Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
mlebuf
Posts: 1915
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by mlebuf » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:37 pm

Some emprical research may provide some answers to the question. The study is over
20 years old but likely still valid.

http://www.newsweek.com/worthless-ivy-league-167702
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

Maverick3320
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 2:59 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by Maverick3320 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:45 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:59 am
rhornback wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:03 pm
The best U.S. school for business based on ROI. is...

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This is largely because the school is $19,700 a year but paying $55,700 a year in wages.

Not what one would expect, is it?

Completing the top 10 are:

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Western Michigan University
SUNY Maritime College
Iowa State University
The California Maritime Academy
University of Wyoming
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Purdue University-Main Campus
Louisiana Tech University
The fact that there are three maritime academies on such a short list makes me question the usefulness of the analysis.
The maritime academies generally offer a lot of financial support to students (lower cost) and produce a high proportion of engineers. Engineers tend to make higher than average salaries (higher returns).

Makes sense to me.

livesoft
Posts: 69577
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:47 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:32 pm
I'm curious. What did you find flawed about it?
As usual for the NYTimes, he concentrated mostly on a few select colleges ("No wonder, then, that in a group of 38 selective colleges, including five in the Ivy League, ....") and not the colleges and universities which the vast majority of students attend. The readers' comments call him on this, too.

Perhaps the playing field for state flagship universities is already level?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:53 pm

Maverick3320 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:45 pm

The maritime academies generally offer a lot of financial support to students (lower cost) and produce a high proportion of engineers. Engineers tend to make higher than average salaries (higher returns).

Makes sense to me.
It might make sense for engineering but it is a short list of the "Best U.S. Schools for Business", not engineering. The business programs at maritime academies are specific to the maritime sector. The schools are relatively small and the number of business majors at them is even smaller. For all I know, those graduates make a ton of money, but I still question the general usefulness of an analysis that produces such results.

EddyB
Posts: 1132
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by EddyB » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:46 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:30 am
Heck, people have argued, although I won't, that some of the Ivies don't really belong in the Ivy League.
I've only ever heard that said of one, and never by hockey fans.

mervinj7
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by mervinj7 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:44 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:21 am
If your parents make say $100-150k pa in Middle America, then you are likely to get relatively little aid at Stanford? You are not a wealthy legacy admit, nor on some super athletic or academic scholarship? So you will wind up with $200k of debt from undergrad?
No need to make up numbers, there are handy calculators online. If your family makes $150k, your cost per year is $19.6K at Harvard. If you make $100k/year, the net cost is $9.6k/year. By the way, that includes tuition, fees, room, board, estimated expenses for books, and travel home. Closer to $200k/year in family income, aid starts to drop off rapidly but there's still some all the way up to $260k/year. I've never met anyone with $200k in debt from Harvard undergrad but I suppose its possible if you can find the right combination of thrifty parents with overachieving kids.

https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 9742
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:51 pm

mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:44 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:21 am
If your parents make say $100-150k pa in Middle America, then you are likely to get relatively little aid at Stanford? You are not a wealthy legacy admit, nor on some super athletic or academic scholarship? So you will wind up with $200k of debt from undergrad?
No need to make up numbers, there are handy calculators online. If your family makes $150k, your cost per year is $19.6K at Harvard. If you make $100k/year, the net cost is $9.6k/year. By the way, that includes tuition, fees, room, board, estimated expenses for books, and travel home. Closer to $200k/year in family income, aid starts to drop off rapidly but there's still some all the way up to $260k/year. I've never met anyone with $200k in debt from Harvard undergrad but I suppose its possible if you can find the right combination of thrifty parents with overachieving kids.

https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator
I’ve heard of some parents who take out some loans, something like people here who take out mortgages even though they have the cash for a home. I don’t know ANYONE at Yale, with which I’m familiar, who has anything like $200k in legit loans. I think the median loan amount, for families that have loans, is less than $10k.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

golfCaddy
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:44 pm

mlebuf wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:37 pm
Some emprical research may provide some answers to the question. The study is over
20 years old but likely still valid.

http://www.newsweek.com/worthless-ivy-league-167702
That's the original Dale-Krueger study. They did an updated study in 2011, which found you did just as well going to the non-prestigious school, as long as you applied to prestigious colleges, regardless of whether they accepted or rejected you.

PhilosophyAndrew
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:06 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:45 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:46 am
The flawed recently published NYTimes op-ed piece by Harold Levy with Peg Tyre How to Level the College Play Field is closely related to the subject of this discussion. The Readers' comments are a trove of information, too.
Livesoft, I was going to cite this article as relevant to some aspects of this discussion and was pleased to see that you posted about it. No newspaper op/ed about topics as complex as this are without flaws, but I found many of Levy’s arguments helpful.

What do you perceive as the main flaws of the piece? Its author is one of my mentors, and he has inspired me greatly in my career in higher education (in faculty roles, administrative roles, and leadership roles). I’ve discussed these issues with him extensively over the past 20 years.

My sense is that Levy is right to criticize (among other things) overly-complex admissions processes, legacy preferences, visitation preferences, and early decision policies as significant barriers to access to the elite levels of higher education for academically talented high school kids who are among the least advantaged socioeconomically.

Yesterday’s piece in the Times perhaps highlights a conflict between two sets of obligations the most advantaged possess, namely obligations to help their children succeed in higher education and obligations to support efforts to end injustice in higher education admissions. He didn’t say so directly, but I believe that Levy would agree with me that it would be supererogatory to ask wealthy parents not to help their children by, say, choosing not to use legacy connectionss. This is why he calls for policy and tax law changes to try end the situation that has generated the conflict between obligations.

I think the biggest limitation in Levy’s advocacy is his focus on the elite institutions we are discussing in this thread. To return to the main focus of this thread, I I believe he would justify this narrow focus precisely by citing the immense value attending those institutions can have for talented, motivated kids (benefits that Levy enjoyed, and myself too).

On a personal level, I’m devastated that my friend is confronting as cruel a death as that from ALS. I’m proud, however, that he is continuing his advocacy work as long as he is able to do so.

Andy.

livesoft
Posts: 69577
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:56 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:45 pm
livesoft wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:46 am
The flawed recently published NYTimes op-ed piece by Harold Levy with Peg Tyre How to Level the College Play Field is closely related to the subject of this discussion. The Readers' comments are a trove of information, too.
Livesoft, I was going to cite this article as relevant to some aspects of this discussion and was pleased to see that you posted about it. No newspaper op/ed about topics as complex as this are without flaws, but I found many of Levy’s arguments helpful.

What do you perceive as the main flaws of the piece? Its author is one of my mentors, and he has inspired me greatly in my career in higher education (in faculty roles, administrative roles, and leadership roles). I’ve discussed these issues with him extensively over the past 20 years.

My sense is that Levy is right to criticize (among other things) overly-complex admissions processes, legacy preferences, visitation preferences, and early decision policies as significant barriers to access to the elite levels of higher education for academically talented high school kids who are among the least advantaged socioeconomically.

Yesterday’s piece in the Times perhaps highlights a conflict between two sets of obligations the most advantaged possess, namely obligations to help their children succeed in higher education and obligations to support efforts to end injustice in higher education admissions. He didn’t say so directly, but I believe that Levy would agree with me that it would be supererogatory to ask wealthy parents not to help their children by, say, choosing not to use legacy connectionss. This is why he calls for policy and tax law changes to try end the situation that has generated the conflict between obligations.
The flaws are given in the Readers' comments to the piece. One thing that was pointed out was that Levy graduated from Cornell, but so did his child which doesn't look good for his legacy comments.

But for me the main flaw is that writing about a few private elite universities is not going to change things very much at all. He could have written about state flagship universities instead. I think many more less advantaged students will attend state flagship universities than will ever attend the universities he wrote about. It was a shame he did not mention the SUNY's, Rutgers, and UConn which are all around him and serve more than the private elite colleges he wrote about.

Plus by sticking to the elite colleges of New England for the most part, Levy contributes to the myth that they are much better than other universities which one can argue about.

And here in Texas, something was done already: The University of Texas in Austin has at least one admission criteria based on high school class rank. This puts some advantaged students of competitive high schools with great grades from being accepted while less-advantaged students from poorly funded high schools who are still in the top 7% of their graduating class will get accepted.

So once again, I think the flaw is that Levy is living in a New York elite bubble suitable for readers of the New York Times.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

PhilosophyAndrew
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:06 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:13 pm

Livesoft, those are valid concerns about Levy’s work and arguments.

However, to say, rightly, that he does not address the entire problem does not mean that his critique of admissons at elite institutions of higher education is incorrect — he chose to focus on that small part of higher education (as head of the Jack Kent Cooke foundation that focuses on that sector), and he would be the first to admit there is much work to be done elsewhere. So, I view this more as a delimitation of his advocacy work than as a flaw in his analysis of injustice in admissions at elite institutions.

As Levy discusses in the article, it is extremely difficult for the most advantaged not to transmit their privilege to their children. And this is related to my point about supererogation — we can’t expect parents to voluntarily give up advantages for their children, and can’t use that vain hope as a strategy for fighting injustice in admissions. This is why Levy calls for specific policy and process changes in higher education. This also means that ad hominem attacks about Levy’s children attending elite institutions miss the point — I saw those reader comments, but they seem merely polemical because they aren’t responsive to his actual arguments.

Andy.

staythecourse
Posts: 6993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by staythecourse » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:16 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:43 pm
I'm really wondering about this...I was a 4.3 GPA, 2350 SAT Asian kid that got shut out from all Ivys. It's not easy to get into. Did I overlook something?
Yes you overlooked you are asian. I don't think it is untrue to say there is a reverse discrimination for asians (including indian subcontinent) when it comes to college admissions at the highest level (Ivy, stanford, MIT, and the like). Not sure if discussed already there was a Harvard alum (asian) who recently sued Harvard for its undergrad policies. His point was the opaqueness of the admission process and them not being accountable of discriminating against asians. Pretty sure Harvard did admit they intentionally limit the number of asians they accept as the process of getting a diverse student body each year. In the end, it is NO surprise if you are asian you chance of getting in is even harder then the nonasian next applicant.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

User avatar
triceratop
Posts: 5838
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by triceratop » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:19 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:16 pm
fantasytensai wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:43 pm
I'm really wondering about this...I was a 4.3 GPA, 2350 SAT Asian kid that got shut out from all Ivys. It's not easy to get into. Did I overlook something?
Yes you overlooked you are asian. I don't think it is untrue to say there is a reverse discrimination for asians (including indian subcontinent) when it comes to college admissions at the highest level (Ivy, stanford, MIT, and the like). Not sure if discussed already there was a Harvard alum (asian) who recently sued Harvard for its undergrad policies. His point was the opaqueness of the admission process and them not being accountable of discriminating against asians. Pretty sure Harvard did admit they intentionally limit the number of asians they accept as the process of getting a diverse student body each year. In the end, it is NO surprise if you are asian you chance of getting in is even harder then the nonasian next applicant.

Good luck.
One exception: Caltech is proudly and famously race-blind. You can see it on campus, too. :wink:
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

golfCaddy
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:24 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:33 pm
No kid yet, but seriously thinking about it. To be honest my wife has a phobia for child birth, and we may seriously consider adopting a white baby...this is one of the reasons.
If you want to adopt to maximize college admissions, you should adopt a black or Hispanic kid.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 9742
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:25 pm

livesoft wrote:One thing that was pointed out was that Levy graduated from Cornell, but so did his child which doesn't look good for his legacy comments.
To quote my son, when he was applying, “Dad, I know you hate legacy advantage, but let’s see what you say when it’s your grandchild applying.”

Um, he’s got a point.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

infotrader
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:39 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by infotrader » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:28 pm

desafinado wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:22 am
My sibling and I are recent graduates (within the last 5 years) of two different ivy league schools.

We had a tremendous set of opportunities available to us. Here are some that we took advantage of:
- Learning new foreign languages and traveling to Africa & South America to use them.
- 2 years of research with advice from top professors in their fields.
- Opportunities to try internships in different fields and industries across the country. Between us, we did internships in Boston, New York, SF, Seattle, rural Alaska, and Appalachia.
- New and challenging coursework from day 1. No remedial calculus or english composition.
- A group of high performing peers across different industries.
- Access to recruiting opportunities that aren't available at other schools (e.g. hedge funds like D. E. Shaw)
I am on the same boat, and my son happened to get an offer from DE Shaw too and he did his starting from his sophomore years in Boston, NYC, and SF without much efforts.
Some companies recruit almost exclusively from Ivy schools.

golfCaddy
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:30 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:13 pm
This also means that ad hominem attacks about Levy’s children attending elite institutions miss the point — I saw those reader comments, but they seem merely polemical because they aren’t responsive to his actual arguments.

Andy.
It's not just an ad hominem attack. It's hypocritical for him to have allowed his kids to apply to his alma mater.

infotrader
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:39 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by infotrader » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:32 pm

mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:44 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:21 am
If your parents make say $100-150k pa in Middle America, then you are likely to get relatively little aid at Stanford? You are not a wealthy legacy admit, nor on some super athletic or academic scholarship? So you will wind up with $200k of debt from undergrad?
No need to make up numbers, there are handy calculators online. If your family makes $150k, your cost per year is $19.6K at Harvard. If you make $100k/year, the net cost is $9.6k/year. By the way, that includes tuition, fees, room, board, estimated expenses for books, and travel home. Closer to $200k/year in family income, aid starts to drop off rapidly but there's still some all the way up to $260k/year. I've never met anyone with $200k in debt from Harvard undergrad but I suppose its possible if you can find the right combination of thrifty parents with overachieving kids.

https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator
You are right. For most people, it is actually cheaper to go to certain Ivy schools than state colleges.

PhilosophyAndrew
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:06 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:39 pm

GolfCaddy, if asking individual wealthy parents to voluntarily harm their childrens’ interests would be supererogatory, then there is no hypocrisy. Levy discusses this when he describes transmission of privilege across generations.

Levy is not saying that the children of the wealthy should not attend elite schools. If his children were well-qualified, why shouldn’t they apply where they wish?

He is calling for specific policy, process, and legal changes, for example ending early decision programs and legacy and campus visitation preferences. There’s no contradiction in holding those views and his childrens’ college choices — this is why I see that critique as merely ad hominem.

Andy.
Last edited by PhilosophyAndrew on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
triceratop
Posts: 5838
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by triceratop » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:43 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:30 pm
PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:13 pm
This also means that ad hominem attacks about Levy’s children attending elite institutions miss the point — I saw those reader comments, but they seem merely polemical because they aren’t responsive to his actual arguments.

Andy.
It's not just an ad hominem attack. It's hypocritical for him to have allowed his kids to apply to his alma mater.
Apart from the fact it is most certainly an ad hominem attack, since when did kids need their permission to apply to a university? I certainly do not recall such a sign-off.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

qwertyjazz
Posts: 1132
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by qwertyjazz » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:43 pm

rhornback wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:03 pm
I live in an affluent area with many doctors, lawyers; movers and shakers. Many of their kids are going to ivy league level schools. Understandably their parents are very proud. My son on the other hand is an average student. So maybe I have an axe to grind. But regardless it is an interesting question: when is an Ivy school education worth it? Here is an analysis I did a year or two ago.

A few caveats. If your kids is brilliant and can get merit scholarships than it really does not matter. However, the competition for merit scholarships keeps getting greater while their availability, at least from public, state universities has been going down.

http://time.com/money/best-colleges/rankings/results

I have been playing around with money magazine's recent ranking tool. It is interesting because it provides not just the cost of the college but also the 'early career earnings'. These two numbers allow you to do a ROI of the education: ie what I am going to pay vs what I can expect from future earnings for this payment.

This is something I think parents rarely do. My experience in talking with most parents in the area where I live is they do not do ROI on their children's education. Instead they base the school choice on prestige, where their kid wants to go, or some other heuristic methodologies.

The first analysis I did was regardless of degree offered. This includes the early career earnings for all students at the school.
Based strictly on early career earnings the best school is California Institute of Technology with an early career earnings of $79,800 a year. However, California is a very expensive place to live and price of this education without financial aid is $67,000 or $268,000 assuming you graduate in 4 years.

Moving down the list a few items (strictly based on starting salary) is SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY with an early career earnings of $68,200 a year but a cost of $25,700 per year or for a total of $102,800.

So my point is strictly based on ROI based on early career earnings would be going to SUNY Maritime College is a better financial choice. If we add in cost of living (which I did not do for this analysis) I suspect the ROI numbers are even more compelling.

Next I did this analysis for business schools as my son is wanting to pursue a business degree. I am assuming the early earnings * the first 10 years. My experience is that after the first 10 years salary differences for business degrees tend to flatten out.

The best U.S. school for business based on ROI. is...

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This is largely because the school is $19,700 a year but paying $55,700 a year in wages.

Not what one would expect, is it?

Completing the top 10 are:

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Western Michigan University
SUNY Maritime College
Iowa State University
The California Maritime Academy
University of Wyoming
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Purdue University-Main Campus
Louisiana Tech University

The median salary for a business major in my analysis is about $46K. There are a large number of business college graduates making in the $45-55K.

So the bottom line is on average (yes I know there are exceptions) spending a lot to get a business degree unless you are going to a top 20 school, is probably not a wise investment. And even with the top 20 schools, you will need to pursue a job at Wall Street, California tech company (Google, Facebook), Consulting Firm (McKinsey, Ernst & Young, Deloitte), or startup to really recoup the costs of your education.

Now some more food for thought specific to where I live in Illinois.

The average early salary for business school graduates from the University of Illinois is $57,700 while University of Chicago has an average early salary of $3K less at $54,700. Yet University of Illinois is $31,400 per year while University of Chicago is $74,000.

University of Chicago is considered one of the 'best' schools in Illinois.
Funny your use of University of Chicago. There are those who fail on go on to politics who run Fortune 500 companies but you are not successful unless you study cuneiform and write a book that only 7 people in the world could possibly understand
G.E. Box "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

livesoft
Posts: 69577
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:45 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:39 pm
Levy is not saying that the children of the wealthy should not attend elite schools. If his children were well-qualified, why shouldn’t they apply where they wish?
We don't know if Levy's child did apply elsewhere and either was not admitted or perhaps chose not to attend. He might have said something in his article to head off readers' comments. He can still have the NYTimes add a comment.

FWIW, my daughter applied to her parents' alma mater and was not admitted which was shocking to her parents. But she was admitted to higher ranked universities and graduated from one of them. :)
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

golfCaddy
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:53 pm

triceratop wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:43 pm
since when did kids need their permission to apply to a university? I certainly do not recall such a sign-off.
Anybody can apply, but in reality, it's almost impossible to attend the college of your choice without parental consent. If a student's family income and assets means their net price is above what's available through federal direct student loans, the parents have to agree to pay the cost or at least be willing to cosign on additional loans.

larsm
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:04 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by larsm » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:19 pm

rhornback wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:03 pm
I live in an affluent area with many doctors, lawyers; movers and shakers. Many of their kids are going to ivy league level schools. Understandably their parents are very proud. My son on the other hand is an average student. So maybe I have an axe to grind. But regardless it is an interesting question: when is an Ivy school education worth it? Here is an analysis I did a year or two ago.

A few caveats. If your kids is brilliant and can get merit scholarships than it really does not matter. However, the competition for merit scholarships keeps getting greater while their availability, at least from public, state universities has been going down.

http://time.com/money/best-colleges/rankings/results

I have been playing around with money magazine's recent ranking tool. It is interesting because it provides not just the cost of the college but also the 'early career earnings'. These two numbers allow you to do a ROI of the education: ie what I am going to pay vs what I can expect from future earnings for this payment.

This is something I think parents rarely do. My experience in talking with most parents in the area where I live is they do not do ROI on their children's education. Instead they base the school choice on prestige, where their kid wants to go, or some other heuristic methodologies.

The first analysis I did was regardless of degree offered. This includes the early career earnings for all students at the school.
Based strictly on early career earnings the best school is California Institute of Technology with an early career earnings of $79,800 a year. However, California is a very expensive place to live and price of this education without financial aid is $67,000 or $268,000 assuming you graduate in 4 years.

Moving down the list a few items (strictly based on starting salary) is SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY with an early career earnings of $68,200 a year but a cost of $25,700 per year or for a total of $102,800.

So my point is strictly based on ROI based on early career earnings would be going to SUNY Maritime College is a better financial choice. If we add in cost of living (which I did not do for this analysis) I suspect the ROI numbers are even more compelling.

Next I did this analysis for business schools as my son is wanting to pursue a business degree. I am assuming the early earnings * the first 10 years. My experience is that after the first 10 years salary differences for business degrees tend to flatten out.

The best U.S. school for business based on ROI. is...

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This is largely because the school is $19,700 a year but paying $55,700 a year in wages.

Not what one would expect, is it?

Completing the top 10 are:

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Western Michigan University
SUNY Maritime College
Iowa State University
The California Maritime Academy
University of Wyoming
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Purdue University-Main Campus
Louisiana Tech University

The median salary for a business major in my analysis is about $46K. There are a large number of business college graduates making in the $45-55K.

So the bottom line is on average (yes I know there are exceptions) spending a lot to get a business degree unless you are going to a top 20 school, is probably not a wise investment. And even with the top 20 schools, you will need to pursue a job at Wall Street, California tech company (Google, Facebook), Consulting Firm (McKinsey, Ernst & Young, Deloitte), or startup to really recoup the costs of your education.

Now some more food for thought specific to where I live in Illinois.

The average early salary for business school graduates from the University of Illinois is $57,700 while University of Chicago has an average early salary of $3K less at $54,700. Yet University of Illinois is $31,400 per year while University of Chicago is $74,000.

University of Chicago is considered one of the 'best' schools in Illinois.

Your numbers are WRONG.


The medium starting salary at Booth Business School (UofC MBA program) in 2017 was $125,000 with a low of $65,000 and a high of $225,000. In addition, there was on average an additional $25,000 signing bonus.

For the record, I have my MBA from Chicago and it is preposterous to compare it to an MBA from the University of Illinois.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:34 pm

larsm wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:19 pm

Your numbers are WRONG.


The medium starting salary at Booth Business School (UofC MBA program) in 2017 was $125,000 with a low of $65,000 and a high of $225,000. In addition, there was on average an additional $25,000 signing bonus.

For the record, I have my MBA from Chicago and it is preposterous to compare it to an MBA from the University of Illinois.
His figures look like they are for the undergraduate business schools, not the MBA programs, and that is what he was talking about, undergraduate programs.

harrychan
Posts: 1610
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by harrychan » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm

To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Topic Author
rhornback
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:59 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by rhornback » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:32 pm

larsm wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:19 pm
Your numbers are WRONG.


The medium starting salary at Booth Business School (UofC MBA program) in 2017 was $125,000 with a low of $65,000 and a high of $225,000. In addition, there was on average an additional $25,000 signing bonus.

For the record, I have my MBA from Chicago and it is preposterous to compare it to an MBA from the University of Illinois.
I was evaluating undergrad not graduate degree. Grad degree is a more difficult evaluation IMO because many of the grad students have significant work experience before getting their MBA.

Topic Author
rhornback
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:59 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by rhornback » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:34 pm

harrychan wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm
To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
I wholheartedly agree with this. One of the columnists I really like Thomas Sowell is very critical about affirmative action. He basically says that in some cases students are put into schools they are not ready for and end up dropping out. But these are smart kids and at a different school they probably could have succeeded.

User avatar
UpsetRaptor
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:15 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by UpsetRaptor » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:34 pm

It's worth noting that the vast majority of the literature outside of the Dale-Krueger studies have found a positive ROI for college selectivity (Long 2005, Scott-Clayton 2016, many more), even after controlling for socioeconomic background, major, test scores, etc.

Dale-Krueger say those other studies are missing something - a students' ambition, which they claim can be measured in an indirect way, and after controlling for that the ROI advantage of college selectivity disappears. It's been disputed and I've analyzed the study and I'm skeptical of it (their indirect ambition measurement looks like just another socioeconomic factor), and I say that as a State U grad, who's currently saving for my own kids' college and wants to believe otherwise.

Leesbro63
Posts: 6083
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:38 am

harrychan wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm
To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
I have a family member who recently graduated from an ivy. His comment is the opposite of this. That getting in is way harder than staying in. And that there are a lot of “not brilliant/very average” students there (legacies, athletes) who will graduate with at least average grades as long as they aren’t academic slackers. And that when applying for jobs or grad school after, the average grades aren’t much of an issue; being a <fill in the Ivy> grad is the big thing.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 9742
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:09 am

Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:38 am
harrychan wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm
To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
I have a family member who recently graduated from an ivy. His comment is the opposite of this. That getting in is way harder than staying in. And that there are a lot of “not brilliant/very average” students there (legacies, athletes) who will graduate with at least average grades as long as they aren’t academic slackers. And that when applying for jobs or grad school after, the average grades aren’t much of an issue; being a <fill in the Ivy> grad is the big thing.
This doesn't jibe with my experience, at least as far as "very average" goes, but everyone is entitled to their view. As for grades, the old joke was that "the only "A" that matters is the one between the "Y" and the "LE."
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

tmcc
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:38 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by tmcc » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:25 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:09 am
Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:38 am
harrychan wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm
To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
I have a family member who recently graduated from an ivy. His comment is the opposite of this. That getting in is way harder than staying in. And that there are a lot of “not brilliant/very average” students there (legacies, athletes) who will graduate with at least average grades as long as they aren’t academic slackers. And that when applying for jobs or grad school after, the average grades aren’t much of an issue; being a <fill in the Ivy> grad is the big thing.
This doesn't jibe with my experience, at least as far as "very average" goes, but everyone is entitled to their view. As for grades, the old joke was that "the only "A" that matters is the one between the "Y" and the "LE."
absolutely. does anyone here really think the quality of the degree from harvard is that much better than a well regarded public school? do they know the american civil war that much better? is the curriculum that much more rigorous? its not. it is 100% scarcity, branding and differentiation. these are wildly important for landing early career prime jobs that will actually allow for growth in compensation which are the key for accumulation of wealth.

someone with major, raw ability from an average school may catch up with ivy league in present value terms for a given year but it is going to take a while and the early career gap is a magnificent difference to overcome amongst w2 earners.

Valuethinker
Posts: 39212
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:40 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:09 am
Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:38 am
harrychan wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm
To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
I have a family member who recently graduated from an ivy. His comment is the opposite of this. That getting in is way harder than staying in. And that there are a lot of “not brilliant/very average” students there (legacies, athletes) who will graduate with at least average grades as long as they aren’t academic slackers. And that when applying for jobs or grad school after, the average grades aren’t much of an issue; being a <fill in the Ivy> grad is the big thing.
This doesn't jibe with my experience, at least as far as "very average" goes, but everyone is entitled to their view. As for grades, the old joke was that "the only "A" that matters is the one between the "Y" and the "LE."
I had a friend who was valedictorian of his class at one of the top 3 Ivys (let's leave it at that ;-)).

His view, and this was about 30 years ago now, was that there was a lot of grade inflation. I remember being struck by that observation from someone who was amazing in his field (but quite generally well read and knowledgeable) so I wrote it down at the time.

Grade inflation seems universal to American universities, from a British perspective (and it is now endemic in UK universities, which it was not say 25 years ago).

However my general impression is that it is worse in private colleges. They have a student body and parents/ alumni to keep happy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Ma ... ive_action

mervinj7
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by mervinj7 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:38 am

HomerJ wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:29 pm
desafinado wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:38 pm
The second year I did work with the professor directly. At the time, I was the only undergraduate in the research group. A 2:1 student:faculty ratio makes that possible.
Yes, that's my point.

I wasn't calling you a liar. I was making the point that not EVERY person who goes to an Ivy league gets to spend time with top-notch professors doing research.

In fact, very few do. You were the ONLY undergrad in that research group.

There's only so many hours in a week. The professor can only mentor so many people, and post-graduate students are first in line over undergraduates.

But people always bring up "research with 'top of their field' professors" as a reason to go Ivy League, but someone's chances (as a very smart person) is actually SMALLER in an Ivy League than at State U to do real research as a undergrad with a professor.

Because there's more competition. Instead of 5 super-smart people in a class of 20, there's 20 super-smart people in a class of 20.
I'm not the person you were responding to but here's my experience. I started research with a professor in my sophomore year and continued for two more years. We met 15-30 minutes a week early on and up to 1-2 hours a week by my senior year. I was fortunate enough to have two advisers for my senior thesis and stayed in contact with them for many years. My wife (who I met at school) also had a similar experience with her advisers and eventually worked for one of them after a brief stint as a consultant. They were a tremendous help to both of us when we were applying to PhD programs several years after graduation.

Obviously, the two of us of were more research-oriented than most other students but that being said almost all of my friends also wrote senior theses. All of them were advised by professors in their respective fields. And yes, it is a time commitment for these professors but most will not advise more than 2-3 undergrads in a given year. There are about 1700 graduating seniors each year and 2400 professors, so the numbers work out fine. Hope that clears up your concerns.

User avatar
eye.surgeon
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:19 pm
Location: California

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by eye.surgeon » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:48 am

My experience as a Physician is that the cost of your education is inversely proportional to income. The Ivy league schools produce a disproportionate amount of academics that make less than private practice, and the bottom tier private schools and foreign schools are for-profit and cost a lot and their graduates are relegated to lower income specialties in rural/poor counties. They people from State U make the most.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:03 am

rhornback wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:34 pm
harrychan wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:41 pm
To OP,

If your child is an avg student in HS, the likihood of them succeeding in an Ivy is extremely slim. Very rarely will one suddenly turn on a switch and start improving their study habits in upper education. It is much better for someone to enroll in the school that is their level where they can succeed than to struggle and possibly fail at an elite school.
I wholheartedly agree with this. One of the columnists I really like Thomas Sowell is very critical about affirmative action. He basically says that in some cases students are put into schools they are not ready for and end up dropping out. But these are smart kids and at a different school they probably could have succeeded.
This is not really borne out by the evidence. Although no study is perfect, it appears that in terms of graduation rates it is to the student's advantage to attend the most selective school that will admit them.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/are- ... ve-action/

See also:

https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/. ... -21-16.pdf

The Brookings article does note (and critiques) a study that found otherwise, but it was primarily conducted within a single state school system (University of California). From a standpoint of graduation rates, the biggest advantage of the most selective schools are the amount of resources available to counsel and keep a student who may be struggling. I doubt Berkely, as good a school as it may be, has quite the same availability as Princeton (for example), simply due to the much higher amount spent per student at the later institution.

Despite AA, the most selective schools don't really admit anyone who isn't academically prepared- they don't need to. Harvard could fill its class with nothing but perfect SAT scorers if they so choose. I note that I'm not debating the merits of AA (which is verboten on this forum), but simply saying that for an individual candidate choosing a school, it does not make sense to go to a less selective school for fear of being "outclassed" at the best institution that admitted them.

RollTide31457
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:06 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by RollTide31457 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:16 am

Wouldn’t even consider a school that is not competitive in the BCS.

User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 9742
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:45 am

Harvard could fill its class with nothing but perfect SAT scorers if they so choose.
I don’t disagree with your larger point, but I find this factoid interesting: there are generally between 300 and 600 perfect SAT scores annually, of the roughly 1.7 million students who take the test (some more than once).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

jodydavis
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by jodydavis » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:36 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:09 am
Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:38 am
I have a family member who recently graduated from an ivy. His comment is the opposite of this. That getting in is way harder than staying in. And that there are a lot of “not brilliant/very average” students there (legacies, athletes) who will graduate with at least average grades as long as they aren’t academic slackers. And that when applying for jobs or grad school after, the average grades aren’t much of an issue; being a <fill in the Ivy> grad is the big thing.
This doesn't jibe with my experience, at least as far as "very average" goes, but everyone is entitled to their view. As for grades, the old joke was that "the only "A" that matters is the one between the "Y" and the "LE."
Grade inflation is a real phenomenon at some of the top schools. See, e.g., http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/ ... on-mode-a/

"The median grade at Harvard College is an A-, and the most frequently awarded mark is an A, Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris said on Tuesday afternoon."

My experience at another "peer institution" is that they aren't all that different in terms of grade inflation (aside from more notoriously stricter schools like Chicago, Cal-Tech, or MIT). This tends to support the view that, at least for many of the Ivies, it's far harder to get in than to stay in or do well once there.

ks289
Posts: 642
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by ks289 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:55 pm

jodydavis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:36 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:09 am
Leesbro63 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:38 am
I have a family member who recently graduated from an ivy. His comment is the opposite of this. That getting in is way harder than staying in. And that there are a lot of “not brilliant/very average” students there (legacies, athletes) who will graduate with at least average grades as long as they aren’t academic slackers. And that when applying for jobs or grad school after, the average grades aren’t much of an issue; being a <fill in the Ivy> grad is the big thing.
This doesn't jibe with my experience, at least as far as "very average" goes, but everyone is entitled to their view. As for grades, the old joke was that "the only "A" that matters is the one between the "Y" and the "LE."
Grade inflation is a real phenomenon at some of the top schools. See, e.g., http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/ ... on-mode-a/

"The median grade at Harvard College is an A-, and the most frequently awarded mark is an A, Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris said on Tuesday afternoon."

My experience at another "peer institution" is that they aren't all that different in terms of grade inflation (aside from more notoriously stricter schools like Chicago, Cal-Tech, or MIT). This tends to support the view that, at least for many of the Ivies, it's far harder to get in than to stay in or do well once there.
Agree. Graduation rates are extremely high. Grade inflation is very prevalent at some private schools like Harvard and Brown and is less prevalent at state schools, although certain disciplines within the institution may grade more rigorously. This phenomenon may not be widely known among the general population or employers (or Malcolm Gladwell), which certainly can be helpful to those graduates and make the top schools even more attractive.
Last edited by ks289 on Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PhilosophyAndrew
Posts: 642
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:06 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:22 pm

How can you tell from the distribution of grades whether any specific distribution constitutes grade inflation (and, if so, how much has occurred)? To determine this, you bed to need to consider the degree of alignment between the grades and student learning.

My experience at an elite liberal arts college was that nearly all of my peers were extremely smart and hard working. Grades there clustered around high end of the range as you would expect when highly talented people apply themselves conscientiously. There were a few ‘slackers’ who didn’t perform at a high level, and, in the cases I knew about personally, their grades suffered — they did well enough to earn the proverbial Gentleman’s C, but no better. There were just a few who performed at that level.

My experience at an elite public university in a doctoral program was the those who couldn’t consistently earn As in their graduate coursework washed out of the program in a term or two — the faculty expected students to perform at a high level, and those who made it through the program met that expectation.

As a professor, I have always sought to mark each piece of student work accurately without concern for the distribution of grades in a class, and as an Adminstrative and leader I have always expected faculty to do the same. I love it when many students perform highly and happily award them the high grades they deserve. Likewise, I’ll give low grades when they are merited — just his term every beginning graduate student in one of my classses failed the first assignment (but most are improving after applying my feedback).

There may be a few programs where mandating a normal distribution of grades makes sense, but that hasn’t been my experience in the disciplines within which I’ve taught.

To return to the original question of this thread; Studying in an environment where bright peers work hard to achieve sophisticated learning may bring with it signifcant advantages, and, if so, enjoying those advantages might be one of the benefits of attending an elite institution. Jumping in haste to allege grade inflation could cause one to pass over those benefits.

So, I would submit that grade distribution data alone is insufficient for identifying grade inflation — for evidence that, you need to look for cases of misalignment between grades awarded and student learning.

Andy.

jodydavis
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by jodydavis » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:44 pm

This is part of a much larger discussion that is not germane to the OP's question, re: what grades signify, how they are understood by others (particularly employers), are they meant to be relative or absolute measures of performance, how are they used across institutions, etc. I'll just suggest that your view is one of many potential views. Given that the median grade at Chicago is lower than the median grade at Harvard, does this mean that Chicago students have learned less than their Harvard peers? Since the median grade at Harvard has increased substantially over the past decade (literally, grade inflation), does this mean that current Harvard students have learned more than Harvard students of the past?

In any event, connecting this to the original poster's question, the high median grades at some of these institutions should not lead anyone to pass over the benefits of an elite institution. If anything, they should have exactly the opposite effect. :happy

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:19 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:45 am
Harvard could fill its class with nothing but perfect SAT scorers if they so choose.
I don’t disagree with your larger point, but I find this factoid interesting: there are generally between 300 and 600 perfect SAT scores annually, of the roughly 1.7 million students who take the test (some more than once).
Point taken, though I didn't mean that quite literally :D

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:22 pm

jodydavis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:44 pm


In any event, connecting this to the original poster's question, the high median grades at some of these institutions should not lead anyone to pass over the benefits of an elite institution. If anything, they should have exactly the opposite effect. :happy
Yes- it's worth noting that grade inflation can be to your immense benefit when applying to professional school. Law schools, for example, have a tendency to treat all GPAs the same regardless of institution or major. You are better off with a 4.0 in English than a 3.5 in Engineering, even if the latter is probably harder to obtain at most institutions and for most students.

User avatar
mlebuf
Posts: 1915
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by mlebuf » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:51 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:16 am
Wouldn’t even consider a school that is not competitive in the BCS.

+1
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:55 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:16 am
Wouldn’t even consider a school that is not competitive in the BCS.
The British Computer Society or are you referring to jobs at Barclays (ticker BCS)?

:wink:

tesuzuki2002
Posts: 873
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:03 pm

rhornback wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:03 pm
I live in an affluent area with many doctors, lawyers; movers and shakers. Many of their kids are going to ivy league level schools. Understandably their parents are very proud. My son on the other hand is an average student. So maybe I have an axe to grind. But regardless it is an interesting question: when is an Ivy school education worth it? Here is an analysis I did a year or two ago.

A few caveats. If your kids is brilliant and can get merit scholarships than it really does not matter. However, the competition for merit scholarships keeps getting greater while their availability, at least from public, state universities has been going down.

http://time.com/money/best-colleges/rankings/results

I have been playing around with money magazine's recent ranking tool. It is interesting because it provides not just the cost of the college but also the 'early career earnings'. These two numbers allow you to do a ROI of the education: ie what I am going to pay vs what I can expect from future earnings for this payment.

This is something I think parents rarely do. My experience in talking with most parents in the area where I live is they do not do ROI on their children's education. Instead they base the school choice on prestige, where their kid wants to go, or some other heuristic methodologies.

The first analysis I did was regardless of degree offered. This includes the early career earnings for all students at the school.
Based strictly on early career earnings the best school is California Institute of Technology with an early career earnings of $79,800 a year. However, California is a very expensive place to live and price of this education without financial aid is $67,000 or $268,000 assuming you graduate in 4 years.

Moving down the list a few items (strictly based on starting salary) is SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY with an early career earnings of $68,200 a year but a cost of $25,700 per year or for a total of $102,800.

So my point is strictly based on ROI based on early career earnings would be going to SUNY Maritime College is a better financial choice. If we add in cost of living (which I did not do for this analysis) I suspect the ROI numbers are even more compelling.

Next I did this analysis for business schools as my son is wanting to pursue a business degree. I am assuming the early earnings * the first 10 years. My experience is that after the first 10 years salary differences for business degrees tend to flatten out.

The best U.S. school for business based on ROI. is...

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This is largely because the school is $19,700 a year but paying $55,700 a year in wages.

Not what one would expect, is it?

Completing the top 10 are:

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Western Michigan University
SUNY Maritime College
Iowa State University
The California Maritime Academy
University of Wyoming
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Purdue University-Main Campus
Louisiana Tech University

The median salary for a business major in my analysis is about $46K. There are a large number of business college graduates making in the $45-55K.

So the bottom line is on average (yes I know there are exceptions) spending a lot to get a business degree unless you are going to a top 20 school, is probably not a wise investment. And even with the top 20 schools, you will need to pursue a job at Wall Street, California tech company (Google, Facebook), Consulting Firm (McKinsey, Ernst & Young, Deloitte), or startup to really recoup the costs of your education.

Now some more food for thought specific to where I live in Illinois.

The average early salary for business school graduates from the University of Illinois is $57,700 while University of Chicago has an average early salary of $3K less at $54,700. Yet University of Illinois is $31,400 per year while University of Chicago is $74,000.

University of Chicago is considered one of the 'best' schools in Illinois.

I went to a low budget state school... I'm a rocket scientist for a commercial space project. I'm doing just fine.

EddyB
Posts: 1132
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by EddyB » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:13 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:22 pm
jodydavis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:44 pm


In any event, connecting this to the original poster's question, the high median grades at some of these institutions should not lead anyone to pass over the benefits of an elite institution. If anything, they should have exactly the opposite effect. :happy
Yes- it's worth noting that grade inflation can be to your immense benefit when applying to professional school. Law schools, for example, have a tendency to treat all GPAs the same regardless of institution or major. You are better off with a 4.0 in English than a 3.5 in Engineering, even if the latter is probably harder to obtain at most institutions and for most students.
I have no idea if it’s still the case, but I recall that Berkeley affirmatively took the opposite approach, adjusting applicants’ grades to account for differences based on an applicant’s undergraduate school’s average GOA and LSAT (or something similar).

As I recall, many of the most prominent extremely-selective schools’ graduates saw their adjusted GPAs boosted by this treatment (for purposes of their application), perhaps suggesting that even such grade inflation as had occurred hadn’t been sufficient at those top schools to make their grades comparable to grades at less selective schools.

alfaspider
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:16 pm

EddyB wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:13 pm
alfaspider wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:22 pm
jodydavis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:44 pm


In any event, connecting this to the original poster's question, the high median grades at some of these institutions should not lead anyone to pass over the benefits of an elite institution. If anything, they should have exactly the opposite effect. :happy
Yes- it's worth noting that grade inflation can be to your immense benefit when applying to professional school. Law schools, for example, have a tendency to treat all GPAs the same regardless of institution or major. You are better off with a 4.0 in English than a 3.5 in Engineering, even if the latter is probably harder to obtain at most institutions and for most students.
I have no idea if it’s still the case, but I recall that Berkeley affirmatively took the opposite approach, adjusting applicants’ grades to account for differences based on an applicant’s undergraduate school’s average GOA and LSAT (or something similar).

As I recall, many of the most prominent extremely-selective schools’ graduates saw their adjusted GPAs boosted by this treatment (for purposes of their application), perhaps suggesting that even such grade inflation as had occurred hadn’t been sufficient at those top schools to make their grades comparable to grades at less selective schools.
Berkeley is a bit of a special case among the top law schools, as they've long emphasized GPA over LSAT scores.

afan
Posts: 4466
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Post by afan » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:06 pm

I suspect that the average Harvard student is smarter now than they were in the past. The influence of legacy and coming from the right high schools is much smaller, they get far more applicants and now try to build a class with less regard to socioeconomic class. So a larger share of the student body may get in on pure intellectual qualifications now than in the past.

I never bought that grade "inflation" was a thing. Simply showing that grades had increased over time does not control for the abilities of the students or the effort they put in. The gentleman's C of years ago existed because a large portion of the student body had no reason to care about their GPAs. That has not been the case for a long time. Very few students guaranteed a job in the family business, without any meaningful qualifications. Even fewer who do not need jobs at all.

I never saw a study that controlled for these factors, so I don't know whether it is any easier to get an A now than it was 30 or 100 years ago.

I do remember that there was such an uproar about the adjustment in grades that the UC law school had to stop admitting they did it. I don't know whether they now treat grades from all colleges the same, or they continue to make a mental adjustment without writing it down...

While I would agree that an engineering degree is more work than a BA in English-
1. I know plenty of engineers who would be in trouble if they had to get a degree in English. They are smart, but they do not write well and their thinking is too concrete for the field. Great for engineering, bad for literature majors.
2. A liberal arts degree may well be better preparation for law school anyway. Lots more reading. Lots of analysis that is not nearly so cut and dried as it is in engineering.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Locked