Value of Prestigious LACs & Ivies

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Value of Prestigious LACs & Ivies
By Anovice (Anovice) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:22 am: Edit

As I've been college shopping I've noticed that this board it very one sided regarding LACs and Ivies. For most undergraduates, excluding maybe pre-law, is the cost of this type of institution worth it in the long run? I've looked at a few schools with pricetags of $40,000 to $45,000 per year, and although I think they look great, I'm not sure if I can justify an extra $20,000 to $27,000 a year for, a name? a legacy? a "better education"? I come from a fairly wealthy family but only a handful of my relatives have gone to Ivies and the ones who didn't have all done equally as well.

With the exception of possibly your first job, do employers care if you've come from a top LAC? From what I've experienced, many top schools are not even known to much of the population... swarthmore, smith, haverford, bates, reed, grinnell? To most, these names mean nothing... a school like Clemson or VaTech means more. I will exclude the big ones like, harvard, yale, princeton, caltech, cornell, duke, upenn, mit --- because these are known so the value of the name may mean something... although I question even that.


I also question the type of person that this environment will create. I got the feeling at many of these schools that some kids were rich, careless, and there because their parents could afford it and the country club lifestyle, not because they wanted an education. (not the case for everyone, however) There was little diversity in terms of class, not race.

Personally, I think that college is not just training for a future career, but I think that it should also help you grow into a better person. I question the type of person I would become if I were surrounded by people all like myself. Although I have lived a privileged lifestyle, like going on vacation across the world and having a porsche as my first car, I feel the need to have diversity and sustain a value system.

I am by no means bashing top LACs and Ivies, but I am wondering why people think they are the end all answers to everyones problems.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:54 am: Edit

I think from your post that you have the answer you are looking for. It's about fit. There are rich and careless students at state schools as well. College is what you make of it.

By Taxguy (Taxguy) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 09:03 am: Edit

I maybe the wrong one to ask. Most studies show that sending a kid to a good public university will produce as much lifetime income as that of a well known, expensive private school. In addition, if one looks at those individuals that make the top ranks of CEOs in major corporations, public university graduates certainly hold their own.

Considering that the state university is one-third to one half the price, it is hard to argue for almost any private school. This becomes more apparant if you were to impute interest on the difference in tuition. For example, if one invests the $70,000 in saved tuition over 30 years, this could be easily 1 million alone. That could help kids out a lot! By the way, investing $70,000 at 7% over 4 years would be worth about 3 million!

However, I do believe, that a quality education should not be measured in economic success or cost. I really believe that the better private schools and especially the top LACs do provide a superior education in developing strong writing, reading, and logical reasoning. Do I have the statistics to show this? NO! This is my opinion.

I did attend two public universities and graduated from one of them. I have to say that I had a great life, at least so far. However, it was a hassle at these schools to get the courses that I needed, which is more of a problem today. If I didn't understand a topic, I had to take it upon myself to schedule an appointment with the professor for questions. However, I am one of those agressive folks that needs to understand everything that I read or seek the guidance to insure that I do.

Also, I have found that state universities had some very large classes, with some being televised. There was almost no personal attention until I got into my Junior and Senior year, and even then, some classes were large.

Moreover, the workload at the state universities were not quite as challenging as that of my friends who attended top private schools and LACS. Whether increased work builds skills, character or callouses, I can't tell.

Also, at the time,wnich is 35 years ago, state universities, for the most part, were tough graders. As one professor told me, " they have to make room for the community college transfers." The average grade at the time was a C, and only 10% got As. At the better private colleges such as Cornell and Columbia the average grade was a B and at least 20-25% of classes got As, according to my friends.

Moreover, the significant saving in tuition by attending a public university is severely diminished if the kids can't graduate in 4 years due to the lack of availability of the required courses.

Finally, I should note that I did have fun at the public universities that I went to. Fun is a very subjective personal thing. It certainly isn't limited to private colleges.

There are two threads that deal with the public vs. state university issue, ad nauseum. One is found here, and the other is in the "Parent's Forum."

Good luck

By Anovice (Anovice) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 09:09 am: Edit

This is the problem with my situation: I really see myself as a good fit at some of these schools that I seem to question. I like the schools but am not sure if I can justify the cost. The way it works for me with college cost is like this: parents give me a sum of money, if I spend it all on college, I have none left and in some cases will be in debt- if I go to a less expensive school, I have money left over for other expenses.

I have to deal with the question of happiness or money.

I was just wondering what others thought of it.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 09:23 am: Edit

Anovice, prestigious and exclusive are not limited merely to LACs and Ivy League/private research universities. There are several very prestigious and exclusive state universities. Obviously it is impossible to compare research universities to LACs. LACs offer superior educations in some respects but a very limited view of the World inother ways. It really depends on your definition of education I suppose. But it is possible to compare private research universities to public research universities. Don't believe what people say about large classes. State universites do have large classes, but so do private research universities. I went to Cornell and Michigan, and undergrads at both schools attend similar size classes. My friends at Stanford and Northwestern had similar sized classes as I did in corresponding level courses. In some extreme and rare casses, some private universities may even have a slight edge in terms of networking opportunities. But those are exceptions rather than the rule. But the state universities listed below will give any student the same opportunities and benefits as any top private research university. The private universities in the brackets provide roughly equal educations to the state universy the brackets are attached to.

Cal-Berkeley (as reputable as any university in the nation, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale)

Cal-Los Angeles (as reputable as Emory, Rice, Washington University, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Notre Dame etc..)

Georgia Tech (as reputable as Boston College, USC and NYU)

Illinois-Urbana Champaign (as reputable as Carnegie Mellon)

Michigan-Ann Arbor (as reputable as Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Penn and Duke)

North Carolina-Chapel Hill (as reputable as UCLA)

Texas-Austin (as reputable as Illinois)

Virginia (as reputable as Dartmouth, Northwestern and Brown)

William and Mary (has a LAC feel to it)

Wisconsin-Madison (as reputable as UCLA)

By Qwert271 (Qwert271) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:17 am: Edit

Taxguy: "By the way, investing $70,000 at 7% over 4 years would be worth about 3 million!"

No, it would be worth $91,756.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 12:04 pm: Edit

A numbers game...

There are more people who attended public colleges and universities, so they SHOULD have MORE people who become CEO. Most big public colleges (and some private ones) are often identified by their win-lose record and television appearances made. That is why most people have heard of Clemson, LSU, etc...It dose not always signal a good education, but rather a good athletic department.

Why would anyone choose to equate college education with the success or failure of their bigtime sports teams?

That being said however, honors and special programs like Intergrated Liberal Studies, and the Honors College at UWisconsin-Madison, or a public Honors college like St. Mary's of Maryland offer a great education.

If it is prestige that you're after, then just enroll in a public university with a great reputation like UNorth Carolina-Chapel Hill, UVA, Michigan, Cal-Berkeley. You get the 'halo' effect without the work (Don't flame me) of being in an Honors program. Just depends on what you want.

Fit is most important.

By Taxguy (Taxguy) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 12:18 pm: Edit

Whoops, I meant 40 years. Darn typos

By Anovice (Anovice) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Blaineko- my comments about clemson were made because generally, a normal person knows of a school because of it having good athletics/academics/locality. Although there are better schools out there, they are not known because they are not large and do not have the known factor. If a school is not known and you're not going to get any after grad benefits as an alum, why pay so much more? Is the education really worth it?

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 01:13 pm: Edit

A school's success at athletics can give a boost to its academic strength. A place like Duke is is better known to the general public for basketball than for its excellent academics, but that notoriety creates a bigger applicant pool, from which it draws a higher caliber of students. Consequently, Duke is MUCH more selective now than when I went there (back when they had a crummy basketball team!).

As for the original question... a public university can be just as good as an LAC or name-brand private university, especially if you get into an honors program. Honors courses (including freshman intro classes) are smaller and have the school's best teachers, and honors students get priority registration for all other courses over non-honors students. Also, a student who would be middle-of-the-road at Duke might be an academic star at Clemson, which could balance or even outweigh the difference in prestige for an employer or grad school. And if you are looking for an engineering job in the South, the name "Clemson" is just fine prestige-wise.

My son will be going to Clemson in two weeks, picking it over some "higher prestige" schools that accepted him.

By Mikemac (Mikemac) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 01:36 pm: Edit


I am impressed with the questions you are asking because so many of your peers are infatuated with the 'brand' an ivy represents.

However if you are looking for pure quality of education and not just a prestigious name on a diploma, I think you simply can't beat a top private (LAC or University). Read the comments from a boarding school counselor in the thread "Here are some great admissions tips I'd like to share with you".

And back in the days before spammers harvested email names there were internet newsgroups in which people discussed issues much like they do here and one of them was There was an interesting thread you ought to read.

A professor who had taught at both Ohio State and Princeton was replying to a post that said "I certainly don't know why anyone would lay out $25000/yr to go to an "elite", e.g., Harvard, Princeton, Yale, et al. Two good friends of mine are Ivy grads, and to be quite frank, they wouldn't make a patch on the ass of many of the students here at UMBC. "

The professor wrote: "the resources at Princeton and at other such schools are incredibly abundant, and the students who _do_ work for their education really end up with an academic experience that is substantively superior to virtually all others. After teaching here at Ohio State for a couple of years, I see that the "general education" available here-- even for the most motivated and savvy students-- is not nearly as good as the general education available at Princeton. I believe that a motivated and savvy student can get a decent education at many (perhaps most) schools, but few schools can provide the means for a _superior_ education, be it a well-balanced experience or a hard-core intellectual experience. I have been unpleasantly shocked to see that many of my juniors and seniors are barely able to do work that first-year Princetonians are expected (whether they like it or not) to do. "

See the thread at

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit


Usually, professional schools and grad-schools know the LACs and how their students perform. If you are getting an MBA, want to go to med-school, or law school, some of the schools you say have no name recognition indeed do carry more weight than those with good sports teams.

I'd also like to point out that the private universities have the ability through their endowment (i.e. Duke) to support their teams as well as their academics, unlike public schools which are more dependent on the whims of state legislatures.


Just my 2 cents. :)

PS--I'm from the West Coast, so I know of Duke, Carolina, UMD, Georgetown, the Ivies, Nebraska, Oklahoma, UFlorida, FSU, UMiami, UMichigan, Northwestern, UWashington, Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA, Arizona, BYU, Hawaii, Cal State--Long beach, UOregon, etc...Clemson usually does not come up, because few out on this coast have heard of the school.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 01:57 pm: Edit

Blaineko, this Wall St. Journal survey you cited has been discredited in numerous postings on CC, especially at the time it came out; look in the archives for what people have said about it. In short, it's been criticized for being too narrow and too limiting in its scope, for trying to fit its data into a predetermined conclusion and for not taking certain variables into account.

Also of interest in seeking graduate school admission is the difference between undergraduate schools at universities with grade inflation and schools that don't have it such as your top LACs. Most graduate school admission offices know which schools pad their transcripts and which schools make their students earn their grades.

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:12 pm: Edit

A couple of points on these posts:

1. I'm glad some people are saying that college is what you make of it and the people who take the opportunities at any school end up doing better in the long run. I absolutely agree with this reasoning when deciding what college to choose.

2. Comparing public colleges to private colleges in terms of "prestige" is a bit ridiculous. The poster compared UCLA's reputation to Emory, Rice, Washington University, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Notre Dame. This is a faulty comparision. UCLA is *much* better than these schools in several majors. For a student wanting to study music in a university setting, I *highly* recommend studying at UCLA. The faculty is as good if not better than any other university in the country.

And yes, that includes schools like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford.

And it's a public school. Fancy that.

As a postscript to this, in my graduate program there are students who did their undergrad at Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and those that did their undergrad at Cal State Northridge and Houston Baptist University. If someone came to the school without telling which was which and sat in on a class, no one would be able to tell the difference.

A good education can be had anywhere.


By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:13 pm: Edit


Yes, I have seen the RESPONSE from CC. The Article does match Loren Pope's lists on Ph.D production in the sense that it is often the 'no-name schools' produce the higher % of Ph.D candidates. The Wall Street Journal, in the footnote, as well as in the body of the article gives their method of how they chose the schools that made the list.

Such lists, like opinions here on CC, are always inherently BIAS, whether coming from an individual or a group or a company, etc...USNews, The Atlantic Monthly, PR, etc...AT LEAST note how they came to their rankings, as oppossed to opinions here, like saying the LACs are unknown.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

If you do not care where you get your MBA, med-school or law-school degree, then it is obvious that the rankings (especially WSJ list, and USNews tiers) are less-meaningful.

I responded because for most kids, out-of-state public schools are not admissions bargins, especially when financial aid/merit aid comes into play. Seems less than even-handed to say that public schools are bargins, as it depends on what state you're from.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:22 pm: Edit

The point is that:

Unknown private college does not=overpriced education.

Nor does Public schools always=admissions bargin.

Honestly, Clemson versus Occidental or Centre or Hendrix or Grinnell, with Clemson a better buy because of it's sports teams. IF that is the case, I'd rather rely on the WSJ/Atlantic Monthly/USNews rankings.

Remember, you are giving prestige based on athletic departments. How is this less BIASED?

Just my 2 cents.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:30 pm: Edit


I agree with you. That is why The Evergreen State College is on my list despite being in the third-tier of USNews. It's a bargin for me as I am a Washington resident. Many of my friends on the West Coast got better aid packages to go to private LACs and NU. It is a function of cost versus type of education.

Perhaps, that is why I disagree with the analogy of known=better education. It is NOT a given. The reason I responded is because the responses are BIASED as well, with the ASSUMTION above. This holds for private as well as public schools.

Fit remains the most important, and is a combination of factors. To try and generalize about whether public or private schools do it better is not ever going to be resolved. Some people think privates are overpriced, and some think that publics do not do undergraduate education well. Both are OPINIONS.

Again, just my 2 cents.

PS--This is a parallel discussion of the Private college vs. public university thread.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:49 pm: Edit

>>>From what I've experienced, many top schools are not even known to much of the population... swarthmore, smith, haverford, bates, reed, grinnell? To most, these names mean nothing... a school like Clemson or VaTech means more. I will exclude the big ones like, harvard, yale, princeton, caltech, cornell, duke, upenn, mit --- because these are known so the value of the name may mean something... although I question even that.<<<

That was the part of the original post. VaTech better than schools that have names that mean nothing (e.g. Grinell, Haverford, Bowdoin) and schools like MIT, Princeton, Yale, etc...???

Right. Does that not already show BIAS in the question and in reasoning?

PS--Anovice...this is not a dig, but I just wanted to point out how unusual it it for one looking for a good education to use as a decisive factor the name of an institution (especially if based on athletics). :)

By Mikemac (Mikemac) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:59 pm: Edit

you sometimes see honors programs listed as a way to get a private school education at a public school price. This isn't true, although the programs are worthwhile for many other reasons.

No college that I know of has a separate degree-granting honors college. Your upper-division classes in your major are going to be in the regular college. Some schools may have some upper-division honors courses available, but no school that I'm aware of has a honors major in which all of your upper-division classes are taken thru the honors college. In lower-division courses you may take seminar(s) or special classes for those in the honors program, because the 1st 2 years of college is mostly general-ed and they can provide classes that meet the prerequisites for most majors. But the honors colleges simply aren't big enough to support their own upper-division classes and degree programs.

Still it is a VERY worthwhile program. It usually comes with valuable perks like special counseling, early registration so you get the classes you want, guaranteed space in the dorm, to name a few of the most valuable benefits.

By Anovice (Anovice) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit



I, being an athlete who could not give a care less about athletics, was not giving a school prestige because of their sports. Let me clarify my comment: In the real world(ie when you get a job) a schools atletics may help its popularity. I used Clemson as an example. To a normal employer a school like swarthmore means less to them than a school like clemson. Understand what I'm saying? Although one may be a better school, because the name is not well known, is the extra $100,000 to attend worth it in terms of payouts later in life.

I need to finnish reading the replies, but I thought I should correct myself before a war errupts.


By Taxguy (Taxguy) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit

Anovice, What do you mean, "payouts later in life?" If you are talking income eaned as a return on your investment, go to a state school if you have a quality state school to attend in your state.

If you are talking about educational quality such as honing skills in writing, reading and logical analysis, in my opinion, a good lac or top semi ivy would provide a better education. I can't prove what I am saying other than to say that based on my teaching experience among various universities and knowing a number of professors at various colleges, I have found that to be the case.

As you can see, this is a major concern among many parents.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Taxguy, there are exceptions to what you say. There are state universities (a handful of them) that educate as well as the Ivys. Their ability to "hone skills in writing and logical analysis: are just as good as they are at most the Ivys and any other elite private research university. LACs are in league of their own, but they lack other dimensions.

By Madelinemay11 (Madelinemay11) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:09 pm: Edit

Anovice - I think the brightest students gravitate to the Ivies because of the academic excellence and the prestige. In academia for example, there is a popular "law of descending prestige", which states that you cannot teach at a more prestigious institution than the one that you graduated from, but you are more than welcome at a lesser known school.

Many people try to dissect and overanalyze why they apply to Ivies, if a state school would be better or not, why their LAC is not viewed as prestigious etc.,.... the fact is that many people care where you went to school, and if you go to an Ivy league (or equivalent) school, you'll have attained something others could not, and will be very highly regarded!

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit

As for honors programs at big state universities, take a look at Penn State's version:
Only 2% of the undergrads participate, and it has all the usual attributes of such a program... honors seminars, small classes for courses that would otherwise be huge lectures, priority registration, special advising, etc.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:18 pm: Edit


It DEPENDS on what you mean by NORMAL. Most larger business are aware of schools like Williams, Swat, Amherst, etc... It also depends on LOCATION. Obviously, if you live in New England and Middle-Atlantic states, you will be more familiar with the above schools. Likewise, if you live in the South, Vandy, Emory, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, UVA, etc...will be well known. On the West Coast, it is Cal-Berkeley, USC, Reed, Pomona, McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Occidental, Whitman, Reed, Stanford, CIT, etc...

Also, it is usually to ones benefit, at least with respect to cost and admissions to consider schools in different states, but that does not mean that such schools will be ADMISSIONS or COST bargins. For instance, as an out-of-state applicant to UC-Berkeley or UVA I face higher costs, and no gurentee of aid. However, if I chose to apply at Grinnell, which does gurentee to meet need, and I get in, the AID package would be a deciding factor IF COST is a consideration.

Most professional jobs require more than a Bachelor's degree, and differences based on simple name recognition gets distorted. Would they hire a Clemson graduate over a UChicago graduate? Not likely UNLESS said company interviewer is a Clemson grad, especially in business (for instance).

Many of the better schools (undergrad or grad-school) help you to move beyond geography. If one is sure that they will make their home in a particular state or area, then going to a local public institution is probably just as good as going to a private school (in the area).

If the objective is to go to school with a diverse population (i.e. geographically, racially, politically), then private schools often do a 'better' job.

Depends if you think locally, nationally, or globally.

Just my 2 cents.

By Entropicgirl (Entropicgirl) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:21 pm: Edit

Okay. Let's say you've got the choice between an elite public and an elite private research university. (Berkeley and Harvard, say). Ignoring prestige, which would give you a better education?

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:24 pm: Edit


Depends on the size of the department that I am a part of. Also depends if I'm out-of-state or in-state. I would need to look at financial aid packages, and class size. I would look at facilities, and undergraduate research opportunities. I would consider the area the schools are in, and try to project whether I would eventually go to grad school.


By Mom101 (Mom101) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit

If money were not considered clearly the elite private. Smaller classes, fewer TAs, more resources.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:30 pm: Edit

I'd go to William & Mary. Smaller than both Harvard & Berkeley. Heh, heh. If I had to pay the full cost.


By Entropicgirl (Entropicgirl) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Okay. Smallish department either way--nobody majors in physics. In-state for Berkeley, full cost for elite private (family can pay for UC out of pocket, private would be harder but possible). Going to grad school for sure (for PhD). Assuming that both schools have undergrad research, though I'm not sure how to tell which would be better. Ignore location and such, I'm talking straight educational quality.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:41 pm: Edit

Hard to say which would give a better education really. Neither Harvard or Cal is know for undergraduate education. They both provide incredible opportunities, but a student has to be driven to succeed in either school.

Personally, given the choice between Harvard and any university (public or private), I would probably pick Harvard. Harvard is Harvard you know!

But I would pick Cal or Michigan over every university in the nation (public or private) save two (Harvard and Stanford). But after Cal and Michigan, things change dramatically in favor of private universities.

For example, although I really like and respect UVA, Wisconsin, UCLA, Texas, UNC and a couple other public schools, none of those would make my top 15 list (in no particular order the 8 Ivys, Cal-Berkeley, Caltech, Chicago, Duke, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Michigan, Northwestern and Stanford).

In fact, with the exception of UVA, Wisconsin, UCLA, William and Marym and UNC none of the public schools would make my top 30 list (add to the list above: Cal-Los Angeles, Emory, Georgetown, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Rice, Tufts, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington University, William and Mary and Wisconsin.)

I personally picked Michigan over Brown, Cal-Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and Northwestern. Cal-Berkeley was my second choice. Given the incredible respect I have been given by top flight organizations (such as Goldman Sachs and Ford Motor Company) and academics, and the incredible experience I had at Michigan, I would not change a thing unless I had a shot at Harvard or Stanford. Even then it remains doubtful.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:41 pm: Edit

Harvard then. Michigan too expensive. I like UNC-Chapel Hill and UWisconsin, especially when costs are factored in.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

Cal, Michigan, UVA and Wisconsin are not that cheap. all have annual tuitions between $18,000-$26,000. Chapel Hill and Austin are incredible bargains.

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 04:53 pm: Edit

"In academia for example, there is a popular "law of descending prestige", which states that you cannot teach at a more prestigious institution than the one that you graduated from, but you are more than welcome at a lesser known school."

Are we talking about undergraduate degrees or doctorates?

Let's take the Harvard Department of Music (since I happen to know music). The chair, Thomas Forest Kelly, has an undergraduate degree from UNC and a doctorate from Harvard. The graduate advisor, Kay Kauffman Shelemay, has all her degrees from the University of Michigan. Ingrid Monson, a full professor and the undergraduate advisor, has an undergraduate degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and masters and doctorate from NYU. Apparently the U. Michigan and NYU degrees did not prevent them from teaching at Harvard and the undergraduate degree at UNC did not prevent Thomas Forest Kelly from becoming the *chair* of an academic department at Harvard. Go to the websites of various departments at Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc. and you will see that the faculty hold doctorates from the top schools *IN THE FIELD* but those schools aren't necessarily the ones you would necessarily think (i.e. the CUNY Graduate Center has one of the best graduate music departments in the country.) For *graduate* school, it is more important to go to a highly regarded program from people who *know* the field, not necessarily a school that will impress someone outside academia (for example, Brown University is a presigious institution but its music department is not a top department.)

Depending on the school, the faculty are as good, if not better at schools other than Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. But Harvard, Yale, Princeton sound better than the University of Michigan of NYU. Let's be perfectly honest about this. More people have heard of one than the other and one school impresses people (who might be future employers) than the other. Just because you went to an Ivy league school doesn't *NECESSARILY* mean that you have a better education (a lot of students who attend the ivy league schools are more driven than others, which is something beyond the faculty of the university.)

As I've said so many times on the boards, in my top graduate program, for every person from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, there are those from Cal State Riverside, and Houston Baptist University.

In short, there is prestige to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. but there are not nearly enough room at these schools to take every person who deserves to go there. I feel bad for 18 year olds who don't get into these prestigious schools and decide "well, I'm going to be a failure for the rest of my life because I didn't get into Princeton, Stanford, Yale, etc." IT SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE. And although some people may judge and care where you went to school, it doesn't make them right.

As a postscript to this, I was involved with a faculty search for a music professor position at NYU. And although I cannot speak to too many specifics about this, the search committee did not discount a candidate because they went to a school that was "less presigious" than NYU.


By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:17 pm: Edit


For business, med-school, law school, education, some of the private schools are better than the public ones. I state again, it depends on your DEPARTMENT (your major), and then on whether it is undergrad or grad school we're talking about.

Most schools have departments that are good or better than other schools. It is just that a HIGHER percentage of people who go to 'no-name' schools (i.e. Grinnell, Reed, Carleton, F&M, etc...) than do undergrads from public schools go on to grad school.

It is difficult to say it it just prestige, as I think that UMichigan is amazing for grad-school business, as is UPenn. I hold UVA higher than Cornell or Brown, because of the criteria I choose at the undergrad level. But, I hold some 'no-name' schools higher than all of them (i.e. Grinnell, Amherst, Bowdoin, Davidson,etc...).

The reasons I think they are 'better' are because they focus on the undergrad, are smaller, profs are easily accessable, the student body more cohesive, the cost (with financial aid is competative), the different social/geographical scene (I am on the West Coast), the grad-school acceptance rates, etc...

But that is not to say public schools are not great bargins for in-staters. For my needs, the NLAC's (of various tiers) are better than universities. That does not mean they are better for all students. It's about FIT.


By Kousuke (Kousuke) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:18 pm: Edit

whats the point of going to a elite public school if as you all say you're gonna end up with the same job, making the same wage? if someone were to go to amherst opposed to some crappy state university, i think the kid going to amherst deserves a slight advantage in med/law school placement? do they not?
and stop saying "Cal and UCLA are great! good education, rivalling HYP, at a cheap price!" guess what, for people like me who live in KANSAS, its just as hard to get into those schools as it is to get into HYP, and it probably would cost the EXACT SAME. so NO, its not as "whoop di doo da dae, great deal!" for the majority of the people.
basically what you're all saying is that a public university is only a good choice if you live in cal, mich, virginia, nc, or some other lucky state, because otherwise, it'll cost you as much as any other elite school. i personally hate public schools because i think their student bodies are comprised mainly by bunches of stupid in-staters who probably wouldnt have gotten in had they lived in idaho. but thats just me :) as a bunch of people call me ignorant and childish for my last comment.

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:27 pm: Edit

I agree with what you are saying and my post above agrees with this. I was trying to straighten out a couple of previous statements. Of course it depends on the department and priorities of the school.

Depending on the major, I would say you are thinking the right way. The same way I would say that public or private, University or LAC, UCLA has one of the best music departments in the country and for some students I would advise going there over schools like Stanford, etc.

"Most schools have departments that are good or better than other schools. It is just that a HIGHER percentage of people who go to 'no-name' schools (i.e. Grinnell, Reed, Carleton, F&M, etc...) than do undergrads from public schools go on to grad school."

I do not understand your point. Could you please clarify.

"The reasons I think they are 'better' are because they focus on the undergrad, are smaller, profs are easily accessable, the student body more cohesive, the cost (with financial aid is competative), the different social/geographical scene (I am on the West Coast), the grad-school acceptance rates, etc..."

If you mean more personal for undergraduate education then yes, I agree with you.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

Just that the 'no-name' schools (as defined by Anovice) produce a proportionally larger number of graduates that go on to grad-school.

More for Anovise...sorry about that.


By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:34 pm: Edit


I have never brought up UCLA because it is necessarily a cheaper school or necessarily easier to get into or necessarily better for all departments. It's music department (because that's what I intimately know) rivals the departments at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc.

Why would someone who went to Amherst who didn't do well there deserve an advantage when applying to graduate school over someone who really did well in an undergraduate state school. It's also why there are admission tests for graduate schools (no it doesn't end with the SAT.)

And I'm not crying for anyone from Kansas when applying to colleges. You stand a much better chance at going to Harvard, Yale, Princeton than *anyone* from Long Island, NY, or Orange County, CA.


By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:35 pm: Edit

Yes, you don't need to go to a large research institution or Harvard, Yale, or Princeton to go to graduate school.


By Mikemac (Mikemac) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

I want to give more detail to the class-size discussion since you often hear blanket statements such as "even if the lower-division classes are larger at State, once you are in upper-division classes they will be much smaller and you'll get to know your professors".

Lets assume by "small" people mean 25 students or less. It turns out that some colleges break down their enrollment by class size.

Lets look at UCLA, Michigan, Dartmouth.

UCLA numbers are at If you analyze these numbers you see that at best only 28% of the students in an upper-division class have 25 students or less in that class, and a more realistic number is probably about 22%.

I wasn't able to find this level of detail at Michigan or Dartmouth, but they do report the Common Data Set numbers for undergrads which break class sizes up in 10's. If you work those numbers you find that for all undergrad classes at Michigan, best-case 49% of the students in any given class have 30 or less students in that class, but the more realistic number is 36%.

At Dartmouth, the best-case number is 56%, but the more realistic is 49%

Since the numbers for Dartmouth and Michigan are for both upper and lower division, my suspicion is that the upper-division numbers are better than what I was able to calculate here.

By Kousuke (Kousuke) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 06:25 pm: Edit

"And I'm not crying for anyone from Kansas when applying to colleges. You stand a much better chance at going to Harvard, Yale, Princeton than *anyone* from Long Island, NY, or Orange County, CA."

yeah, but someone with the exact same stats in cal. applying to berkeley has a much better chance than someone from kansas applying to some school like rice, washu or other places as good as berkeley. so im gonna keep crying for myself. and living in kansas doesnt help that much.

"Why would someone who went to Amherst who didn't do well there deserve an advantage when applying to graduate school over someone who really did well in an undergraduate state school."

where did you get the idea that i was talking about someone who did well at the public uni vs. someone who did horribly at amherst??? i was talking about 2 students that did equally well at both schools, like someone with 3.8GPA at amherst vs. 3.9GPA at KU.

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 06:38 pm: Edit

You can feel that way but being from a big square state counts for diversity and they care about that at the top schools.

Fine, if they did equally well at both schools, why does one deserve an advantage for that necessarily? Putting exact institutions aside, it can be *more* difficult to get a high GPA at a state school.


By Kousuke (Kousuke) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:16 pm: Edit

so whats the point to going to a elite LAC? because of the food? the dorms? according to what you're saying, its not gonna help you get a job more than your local state univ, its not going to get you better placement at graduate schools. what is it good for? might as well not even try hard in high school, obviously theres no point to because no matter what college you go to, you're going to end up at the same spot once its over as long as you work hard in college.

By Anovice (Anovice) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:36 pm: Edit

Kousuke, you have portrayed my thoughts exactly in your last post.

I am not going to try and comment on each and everyones post, yet I certainly disagree or would like to defend myself/my views with many of you. It is definitely an interesting read... My general conclusion is as follows: Monetarily, it only makes sense to go to a public school(or a similarly priced private). The job that most individuals get with a general degree will not differ if they go to a elite ivy or a decent state school. If a person is motivated and outgoing they will do well regardless. Yes, there are some occasions where a ivy/top LAC may offer more internships, etc which may lead to a better job, but I would say that for most, this is not the case. It is a personal decision whether the diversity, prestige, and general environment is worth the money.


THANK YOU to all who replied and I am glad that this post has stayed generally peaceful and people have been able to express their views without attacking eachother.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:40 pm: Edit

Kousuke, how on earth did you conclude that? The key study in this area says that future success is correlated with where you were accepted to college as opposed to where you went. Thus, those who were high achievers in hs tend to be high achievers in life.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit


The grad schools, when looking at applicants to business, law, med-school look at academic reputations. Thus, KU and Amherst are not equal in the eyes of ad coms at the graduate level. Given financial aid considerations, all else being equal, why would you go to a large public school? You cannot honestly think that if a resident of Hawaii goes to UHawaii--Manoa, instead of Amherst, that the opportunities will be the same. Likewise, for students with financial need, NLACs are usually less expensive than state schools, especially with respect to gift aid. Look at Harvard and Princeton's aid programs for instance. Also look at average debt of graduates...public schools sometimes have higher debt loads than the national LAC's and U's.

Becuase of that, it does matter where you attend for your undegrad. :)

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:52 pm: Edit


Can YOU tell the difference between a student from Harvard and one educated at Houston Baptist University? It does not really matter if John Doe could not tell them apart.

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:57 pm: Edit

Again, it's about FIT.

The danger is that you're scale is only looking at it from a cost scale, although most people do not pay full price at the private NLAC's. Education, for most, is about class size, undergraduate research opportunities (without competition from gra-students), cost, diversity, location, intellectual milieu, reputation, majors, etc...

To ignore that and try to make the arguement based on sticker price is a bit simplistic. Very few pay sticker. Especially if your grades and stats are good.

Again, this is a rehash of other threads on CC. For some, like Kousake who thinks that 'high school kids should not try hard in high school' because the outcome would be the same is odd. It's like argueing that a degree is a degree so everyone should go to community college.


By Madelinemay11 (Madelinemay11) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 09:14 pm: Edit

"Yes, there are some occasions where a ivy/top LAC may offer more internships, etc which may lead to a better job, but I would say that for most, this is not the case."

That's not true. Ivy grads make a LOT more money than regular school grads in general. Also, even if they dont' make it monetarily, they're always held in high esteem because of the prestige of the schools. The high regard in which they are held make for easier lives, if not always richer.

By Kousuke (Kousuke) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 09:15 pm: Edit

blaineko, to answer,
"You cannot honestly think that if a resident of Hawaii goes to UHawaii--Manoa, instead of Amherst, that the opportunities will be the same."

i agree with you, but when i asked that question, someone answered,

"Fine, if they did equally well at both schools, why does one deserve an advantage for that necessarily?"

so i was confused. i really want to try to apply to amherst and go on to international law, but i was thinking, if it doesnt help me in grad school placing, and going to a good law school doesnt matter, why should i try? i thought it mattered, but some people told me it didnt. so it confused me. anyone wanna clear that up for me?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 09:56 pm: Edit

It matters.

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 11:05 pm: Edit

I've been reading through this entire post and thinking about this issue a lot. Does one necessarily deserve an advantage for going to a prestigious school? There was another post on this board that arguing whether an A at one school was worth the same as an A at another school. Are these schools necessarily different?

According to my Director of Graduate Studies, applying to a Ph.D. program in a specific field requires a meaningful personal statement, a high GPA, good GRE schools, and recommendations from people in the field will give one a good shot of being accepted to a top graduate school. I think to myself if going to CUNY Queens College really would have affected my life much if I would be in the same situation now. Of course, I don't know what would be different, but it would have been nice to save a lot of money even though I would be going to a less prestigious institution. According to this professor, if the recommendations are good, the GPA high, the GRE scores good, then it doesn't really matter where one goes to school.

For law school, getting a high score on the LSAT, trumps even the GPA. If you get a high score on the LSAT from the University of Hawaii, you stand a better chance at getting into a top law school than someone who did significantly worse but went to a top Ivy League School. If they could just judge on GPA and where you went to school, they wouldn't need a standardized test.

"That's not true. Ivy grads make a LOT more money than regular school grads in general. Also, even if they dont' make it monetarily, they're always held in high esteem because of the prestige of the schools. The high regard in which they are held make for easier lives, if not always richer."

Is it because they went to Ivy League schools or because they were very motivated to go to Ivy League schools? Think about whether it is the person or the school that makes someone successful.

In response to another poster, I can tell the difference between someone who went to Houston Baptist University and Harvard University. The person who went to Houston Baptist University, has a better grasp on musical concepts. ;-)

I hope I give you all something to think about.


By Spn2200 (Spn2200) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit

I know you guys aren't really talking about ivy universities, but I go to Cornell and thought I would offer my input. One thing I noticed is that Cornell and other top schools make you grow up fast. There are a lot of responsibilities to handle, and this helps to make you sharper and able to handle them when you are actually out in the work place. When I have worked my summer jobs I keep the work ethic that I learned at Cornell and find that others seem to be much slower and less active in their work. You get so used to being around competitive people at school that when you are removed from the college isolation you find that you have the skills to be better than others. Also people treat you better because they know you are attending an institution that many others can only dream of. This is not to say that people from lesser schools do not have a good work ethic, but these are just my observations and feelings.

By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 03:38 am: Edit


Great comments!!

By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 04:54 am: Edit


Grad Schools do look at the reputation of the undergrad institution, especially for b-school.

Like high schools, certain publics and privates have a better reputation, and are more competative, and thus recieve or are judged on different terms than other schools. Like in high school, A's are not all equal. Why would you think that A's were all equal in college?

That goes against what happends with colleges when we apply to undergrad, what makes grad school different?

By Anovice (Anovice) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 07:05 am: Edit

"One thing I noticed is that Cornell and other top schools make you grow up fast. There are a lot of responsibilities to handle, and this helps to make you sharper and able to handle them when you are actually out in the work place." -spn2200

I have no idea what Cornell is like because I only know one person that goes there, but in a general sense, I got an opposite feeling from most top LACs and ivies. I got the impression that they were much like boarding schools not universities. Things were structured in a way where professors were easier to contact and activities were more individualized. Maybe I have gotten the wrong impression... maybe I have not.

You talk about work ethic- did you learn this at cornell or did you already have a good underlying work ethic and it was improved at cornell? I'm sure you didn't get to cornell by being a slacker who had no work ethic...

This is one issue where I can do nothing but support private/LAC/ivies... I like to think that they attract responsible, serious individuals who want to work through college, and not skate through drunk. When I think of my high school, I think about what schools these kids are going to- the kids who didn't work, achieved decent grades, did nothing outstanding in extracurriculars - they are going to the state universities. Then I think to myself- do I want to be with them? No, I don't, but is it worth it to me, for a considerable sum of money, to be with a group of students who have performed well all their life and are motivated... maybe? It's a tough decision.

I will definitely apply to a wide variety of schools. I cannot really compare schools now because the shown price is not realistic to what I will actually pay. I think my situation is different from many students my age in that I am the one making the financial decision and it will affect me. I have a sum of money that I can spend on whatever school I like- if I go to a top LAC I will most likely end up with debt... if I go to a public school I will come out with profit- hard decision.


By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 07:58 am: Edit

Laura, let usd start with the basics. Which state do you hail from? What are your grades/scores/class rank?

By Taxguy (Taxguy) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 09:53 am: Edit

There was a post mentioned on one of the threads by an Ohio State Univ Professor who previously taught at Princeton. He made some very interesting points.

His thesis was that at the better, more selective schools, the students are better prepared both in academic background and in motivation. The teachers can, therefore, demand more from each class and each student.

Moreover, according to him, schools like Princeton provide some educational resources that are unmatched by almost any public university. Whether the latter is true is hard to tell; however, his first argument does make sense.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 10:07 am: Edit

Taxguy, there are resouces availlable at Princeton that are unmatched at almost any educational institution, state, private or LAC. The same can be said of a select few universities, like the remaining Ivy League, the great private universities and the top 5 or 6 state universities.

But those resources are hardly ever going to be exhausted by any one student. A university like Princeton has more to offer than any one student could ever dream of. No one student can ever hope to develop close ties with all the faculty and students, read all the books, partake in all research activities and enroll in every class. I think a student can learn just as much at a school with limited resources like William and Mary or Brandeis.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 10:12 am: Edit

Alexandre, a question. I have a friend who has a 10th grader who had an addiction problem (food, not drugs) that caused extensive personal problems and they were forced to send him to a "personal growth school" for a year and a half. His grades there have been mediocre. This is a kid who always had been an academic star, high scorer at a top private school. She is wondering what to do when he returns home in the middle of tenth grade to prepare him for the best possible college he can get into. Any thoughts?

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 10:35 am: Edit

Mom...what is your real name woman?! I feel weird calling you mom. I am neither engaged to your daughter, not am I your son!!! LOL

At any rate, eating disorders are a recognized national epidemic. Had this kid lived 20 years ago, I would have told you that his chances were slim to none. But today, with all the media attention and exposure this epidemic has had, I would say that there are several measures that can be taken to ensure that the kid succeeds.

The first thing to do is to get an official, medical document detailing the rehab the student had to undergo and of course, that he is now in the clear. He should also get a letter from an educator at the "personal growth school" explaining that he was under a great deal of pain and duress during those trying times. If he can return to his past academic performance, and it is clear that his grades were going before and after the rehad, most universities should overlook his 9th grade. Some schools, like Stanford, Michigan and Princeton don't even look at Freshman year grades anyway.

But the real challenge will be for the parents to guide the boy to a path of confidence, postive and healthy self-esteem and happiness all the while not downplaying the seriousness of his past condition and the struggles he has endured. It is a difficult balance to strike.

I am obviously not qualified to give counseling advice. But from an academic point of view, there is much he can do. He has 10th and 11th grade ahead of him, so there is no need to panic. I would start slowly in 10th grade. Take classes that are respectable but not overly challenging. I would take a couple of classes that he knows he can ace in order to build up his confidence. In other words, he needs to find his old form. Once he does, he can go back to flying high and being an academic star. But I would definitely recommend that he and his family enter the game slowly until he finds his mojo. Once his swagger is back, the sky is the limit. Until that time arrives, his parents, siblings, loved ones should all lend him their shoulders, push him gently and encourage him.

I can relate to children with difficulties. I have both ADD and dyslexia. I am the poster child of the studying disabled! LOL

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 11:31 am: Edit

My name is Jan, but don't dismiss the mom thing quite yet, the more I learn about you the more I don't think the 16 year age difference between you and my daughter is a big deal....

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 11:41 am: Edit

You lost me in that last sentence. Way too many negatives for me to comprehend! LOL For some strange reason, I had a feeling your name was Jan or Jane or Joan. So Jan it is!

By Mikemac (Mikemac) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Taxguy wrote: There was a post mentioned on one of the threads by an Ohio State Univ Professor who previously taught at Princeton. He made some very interesting points. His thesis was that at the better, more selective schools, the students are better prepared both in academic background and in motivation. The teachers can, therefore, demand more from each class and each student. "

That post is at

By Barrons (Barrons) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 07:26 pm: Edit

Turns out UW is a CEO mill

Karen Rivedal Wisconsin State Journal
July 31, 2004

Harvard University has nothing on UW-Madison when it comes to graduating the most chief executive officers of the country's biggest companies.

An accounting by Bloomberg Markets magazine showed UW-Madison and the Ivy League heavy-hitter tied for first place, with 15 such CEOs each. The total list included 236 schools where the current CEOs of companies on Standard & Poor's 500 Index reported getting their bachelor's degrees.

The index measures the size of the companies by their total market value.

"We're measuring up very well," said UW-Madison Business School Dean Michael Knetter on Friday. "This is a great credit to the kind of people who come to Wisconsin and the kind of training they get here."

Of course, comparing UW-Madison and Harvard is unfair to Harvard in one sense: UW-Madison has a clear numerical advantage, with 29,000 undergraduates compared to about 6,650 at Harvard.

But Knetter noted that UW-Madison also turned out more CEOs than several similarly sized universities on the list, including the University of Texas, the University of Michigan and Ohio State. Ohio State had five CEOs, Texas had nine, and the University of Michigan did not make the listing of 21 colleges with five or more CEOs.

"We're beating them all pretty handily," Knetter said.

Experts cited in the Bloomberg article speculated that public universities often produce more graduates who go on to become company leaders because public school kids are "scrappier" than those who attend elite institutions. Students from less advantaged backgrounds may have no other choice but to work hard to scramble up the corporate ladder, while those from rich families might have a company corner office waiting for them when they graduate regardless of what they achieve.

Knetter said that argument sounded right to him, but he also thought campus environment had a lot to do with it. UW-Madison is rich in socio-economic - though not racial - diversity, with students from international, rural, urban, rich and poor backgrounds.

"To be a great leader you have to understand people who come from many different perspectives and backgrounds," he said.

CEOs from Wisconsin, according to Bloomberg, include Thomas Falk, 46, who leads Kimberly-Clark Corp., the largest U.S. maker of disposable diapers; Carol Bartz, 55, leader of Autodesk Inc., maker of software for engineers and architects; and Lee Raymond, 65, CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 08:45 pm: Edit

Dropping like a rock

Fewer Fortune CEOs received their undergraduate degrees from Ivy League Schools (Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell) with the percentage down to 10% in 2003 compared with 15% five years ago.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 09:14 pm: Edit

There is no doubt in my mind why that is. As ivy league school admission has become more and more merit based as opposed to wealth and connections based, those "born to" lead companies have had to go elsewhere. They still have the connections to lead daddy's and other companies, they just don't have the Yale degree anymore.

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:33 am: Edit


I'm not too sure that the trend you are describing is true. People "born to lead companies" still get accepted to Harvard and Yale through legacies because they donate money. If they come from rich families who went to Harvard and Yale, they will go to Harvard and Yale.

Perhaps it's the shattering of the "old boys" network and giving other people opportunities why fewer CEOs are receiving their undergraduate degrees from Ivy League Schools.


By B18c1cx (B18c1cx) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:07 am: Edit

This is getting disgusting... [Edited]There are some filthy, little, prestige-whores on this damn board...

And the time has come to liberate you from such an ordeal. Goodbye!
Moderator Trinity

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:17 am: Edit

Jan, I agree with you to a degree. I also think that the World is becoming more of a meritocracy, that other universities are getting more respect and that the Ivy League cannot even come close to enrolling even a portion of the mega-talent out there. 50 years ago, schools like the Ivy League, Cal, Michigan, Georgetown and a few select LACs were overly respected while other, lesser known universities were not recognized. Over the last half century, schools like Chicago, Stanford, MIT, Wisconsin-Madison, UNC, Texas-Austin, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Northwestern and a few others... have started to get noticed. Now the next wave of schools is starting to climb the ladder. Schools like Vanderbilt, Emory and Washington University.

It is the same with all things. 30 years ago, the Big 10 athletic conference was known as the "Big 2 (Michigan and OSU) and the little 8 (the rest of the Big 10 schools)" because Michigan and OSU wont 90% of the conference football championships. The reason was simple. The talent that existed back then was so limited (and the number of football scholarships a school could give out, if they could afford it, virtually unlimited) that the top 10 (Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and USC) or so football programs would get most of the good talent. Today, the amount of talent out there is so widespread and the football scholarships that a program can give out limited to 80 players, that minor programs can actually land top prospects. At Michigan, the third string QB can start at most other universities. Many talented kids today would rather go to a minor program and get playing tme immediately. Take Northwestern for example (yeah, the Mildcats). Those guys actually won the Big 10 conference title 3 times in the last 8 years and are 3-3 against Michigan in their last 6 meetings!!! Wisconsin also has won 3 Big 10 titles in thelast decade. Illinois, Purdue, Iowa and Michigan State have all won a Big 10 title in the last 15 years. That is a direct result of parity and wealth of talent out there.

It is the same with academics. Of the 60,000 kids who apply to the Ivys every year, I would say that 40,000 are "Ivy League material". I realize that the Ivys receive over 100,000 applications annually, but many of those are the same applicant applying to more than 1 Ivy. Only 20,000 of those 40,000 mega talented kids will be accepted into the Ivys. The remaining 20,000 will have to look elsewhere. Also, a lot of those 20,000 who are admitted in the Ivys (about 35% of them) will go elsewhere (schools like MIT, Stanford, Northwestern, the LACs, Michigan, Cal, UVA, Duke, Chicago, Johns Hopkins etc...). In the end, of the 40,000 or so mega-talented kids who could very well make it in the Ivys, only 13,000 (32%) end up at Ivys. The remaining 27,000 (68%) end up going to other schools.

And that's just looking at the mega talented who are applying to the Ivy League. A lot of the talent out there doesn't really care to apply to the Ivys, either because they aren't that impressed by the brand, or because they cannot afford it or because they think it is not worth the time to fill out application forms when there is a better chance that they will be rejected than accepted. I would say that you probably have another 20,000 mega talented kids out there who are applying to universities that are just as reputable as the Ivy League with more reasonable admissions standards. Universities like Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan, Vanderbilt etc... And then you have international talent that is also finding their way to US shores.

In short, in 1960, most of the talent availlable to US companies was coming out of the Ivy League and a couple of other universities. I would say that today, only 5% of the mega talent joining industry are coming out of the Ivy League.

That's just my opinion of course.

By Kk19131 (Kk19131) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:07 am: Edit

We all know that Purple and White are better than Maize and Blue! Haha, Maize: You have corn for a school color.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:31 am: Edit

Interesting Alexandre, there really are probably a few things going on here. I will say that of the people who became CEOs that I attended an ivy with 20 plus years ago, It's my opinion that the majority were the most connceted and not at all the most talented. In fact back then a huge percentage were legacies or recruited athletes and many really should not have been there. I would also argue that the top schools were not gettin a lot of the real talent years ago simply because they didn't have information and access. The internet, the US News etc. have changed this. I'd like to spend a few months at my college to see how different it feels. I suspect the difference would be huge. Today Jonw, legacies (darn it!), unless they have enough money to give a building, must truly be qualified and even ivy athletes have to meet high academic standards. While the world is definitely more of a meritocracy, many things, like powerful parents promoting their children, remain the same.

By Fonzie (Fonzie) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 05:38 am: Edit

One thing that should be noted is while the competition has risen for the elite private/public schools, enrollment in Community College and in general "higher" education rose as well. There will be more and more students *not* coming from these top schools mentioned on the board. This leaves me with two thoughts. Either A) The degree from these top schools will go up in value or B) It will level off or decrease because by pure numbers, there will be more people entering the workforce from the "other" schools in the country. By other, I mean the 97% of schools that possibly have 1 or less posts on this entire website!

After reading much of these threads in the last week, the statistics and pure numbers prove to me that I made a choice attending an out of state public university.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Jan, I agree that nepotism is alive and well today as it was 100 years ago. Just look at the White House, Ford Motor and Eaton Corporations among the many insitutions where George helped Junior take over! And I shouldn't speak. Altough I got into Michigan and Cornell on my own, and landed jobs at Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs on my own, I knew my father could get me a good job on the "fast track" at Paribas. Such is the way of things.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:38 am: Edit

Alexandre, kid's don't choose their parents. And while many will argue with me, I firmly believe there are disadvantages faced by affluent, connected kids too. Sounds like your parents taught you to work hard and make your own way in the world. That's all we can do! Over dinner last night my daughter let it out for the first time that one of the key reasons she chose the HS she did was because she had no connections there whereas she did at some where she was accepted. And I know we'll face the same at the colleges where she is a legacy.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:19 am: Edit

Let me tell you Jan, my parents struggled to keep me grounded. As a child I was given good principles but was left to follow them in pride and conceit. My parents had to crack down on me often and hard. I was an insufferably arrogant child. I still am arrogant but I now have some wit to color my discourse! LOL

Two episodes from my youth stand out above the others.

1) Summer 1981: the year I learned to fly at the back. Allow me to lay the scene!!! LOL When my father was Director of African and Middle Eastern operations for Banque Paribas in the 80s, the family was given two sets of first class tickets from the UAE to Paris each year. I had flown first class ever since I could remember. But that summer, my life was to change irrevocably. As it turns out, that flight was overbooked and there were only 2 First Class seats availlable. Obviously, those were to be taken by my parents, which meant that my sisters and I had to sit in Economy class. Quel horreur!!! It was a scandal to say the least. Well, to make a long story short, I made a scene...for about 2 seconds. Can you imagine an 8 year old pip-squeak making a scene about not sitting in first class? At any rate, my father, never known for his patience, lifted me by my then thick blond hair and carried me to the back of the plane where he fastened me securely to my Economy class seat. That day, he swore he would never allow any of the children to fly first class again...and he kept his word. My sisters blame me for this until this day! LOL

2) Fall of 1985: I was an older, wiser 12 year old at that point. I was in the television room watching a movie. I was laying down on a very comfortable seat, with MY remote control in one hand and the servant's bell in the other. Keep in mind that live-in servants are common in the UAE. At any rate, I grew thirsty and thought it would be a good idea to summon the maid and bid her give me my glass of water. Oh, I seem to have left out a little detail crucial to the morale of the story. That very glass of water was sitting on the table, not 2 feet away from me. But I was comfotably leaning back and I had to actually bend forward to reach it, so I fugured that ringing the bell so that our 45 year old maid could run up the stairs and give it to me was a better idea. Sensible to my way of thinking don't you see. Well, as I was ringing the bell, my mother crossed the television room on her way from my sister's room to her own room and she thought nothing of it. Surely enough, the maid came to the television room and asked what I wanted and I asked her to give me the glass of water. I even recall saying please. I was polite that way! Unfortunately for me, my mother overheard my request and all hell broke loose. She stormed into the television room, relieved the maid (who had the sweetest disposition in the world) very gently and calmly and proceeded to deal out her justice. The maid was instructed never to clean up after me or follow any of my instructions ever again. From that day forward, I was forced to clean my own room and pick up after myself. Of course, I also had to lean foward to get my own glass! I tell you, lessons learned the hard way!

So, with those types of cruel and unusual punishments, my parents made a man out of me.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:35 am: Edit

You reminded me of a story about my own kids. When they were about 3 and 5 we were flying somewhere first class--with a 6'4" husband and millions of ff miles, it was a luxury we allowed ourselves. Our kids were peaking through the curtain to economy and saw the stewards passing out ice cream bars. The three year old began to yell she wanted to be in economy and her brother joined in, it must be much better! My husband grew up with parents who held firm to the British way of seeing the place of children--London is the only place I know where many good restaurants do not tolerate children. Although his father was CEO of a company that owned an airline, their children were always made to fly economy while they sat up front. We adopted that when our children were old enough to fly alone too.

By Rhkid005 (Rhkid005) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:50 am: Edit

First of all, the way people are talking about "the cost" of attending a public university vs. a private university/LAC is ridiculous. The best universities/LACs give TONS of financial aid. Harvard, for example, is FREE to anyone whose family makes less than $40,000 a year. At many LACs, the average finaid package is close to $30,000. If you are in-state, a public university may be the best/cheapest option. However, if not, you may actually get a better deal at a private college when aid is taking into consideration.

People are speaking about this as if academic rep for your post-college years is all that is important. Well, the education that you get and the quality of life that you have should be just as important. Two schools that have similar academic reputations may give you very different academic experiences. One might have small classes, lots of seminars, etc, and the other might be more lecture-based, and there would be people who would prefer each type of college. Every school has its own personality, and someone who would be happy at a small school might not be happy at a huge public university. It all depends. Are you into sports? Music? Theater? Political Activism? Partying? All of these factors should be considered when you make your decision.

Also, I disagree with people who said that employers will not take an Amherst/Williams/Pomona/Wesleyan/Middlebury name into account. First of all, the Wall Street Journal study, while flawed, showed that Williams grads have a higher % of kids going on to top law, med, and business schools than grads of Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Penn, Dartmouth, Duke, UNC, Emory, JHU, Wash U, UCLA, Georgetown, etc. (It was ranked fifth in the nation, and Amerhest and Swarthmore were ninth and tenth.) Second of all, a few of my parents' friends are in fairly high-up positions in business, and each of them know the LACs I am looking at (such as Amherst, Wesleyan, and Haverford) and say that coming from a top LAC will be viewed just as positively as coming from an ivy or top university. I have no interest in business, but it just goes to show that just because most of the general public knows little about most LACs doesn't mean that employers don't know about them.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:51 am: Edit

Kids I tell you. Well, it is a good policy to have them fly in Economy class. Actually, it is best to keep them away from as many luxuries as possible. We did not own cars until we were in our mid-late twentites and bought them with our own money. The own luxury our perents gave us was travel and the best education. Oh, and good restaurants of course! hehe

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit

Rhkid, I agree with you 100%. Williams, Haverford, Amherst, Swarthmore, Pomona, Davidson, Oberlin, Carleton and a bunch of ther LACs are awesome. I would say that in some ways, they are better than Harvard, Chicago, Columbia, Michigan etc... Like you said, it depends what learning style and educational system/environment suits you best. But the point you make best is the following:

"I have no interest in business, but it just goes to show that just because most of the general public knows little about most LACs doesn't mean that employers don't know about them."

I could not have said it better myself. And the same is true of academe. Deans of admissions and Professors at universities know what the top universities are. Schools that are not well known to the general public, schools like Chicago, most LACs, Michigan and a few other universities are actually as highly respected by the admissions committees at top universities and recruiters at the most exclusive companies as very popular universities like Duke, Stanford, Cornell, Columbia etc...

At the end of the day, it is all about fit. Some LACs, private research universities and state universities are very highly and equally respected...and rightly so...and others are not quite as respected or well know...rightly or wrongly so.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 01:23 pm: Edit

Alexandre, I would get along well with your parents. My children know they will have to buy their own cars and they have been saving for years despite the fact that this is CA and most people of all incomes hand over a car at 16 (in large part to save themselves the trouble of playing driver!). I think parenting has taken 90% of my energy because I want to keep my kids grounded. Great educations and travel have also been our gifts to our children. They know they can pursue schools and programs anywhere at any expense, but they can forget designer clothes and expensive toys. I have to honestly say that I thank my in-laws, my father in law in particular, a farm boy turned CEO, for modeling strong parenting of affluent children. I am very proud of my kids' values. What is your ethnicity Alexandre? I was not picturing a blonde in your case!

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit

I am 100% Lebanese. My 4 grandparents are Lebanese. But Arabs are not all dark (like Max Klinger LOL), nor are they all Muslim. Like most members of my family, I have light eyes. Mine happen to be greyish blue. I shave my head these days, but if I let it grow, my hair is brown...but it was very blond when I was a child. Although light eyes are common in Lebanon, fair skin is not. I am quite light for Lebanese and that is why I am known as "el abrass" which means the Albino! LOL Of course, by Western standards, I am pretty normal looking.

I belong to the Maronite faith, a member sect of the Catholic Chruch.

Lebanese society is structured a little differently than most other societies. Class is determined by education and reputation, not wealth. My father's family comes from the highest class in Lebanon, but his family was not wealthy. My father paid his own way through school, first at the American University of Cairo (he could not afford the American University of Beirut) and then at Georgetown for his PhD. Much of his family was educated in France, England and the US.

My mother comes from an upper middle class family in Lebanon, but her family is wealthy, but until recently, not that educated. Her siblings and herself were the first generation to get educated.

there you have a nutshell.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

Is there some tie between the Labanese and the French? Seems like there are many Lebanese in France and what is valued in your society seems much like the French, too. I love Lebanese food, do you have recipes chef Alexandre?

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:57 pm: Edit

Yes, there is a tie between us. The French colonized Lebanon! LOL It is ok though, I don't hold a grudge. In fact, I admire France more than any country on Earth...certainly more than Lebanon.

As for Lebanese cuisine, I am a lover, but not a doer! I can eat it with the best of them, but I cannot cook it to save my life. Lebanese food is impossible to cook unless you grow up in the kitchen.

My Grandmother cooked Lebanese food better than anybody. By the way, Lebanese food in the US or Europe is no good. You have to eat it in the Arab World. Next time you are in this part of the world, let me know and I will arrange for you to eat authentic Lebanese.

What about you Jan? You are extracting all this information from me. You have said nothing about yourself.

By Xmatt (Xmatt) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:03 pm: Edit

I go to a $40,000 LAC and I don't even pay half of that (in EFC + loans) per year. Most "top" schools have a ton of money to just give away in grant aid. If you're wealthy enough to not qualify for need-based aid, then IMHO you're rich enough that it really isn't an issue in the long run, but that's probably just the child-of-small-business-owners in me talking...

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:36 pm: Edit

Alexandre, my best friend from college lived in Bahrain for years, that is when I came to love Lebanese food. I am a mutt. My father blonde blue eyed Dutch, my mom an olive, brown eyed Italian and many things mixed in. The Italians, Spanish, Turks, and Portuguese all claim me on sight! I grew up lower middle class in NYC with my Jewish neighbors being my predominent influence. Education, education, education. Much like the Asians are in CA today. My children are even more interesting with the British/Scot mix of my husband. My daughter has been called snow white forever--pale skin with almost Asian black hair! MY son, a georgous mix with Latin movie star looks!

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:02 pm: Edit

My family lived in Bahrain from 1975-1978. My dad was a banker there for 3 years before he moved to the UAE. I am too young to remember anything of Bahrain though.

At any rate, if you love Lebanese food all that much, consider yourself invited next time you are in the region.

Strange how the Jews and the Arabs have so much in common and yet they cannot co-exist. We even look the same. I have often been asked if I was Jewish.

So, now that we have established that your daughter has hair black as ebony and skin white as snow, the next logical question is, does she have lips red as the rose?! LOL

I love Snow White. I am going to have to watch it tomorrow. I own all the Disney movies on DVD. On a side note, my ex-girlfriend's (a fiery Yugoslavian lady) name is Snezana, which means Snow White in Serbo Croat!

At any rate Jan, I am off to bed, It is midnight over here. A biento!

By Anovice (Anovice) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 09:05 am: Edit

"I go to a $40,000 LAC and I don't even pay half of that (in EFC + loans) per year. Most "top" schools have a ton of money to just give away in grant aid. If you're wealthy enough to not qualify for need-based aid, then IMHO you're rich enough that it really isn't an issue in the long run, but that's probably just the child-of-small-business-owners in me talking..."

I have to diagree in that my parents are "wealthy enough to not qualify for need-based aid" but have made the decision to not fund my outrageous college costs. They feel that a lesser priced school is ideal and that money would be better spent elsewhere.

I am a decent student, top at my school, but do not have the standardized test scores to qualify for much merit based grants(4.7 wGPA, 3.93uwGPA, 28 ACT, many extracurriculars in the school and community)

This is why I started this thread. I wanted to find out if people thought it was worth the money to attend a prestigious school. What would you do in my situation?

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:07 am: Edit

Anovice - Thanks for getting the thread back to it's original subject... it got pretty far off-topic.

As a middle-class parent whose family income and college saving kept us out of need-based aid, I was not prepared to spend $40,000 for an education that was no better than one that could be had for $15,000 or $20,000. I would have paid it, however, for a private school that had more to offer than a public could. (My son applied to Swarthmore, but didn't get in.) He got some good merit aid offers from some private schools, which would have equalized the cost of public and private, but he chose a public.

I suspect you'll find that your grades and class rank will get you plenty of offers of merit aid, notwithstanding test scores (though, obviously, you should take the SAT this fall, and maybe the ACT again too).

The choice of which colleges to apply to comes down to what kind of environment you want and what you want to study. Look at each school individually... not at how much it costs... and pick those that seem to be the best "fit". When you get accepted and get merit aid offers, that will be the time to bring money into the calculation.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:19 am: Edit

Anovice, the state you come from makes all the difference. Can you sharewith us which state you live in?

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:59 am: Edit

It was the same thing for my undergraduate education. My parents had stated that they didn't believe spending $30,000/year (note how much things have changed) was a good investment. My brother had turned down schools to go to SUNY Binghamton and I should do the same thing. I applied to the SUNY and CUNY schools as well as convincing my parents to apply to schools like Carnegie Mellon, Oberlin, NYU (and of course Harvard and Yale because why not and I was sure that Harvard and Yale were enough of a "name" that I could later convince my parents that maybe other schools weren't worth it but Harvard and Yale definitely were.) My parents were *very* against my going away too far, they didn't go away to college and turned out fine and my brother went to SUNY Binghamton and turned out just fine. They would never dream of paying the full price of any of these schools. I was ranked 3rd in my class out of 250 and my SAT scores were 1510.

According to the FAFSA, I didn't "need" any financial aid. According to my parents, I did. That still baffles me considering the cost of college, I couldn't imagine that my family couldn't "need" any financial aid. I mean, my parents were not "rich" and by no means could afford to pay full tuition.

Luckily, NYU gave me a very generous merit scholarship, much more grant money than I ever thought I "needed" and more than the other schools I applied to gave me. So I was able to go there and not the SUNY Stonybrook or Queens College (CUNY).

I really couldn't have afforded to go to NYU had it not been from a very unexpected merit scholarship.


By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:37 am: Edit

Alex, since you seem to like this expression; "Quel horreur!!!", you may try Quelle Horreur. A Bientôt. Reading the adventures of Asterix does pay off! :)

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:56 am: Edit

Its been a while. I know the "O" in bientot takes a chapeau, I just cannot be bothered to put it on. As for Quelle, you are quite correct, Horreur is feminine. By the way, I love Asterix. Some of the characters have awesome names. Like Soupalognionycrouton from Asterix in Spain or Grossebaf from Asterix and the Normands and of course, Aplusbegalix and Tasdevirus from the Big fight. To say nothing of the main characters. Idefix, Assurancetourix, Abraracourcix, Ordrealfabetix...etc... a great way to learn French to be sure. It really is too bad that Goscinny passed away. Uderzo is great at drawing, but his writing is not nearly as captivating as Goscinny's.

By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:35 pm: Edit

>>>>Reading the adventures of Asterix does pay off!

Or the adventures, even.

By Anovice (Anovice) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:45 pm: Edit

I'm from Maryland although I am not really pleased with my instate schoools.

By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:56 pm: Edit

My son wasn't impressed either. He was admitted to UMCP (Honors) but it was several notches down his list (to his parents' consternation!). He was accepted to UMBC too, but he never really wanted to go there... too close to home.

There are some great schools in Maryland, depending on what you want. Goucher is a nice small, nurturing LAC. St. Mary's is too, but with public college tuition.

With your grades, you shouldn't have a problem with UMCP. Have you visited there yet? Great university, with consistently rising prestige in academics.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

Anovice, the University of Maryland is a good State school. Not one of the top 10 state school, but one of the top 25. It is good in many fields, from Business to Engineering. It is also very good in the disciplines. Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Sociology are all first rate departments.

However, with your grades, you could probably get into a top university like Johns Hopkins or Chicago, and those schools are worth the price.

However, I would never recommend a university that is not ranked in the top 25 or top 30 among Private Universities or LACs or in the top 5 or 6 State universities over Maryland.

What do you want to major in?

By Anovice (Anovice) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:05 pm: Edit

...what do I want to major in?..... a question that I've been asking myself for a while now.

Actually, I'm not as lost as some kids. I had chosen civil engineering with concentration on management. Thought I was all fine with this as much of what I do and the person that I am points in this direction(also most of my family once started in engineering and now all hold corporate positions or own corporations-- makes it easier when you are familiar with the field) But then one day I got talking to an optometrist who re-sparked my interested in the field. I had looked at this as an option for a while but then given up as it seemed like an uncommon job which I thought would not have the opportunites I was looking for. But once again, I have convinced myself that I would like the leave the door open to the possibility of becoming an optometrist... good pay, great hours, clean environment, social atmosphere- what more could I ask for?

So, if you've gotten a major out of that, you are better than I am. I have talked with various optometrists and board members and they say that any major will do as long as I fufill certain requirements. I could do this with engineering but why take so many classes that I don't need? So, I've been looking into accelerated-affiliated programs. Schools like lehigh, villanova, ithaca, etc. More or less all I need is a premed/biochem degree... what I'd like is something that will be somewhat useful if optometry is not my thing- not that I'd plan on that but things change.

So, if I can find an accelerated program, that would be great, if not, I need to find a beneficial degree.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:06 am: Edit

Anovice, I would have encourage you to amjor in something "beneficial" no matter what. You simply don't know if after 4 years of college, you will want to be an Optometrist. Major in Biochemistry or Engineering. Why not mix the two and study Bioengineering at Johns Hopkins? If money is not an issue, go for it.

Obviously the University of Maryland is a great option for you.

A great state university that has excellent Engineering and science departments is UT-Austin...and it costs roughly $20,000/year to attend, including room and board.

I agree that it is not worth getting into major debts in some instances, but there really is a significant delta between the best school you can get into and the best state school your state has to offer. You can get into schools like Johns Hopkins, Cornell and a few other top universities. Those schools are significantly better than Maryland.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:33 am: Edit


I agree with you on Asterix. The names are great and I like the Romans like Ticketdebus. I like all the allusions too. I remember one where they showed the Romans using a very fast messenger and a drawing of Eddy Merckx. They could have called him Fedexus. :)

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