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KateTheGreat's avatar

Is going to an Ivy League school really worth it?

Asked by KateTheGreat (13635points) May 8th, 2011

I have the chance to transfer to a few of them next year, but I don’t know if it is actually worth the cost.

I currently live in South Carolina and I’d be leaving everyone I know by going to one of these colleges.

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21 Answers

josie's avatar

I figure if you want the classic Establishment career, like Wall Street lawyer or Johns Hopkins medical or if you want to be president, then you have to go Ivy League. Otherwise, not so sure.

creative1's avatar

They are more recognized when applying for jobs and depending on the college some have international recognition so your degree would be recognized if you were outside the country. As @josie said it depends on what type of degree you are going for and what you are looking to use it for.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, you should go. The connections, the networking, will last you a lifetime. Plus, the whole country recognizes Ivy League as being a good education (although I understand parts of the south don’t like to send their children there). Not to mention you will spend time in another part of the country, which I think is always a good thing (maybe you have already lived in various states?). The more experiences in life the better. I left the northeast and went to school in the midwest, and now I live in the midsouth. Even if you decide against Ivy League, I recommend going away to school, living in the dorms, getting the full college experience.

Sunny2's avatar

By all means go. Read up on the colleges because they are quite different. Going will be an education in itself! Be sure the one you choose has what you want. It may change your life. You can get together with your friends during vacations. Opportunity beckons!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie is so correct. Higher education is more about connections and experience than education. You can get the education from the www.

psssst… if you wear those special sexy long boots they might give you scholarship!

BarnacleBill's avatar

The connections are more than worth the money. Doors open for you that otherwise would not.

wundayatta's avatar

At least in terms of income, there’s supposed to be a study floating around out there that says your income is not significantly different if you go to an Ivy compared to others. However, as other people point out, the children of the well-heeled go there, and these are the people who will become the leaders of industry or government.

On the other hand, the Ivies all have different character. Harvard is the snootiest. Yale is very very smart, but look where it is? In the middle of a ghetto. How smart is that? Princeton probably is the smartest and has the most nobel prize laureates on campus and that’s where I’d go if I could.

Penn is kind of the party school of the ivies. You should see the girls all walking around looking like street walkers, going from party to party. The other night is was freezing and they were all out with no coats. Partying is more important than good sense there but you can get a very good education if you focus on education.But if you do come there, I’ll buy you a coffee at one of the decent coffee shops in town (not the Starbucks).

Columbia is smart in a different way. Urban smart. Cocksure intellectual smart. Political and cynical smart. Of course, it’s in the Big Apple. Dartmouth is the quiet Ivy. Out in the hinterlands of New Hampshire. I’m not sure what their deal is, really. I should know; I had a grandfather who went there.

Finally, there’s Cornell (and forgive me if I have left one or two out—oh yeah, Brown, the alma mater of the best social networking site anywhere—they’ve got to be good, although Providence?) But Cornell is the only ivy that is also a state school. Kind of the poor boy’s ivy. Even so, people have an attitude there. More conservatives who want to make big bucks. Or not even conservative, but they come from disadvantaged backgrounds so they want to get their degree and get out make money.

Ok. I admit it. I have a degree from Cornell. I know those people who sell out, personally. They are bland and insipid, I think. You wouldn’t like it if you went to the wrong program. But undergrad is probably ok. They didn’t much like me because I was more interested in ideas than work, and my salary has always been quite the anchor on their stats. So, fuck it. I don’t have a whole lot of fondness for them. The best thing about Ithaca was living out on the shore of the lake up in Lansing. I think that was my favorite location to live in, ever (although the house sucked).

Ok. More than you wanted to know, and all of it opinion, not fact. But you can trust me. Would I steer you wrong? Don’t answer that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Not to mention the drugs you’ll have access to will be top shelf.

The sons and daughters of dignitaries always get the best stuff.

TexasDude's avatar

Going to an Ivy League school is kind of like joining the Freemasons: you will meet people who will cover your ass under any circumstances forever just because you are one of them, even if you don’t know it.

tl;dr go for the connections. They alone would be worth it.

creative1's avatar

@wundayatta Providence is actually a very nice city to live in, we also have Waterfire during the sping summer and fall… so don’t knock it. If you love the arts RISD is Brown’s sister college and they share a campus… Brown and RISD students are able to take classes at the other schools if there is something that is offered during the school year that you want to take and its not offered at the other. Emma Watson choose to go to Brown and is currently attending there.

Neurotic_David's avatar

Even though others above me have written it, I’m going to repeat what they said in hopes it sinks in with you, @KatetheGreat

The friends and acquaintances you make, and the doors that will open for you as a result, will give you a very significant edge in the business world for the rest of your life. If you have any ideas about being a businesswoman, then an Ivy League education will give you the greatest chance for successes that most of us mere mortals will never have.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Thank you all for the advice. I believe I am leaning towards going to one of them. Now I have to figure out which one to pick. Ha.

mrrich724's avatar

You will get to experience what most others do not, and you will be able to rub elbows with connected people.

DO IT!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Do it, but only if you’re really going to make all the connections you can, and use the connections you make, and pursue a career really avidly afterwards. Otherwise, you’re just paying double the amount to get the same education you could have gotten at a good state school.

GracieT's avatar

I went to a state school, but if I could pick again I probably would go out of state, probably to an Ivy. Remember that if you do go but don’t like it you
can always transfer. I think
that if you don’t go you might forever be going “why didn’t I go…”

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Adding on to mine: If you don’t go to an Ivy League school, you can still make connections, and if you plan to stay in that region after you graduate, making connections with local people can be more beneficial than meeting the sons and daughters of Fortune 500 CEOs.

JLeslie's avatar

@KatetheGreat Visit at least three of them. The atmosphere of the campus/city will help you decide. Schools like Cornell feel like a real campus, which I happen to like, but coooold in the winter time. While Columbia you are in the middle of the city. But, I grew up living outside of NYC and DC, I am still in NYC quite often, so I was not curious about living in a big city.

JLeslie's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I would think the Ivy Leagues have very high percentages of out of state student body? Although, maybe you are right about many being from the region, the northeast?

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@JLeslie No, I mean… So say I got to school in Denver. Then making connections in Denver, when I’m planning to practice architecture after I graduate in Denver, and knowing the sons of all the guys who have actual architectural businesses in Denver can be waaay more helpful to me, personally, than knowing Ralph Lauren’s son or Steve Job’s son.

JLeslie's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Got it. I realize now I did not read your comment thoroughly enough and I misunderstood.

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