|By Dave Chiko on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 11:06 pm: Edit|
Hello. Is it just me or do the students from Midwest have some disadvantages in gaining admission to "elite" schools?
I spent my freshman year in Portland, OR. where many (about 20 out of 500) of the students from my mediocre public high school made it to schools such as Harvard or MIT.
I spent the rest of my high school years at a better school in suburb of Chicago, where I met many more qualified applicants. It seems, however, that these kids seem to have much more difficulties gaining admissions to the "great" schools. Altough I don't even plan on going outer state, why do you think the kids from midwest (in general) are struggling?
|By Roger (Roger) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 09:34 am: Edit|
I'm not sure if the idea of a "midwest disadvantage" is accurate, Dave. Many east-coasters wish they came from someplace else (from an admissions standpoint!), like Nebraska, because they assume that there's an "east-coast disadvantage" due to the large number of qualified applicants. If fifty kids from your school are applying to Harvard, you have to figure that your chances are worse than if you were the only one (even though all the colleges claim they evaluate candidates purely on their own merit).
I'm in the Midwest, too, and I think that "expectations" are a big part of the reason for the lack of candidates who attend Ivies and similar schools. If you are in a private school, or even a good public, high school in the northeast, there is an expectation that the top students (or in some elite preps and magnets, a majority of students) will be applying to Top 20 schools. In the Midwest, I don't see that same assumption - the top students seem to be selecting, by and large, among Big 10 flagship schools, like Michigan and Indiana, as well as good private colleges in the midwest. The schools, guidance counselors, and parents do not, by and large, start grooming the kids for elite school apps from freshman year and earlier. By the time college application time rolls around, even the top students may not have "Ivy quality" resumes, with killer ECs and community service. (I'm not saying four years of high school resume-building is good or healthy, just that it's taken for granted at schools that expect their students to apply at elite colleges.) Recommendations are similarly affected - counselors and teachers at elite preps and magnets know how to write recommendations; by contrast, the GCs and teachers at midwestern schools that send few grads to elites haven't had to hone these skills.
At typical midwest schools, I think, more responsibility falls on the parents and student to find their way through the maze of elite college admissions. This might well account for a lower success rate, although I do think a well-crafted application from the midwest may actually have a bit of an advantage.
|By Linda (Shennie) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 11:07 am: Edit|
I agree with Roger. Most kids in the midwest are not groomed for elite schools. I live in WI. 85% of Wisconsin high school students who attend college will attend a state school. The rest attend either in state privates or out of state schools. I think that a lot of folks here don't necessarily veiw an education at an elite private school as being a better value than getting a degree from UW- Madison. There certainly is not the emphasis placed on it that I see in other parts of the country.
|By Ann Arbor MD on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 04:30 pm: Edit|
I disagree sharply if the notion extends beyond Wisonsin. "Most of the kids in the Midwest are not groomed for elite schools" is a personal statement of the author above, and without proof. In fact, try telling that to the high schools in Grosse Pointe, Milford, Bloomfield Hills, Lumen Christi in Jackson County, Western School District in Jackson County, not to mention any of the districts in the Ann Arbor area. The percentage of students who go on to 4-year colleges is nearly 100% in all of these districts, and many go to Big 10, Ivy or Top 50 colleges and universities nationwide.
In Michigan, the story for Michigan high school graduates who then go on to top Michigan colleges is quite different. Graduates of Albion and Kalamzaoo compete rather favorably with the University of Michigan for graduate school placement at the nation's top medical, law and business programs. And get in to these same graduate programs at an equal, or better rate than East coast graduates nowadays, mostly due to better emphasis on undergraduate research and sponsored internships worldwide.
We all need to follow the pathway of students who are accepted to any of the Midwest colleges that are among the US News Top 100 private schools, and then find out where they went to graduate school.
I'm not sure where you got your information, Linda, but if you check the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac:
or the Department of Education statsitics for Wisconsin, you'll see a much more favorable report for your own state. 85% of Wisonsin high school graduates do NOT attend a state school.
|By Linda (Shennie) on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 09:17 pm: Edit|
Ann Arbor - I looked at your link and couldn't find where I should look to get the statistic. In any case, I don't see it as unfavorable that a large portion of WI students choose to stay in state or attend a state school. I think people place too much emphasis on attending a name brand school without looking for whether that school can meet a particular student's needs. My impression is that people in the midwest are less concerned with name recognition or status of a school than people on either coast. Lots of kids in WI attend top schools and go onto attend top law and medical schools. But I think that, overall, a large portion of high schools in the midwest are sending few, if any students to elite colleges. Yes - Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo and the Chicago and Minneapolis and Milwaukee suburbs send a good chunk to top 50 schools, but put that in the context of all the other high schools in the region. Only about 50-60 percent of WI high school graduates statewide attend a four year college directly out of high school. And only a small portion of them will attend an out of state top 50 school. A lot of our top students attend UW and get a great education there. Most high schools advise top students to meet the criteria that will get them admitted to UW. I also don't see this as a problem that needs to be fixed.
|By Maya (Maya) on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 09:16 am: Edit|
I agree with David, Roger and Linda. I attend one of the public schools in Michigan on Ann Arbor MD's list. I think Ann Arbor misses the point of the original posting. We are talking about expectations and "Ivy quality" resumes and recommendations. In my school those of us who would like to attend one of the select schools on the east coast are very much on our own. The majority of the graduates attend either the University of Michigan or Michigan State. They are both excellent schools but the fact remains that the high school trains us primarily for the state schools. I believe this is true for most of the suburban schools around here.In the past couple of years the only students who have made it to the Ivies from my school have been legacies. Friends and cousins who attend schools in the north-east or the west coast seem to get a lot more support from their schools than we do. I am interested in seeing the statistics that Ann Arbor MD has mentioned.
|By Roger (Roger) on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 09:42 am: Edit|
In my post, BTW, I didn't mean to imply that there were NO midwest schools that had Ivy expectations for their students - rather, I meant that the typical public high school and even many private/parochial schools don't start off with the assumption that their top students will be applying to HYPS or other east coast/west coast schools. It's really a cultural thing, I think - the parents and students have low awareness of or interest in these schools, so there is little pressure to change. (The school I'm closest to has sent just 2 or 3 kids to Ivies in the last 10 years - and by many measures it's a pretty good, typical public high school.)
My perception of many east coast high schools (perhaps distorted by reading posts in this forum and elsewhere!), particularly the stronger suburban schools, not to mention magnets, preps, etc., is that more students are aware of and aspire to top colleges. Greater student and parent interest, more exposure by guidance counselors to elite admissions, etc., all create a climate where "grooming" is more commonplace.
|By AnnArbor MD on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 11:52 am: Edit|
I'm in harmony with you, Linda! I was fearing not a "low self esteem (sic)issue with Wisconsin students, but rather a universal acknowledgement that students stay in state because they are not prepared to go elsewhere. The fact is, like Michigan, many do go in state. And why not?
There are very few "silver linings" from Sept. 11th (if any), but perhaps one is that as parents, we're kind of forced to think about what true value and quality in colleges really is. I'm feeling (strongly) that there's no reason to send my three kids 2,000 miles away based upon some perception of prestige (that I'm finding impossible to prove, and these schools are not helping me when I ask for specific outcomes and results beyond all their "Ivy puffery".) Rather, there are some great colleges right within a 5-hour drive of Ann Arbor.
I will add that Michigan State is not exaclty a great University, and to some extent and differing by program neitehr is Michigan, but like most state universities, MSU provides a wonderful all-around education and a classic "college experience" students expect, and is probaly OK for most of us, but the personalization is not there. These "giants" are making their mark, and their money on research grants, federal research dollars, and foundation and corporation support. And we need their work and their discoveries in our lives - no doubt there.
Too many kids here in Ann Arbor (and hey, I'll admit I get sucked into this one....) get caught up into the "Spartans vs. the Wolverines" football, basketball, you-name-it frenzy and pick a college based upon acceptance by their peers, and whose team beat who. Nuts!! What's that got to do with education? Little that I can forsee for the masses that are not student-athletes.
So, Linda I'm agreeing with you. In fact, I'll blow Gideon's trumpet right along with you and shout out to the world that the brand name of the university or college is no measure of proven quality at the individual level. My kid's comfort with themselves, their happiness, their joys, and their spirit can't be guaranteed by some Ivy Education. If anything, it might actually erode all I've built into their ethical fibre!
|By amd on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 06:38 pm: Edit|
I used to work with a lady (she must be in her fifties now) who went to Michigan State. She once told me that Mich State had an interesting experiment when she went there. During one year (which may have been her freshman or sophomore year), the theme was 18th century. In the humanities they studied 18th century stuff. Likewise in the sciences and math. What an interesting experiment! My point: Even state schools are no slouches when it comes to trying out new things. (I had written on another thread about U of Florida's attempts at personalized instruction.)
|By Dadster on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 08:12 pm: Edit|
I think part of the reason Midwest kids tend not to look far afield (other than pure geography) is that the area is lucky enough to have some very strong state schools. Even though there are no Ivies, Chicago, Northestern, Notre Dame, etc., also offer elite private options.
As Linda points, out, why pay $150K to go to school far away when you can get a great education closer to home for a lot less money?
|By burningman on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 06:01 pm: Edit|
I can understand studying 18th century literature and philosophy, amd, but why would studying 18th century science and math be useful unless one was a history major?
|By amd on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 06:23 pm: Edit|
1. By seeing the various convolutions a concept went through, one can solve today's problems better. For instance, early concepts are almost always laughable. One learns to accept that by seeing that this is par for the course ins science.
2. What you learn in philosophy 'illuminates' what you learn in physics/chemistry.
|By burningman on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 06:33 pm: Edit|
I guess I see the intellectual curiousity benefits of learning about 18th century thinking in a math class, but usually math and science classes have a large amount of defined material they need to get through each semester. Were these historical discussions tacked-on sidebars to the regular material? Or were these courses actual complete alternative courses that a student could take instead of a traditional class?
|By amd on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 04:21 am: Edit|
Let me ask my friend the next time I see her. To give another (similar) example, the 'science' at St. John's College stops at around 1910 or so and is learnt mostly by reading original papers (Einstein's famous four papers, for instance).
|By Dadster on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 10:21 am: Edit|
>>the 'science' at St. John's College stops at around 1910<<
Hmmmm... I take it their Physics and Bio majors aren't heavily recruited??
|By amd on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 04:11 pm: Edit|
They have no majors at all. Pope's book describes their single curriculum. I think that theie graduates are very well sought out.
|By tog on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 12:22 am: Edit|
it seems to me that some 40% of incoming freshmen
attending community colleges would indicate that
perhaps the golden day of out of control tuition
maybe coming to an end. consider that most families can't afford to send 2-3 kids to an
ivy school at 35k per year. sorry. i know of
several folks who are putting morgages on their
houses. insane. all for the perception of ivy.
problem can be seen by cost analysis, how do
i benefit? well if you are a genius, you may
very well need a graduate degree reguardless.
if you plan on getting a job w/a 4yr degree, ask
yourself if you really -need- a teaching degree
from columbia(etc). in the end, you or your family
must justify the cost.
|By BBB on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 09:19 pm: Edit|
Tog, you raise a good point about the cost/benefit ratio of an elite education. A lot depends on what one expects to get out of college - a degree, a body of knowledge, a full Rolodex (or Palm), four years of intellectual exploration, etc. If one views college as a sort of trade school to gain qualifications for a particular job, a community college might be fine. If one hopes to spend four years interacting with exceptionally bright peers from around the world while exploring different areas of intellectual endeavor, the community college may be a bit of a disappointment.
I agree that many kids/families choose very expensive schools for the wrong reasons.
|By Brian Wilson on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 - 05:35 pm: Edit|
Ann Arbor, MD seems to have the very biases for which he condems other kids in Ann Arbor of having "Spartans vs. Wolverines" in sports & whatever. To say that Michigan State is totally impersonal is wrong. Indeed, the school is well known for many "small college" opportunites w/in the major research setting, particularly centered around a residence hall w/ classes, labs, libraries and faculty offices. James Madison and Lyman Briggs are excellent examples. There are so competitive that many mistaken them for "honors colleges" which they are not. And by the way, the MSU Honors College is also well regarded as among the best. Undergrad students may also research w/ top professors in one of the school's national research facilities (like the prestigious cyclotron). Also, freshman seminars w/ top faculty -- long an Ivy standard -- are available at MSU... So Michigan HS students, for good reason, need not salivate over expensive, designer "Ivy League/Ivy Type" schools.
|By Jessica S. on Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 04:54 pm: Edit|
I am from a small town in Missouri, and I would agree that not many students even try to go to elite schools. I am a senior this year, and I am the only student applying to an ivy league school. There are a few however who are applying to Washington University, and a couple who are applying to a prestigious 6 year medical program at University of Missouri-Kansas City. I think that people think Ivy league schools are too expensive. Plus, our counselors hardly ever recommend big name schools to students. I am slightly worried that my EC's won't look as good compared to other big name school applicants because my school and area don't offer many of the opportunities that studnets can have in bigger cities.
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