once a student graduates and embarks on a career, their long-term success will be largely determined by their degree of professionalism, human skills and their work ethic.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by jwblue »

I would think it is all about the interview.

Would a supervisor who went to Yale hire an applicant that went Yale solely based on that fact? What if he liked the personality more of the applicant that went to a middle of the road state school? I would say he would hire the person that went to the middle of the road school.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by ks289 »

MrKnight wrote:
Leemiller wrote:I'm an attorney and where you went to law school never stops mattering. I also won't go to a doctor whose medical school isn't a name I recognize. I went to a name law school, and I've worked at places were almost everyone else did as well. My clerkship came out of an internship I got with an alum.

Certain schools offer networking opportunities, I worked with a Stanford grad whose career moves happened solely because of who he knew, and he wasn't a trust fund kid. It's not just the teachers, it's the other students. But I think there are only a handful of schools in the country with that kind of cache.

For undergraduate, I'm a fan of the smaller liberal arts colleges. My child is so young that it's impossible to tell what her preferences will be in that regard. I think if your kid does get into Yale, Harvard, etc, it presents some difficult choices unless you are very wealthy.

My friends brother grades wasn't good enough to get into an American medical school, so he went and attended a medical school in the Caribbean islands. He now is in his 30s and is making close 400K in a private practice group.

My understanding is that this is a fairly common path for a substantial number of doctors.
It is definitely possible to succeed starting from most any college or medical school. The majority of US international medical graduates (US IMG) do enter US residency programs (51% in 2015), but there is definitely more of a challenge for these graduates compared to US graduates. US allopathic (MD program) graduates had a 94% match rate in 2015.
The opportunities for specialties and sub specialties for US IMG are also more limited according to a New England Journal report.

http://www.nrmp.org/press-release-2015- ... -programs/

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NE ... hAndBrowse&
downshiftme
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by downshiftme »

I would think it is all about the interview.

Would a supervisor who went to Yale hire an applicant that went Yale solely based on that fact? What if he liked the personality more of the applicant that went to a middle of the road state school? I would say he would hire the person that went to the middle of the road school.
That is largely true. But you can pretty much guarantee than every job the Yale grad applies to will at least look carefully at her resume. That's true for only a very small number of elite schools.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by beyou »

Just returned from family weekend with my freshman.
He had recently gone to career day, where major employers recruited on the campus of his highly ranked tech school. I assumed that since he is a freshman, the career day benefit was purely familiarity with a process to come. Well turns out some of the employers are so eager to recruit at this school, they do hire freshmen/rising sophs for internships. This is not true at all colleges.
The leg up of having work experience is huge.
Also met his friends, the peer interaction with kids that model good behavior is huge.

To the poster who indicated that people can only see one side or the other, my other son attended a major public college that has good entrance stats. Transfered to an Ivy. He has a unique vantage point of having tried both.
The feedback is he's got better profs (certainly better creds) but way better peers. And this thing about growing up with such peers, ridiculous. If you are so privileged, maybe you don't need college at all. But our kid's HS is very highly ranked, yet still not having the same concentration of top achievers as either college that my kids attend.
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Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Post by DDMS »

[OT comment removed by moderator prudent]

I think there is no single path to success, but I do think life does end up a lot different if you go to name schools. In my twenties I hung out with the fast crowd because I do have the pedigree, and at that time I didn't know anyone who had not gone to a national/international name school.

New York, Tokyo, Singapore, ladie' lunches at the local American Club, Harvard Alum Club evening talks, et cetra et cetra.

I was not happy in my chosen path which came to me because I was brainy, and I stepped down. I had to eat dirt because in the entrepreneurial world degrees don't count. Fast forward 15 years, now I notice that the best minds that I work with have gone and done well at the local state schools. That is because I am now in the Mid-West, not in 1st tier cities anymore. :o

The lifestyle IS different.

I notice that my now local friends, the successful ones, what they do not do much of is to talk about recent books they read, vacation trips to Thailand, or have deep thoughts/doubts about life. Most of them are well adjusted local leaders who start family life earlier and are happily married couples by their early 30's.

If you are exceptionally gifted and need to become a senator, federal level government service or corporate middle management with international postings, maybe the Ivies are for you. I come from a family where mostly everyone is reasonably gifted and had no problems attaining 1st tier education, but half of them have emotional hangups and may not function well if stripped of their degrees and the connections that bought them the degrees.

If you want to go back and live close to your high school buddies so you can be there for your parents aging, still be successful and amass a couple of millions before retirement, doing all the worthwhile things that life offers like raising kids, actually eating dinner with them, going to their ballgames, hanging out with your spouse a lot and their friends, etc., I think it will be better to go to a local flagship school.

I was barely smart enough to cut the ivies but not tough enough emotionally to bulldoze through the competition and come out grinning. I have a niece who ended up neurotic in an Ivy for the same reason, and she cannot leave their parents home anymore even to look for a part time job at age 26. Half my smart buddies at Ivies were going through therapy and having suicidal thoughts because of imposter syndrome and exaggerated fear of failure. It does not help friendship-wise that they are scattered around the world because they are so "successful." A young girl I know from her high school years recently went to Smith (not top notch brainiac, just a hard worker, didn't get scholarship) and is now diagnosed with mental problems. I believe Smith did that to her, most likely because she was barely passable there. Those monsters will eat you alive if you don't have an extra stable emotional backbone.

Now that I have a daughter, I wanted to get away from my brainy but dysfunctional family, because they are NOT good role models. My daughter has an average IQ (probably due to set backs from premature birth, I was too high flying to have kids earlier so had her late and wouldn't slow down during pregnancy) and what I DON'T want is for her to feel like she needs to go to a name school like most members of my family, or for her to try and fail.

In the meanwhile, I AM raising a hard worker. She MIGHT be ready for top tier grad school when she is older, but I doubt she will be ready to go through cut throat competition of SAT frenzy and come out with some top score. I have been in law, and myself included, most of my happiness seeking friends, the saner ones, from top law schools, have LEFT it because it does not allow you to have a happy family life. The others want to leave but have no idea how.

What I do KNOW is that my daughter will be successful and that I am going to support her happiness while she pursues her life on her own terms. We do know gifted friends, one kid got tested for Johns Hopkins Gifted Program for Youths, and started going to a summer camp there. At age 12, he is already set on going to MIT, and for him I think that IS the right path to choose.
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