HARVARD PRIDE





Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: HARVARD PRIDE
By Cuspidor (Cuspidor) on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 07:18 pm: Edit

I want to know one thing. Do Harvard students think they are at a different league than schools such as Cornell? I myself have been accepted to Cornell but hate to see it underestimated--- cause, maybe its true that it is kind of weak.
what do you think?

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 07:41 pm: Edit

sigh

By Cuspidor (Cuspidor) on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 08:00 pm: Edit

explain yourself

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 08:19 pm: Edit

i mean, does it really matter what Harvard students think about Cornell? Yes, many people think of it as the "reject Ivy", or the place you go when you don't get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc., but that isn't the case? Cornell is an Ivy League research university, a great school, but, as any other school, it's not for everyone. Are you going to Cornell? If you are, I'm sure you'll realize that it's a great place and that those who hate it or think of it as a "lesser" school really don't know what they're saying. Harvard is a great school(i'm thinking of applying there for transfer), but it's different from Cornell, Yale, Penn, Stanford, MIT, Georgetown, NYU, Princeton, etc.

By Perfectsat (Perfectsat) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 03:25 am: Edit

Graduate students prefer Berkeley over Harvard.

By Collegeguy (Collegeguy) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 03:44 am: Edit

What on earth...for engineering, yes.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 05:05 am: Edit

The difference between Harvard students and students at many other schools is that Harvard students don't spend much time pondering what other people think about their college.

By Ct04 (Ct04) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

No, it doesn't matter one bit what Harvard kids think about Cornell. Cornell's an amazing school... and remember that their unofficial, f Harvard motto is "Easy to get in, impossible to get out" Cornell offers an amazing rep, as well as one of the best US engineering schools. Don't worry about what other ivy kids think of Cornell... if it makes you feel better, in China Cornell is just as famous, if not more, than Harvard or Yale (I KNOW someone on this board will be a dumbshit and tell me I'm stupid for saying this, but it's the truth. Say Cornell to half the people in China, and they'll instantly know what you're talking about. Harvard and Yale elicit blank looks)

By Ambitiousyokel (Ambitiousyokel) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit

I'll volunteer to be that first dumbshit. Bitter rejects make me sad...

By Diceypit (Diceypit) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 09:54 pm: Edit

Ofcourse Haravard kids think they are superior, at least some do. I mean its Hahvahhhhhhhhhhd. But I bet you there are a bunch of Cornell engineer students laughing at Harvard Engineers. People like to feel superior, and elite. And there is no way that in china Cornell is more peestigious then HYP.

By Collegeguy (Collegeguy) on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Hm. Ct04, I'm not too sure about this statement:

"Say Cornell to half the people in China, and they'll instantly know what you're talking about Harvard and Yale elicit blank looks."

By Ali_Liu (Ali_Liu) on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 07:48 pm: Edit

"Say Cornell to half the people in China, and they'll instantly know what you're talking about Harvard and Yale elicit blank looks."

...it's probably the other way around...=)

By Vecter (Vecter) on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 08:41 pm: Edit

Ali_Liu, not the othe way around, but close enough :P

By Stanfordman99 (Stanfordman99) on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit

You think it actually matters in the long run whether you go to Harvard or Cornell? Oh no.....I got into the ivy-leagues.....my life is DOOMED!!!!

By Ct04 (Ct04) on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit

Heh bitter rejects? I got into Cornell and Yale, you think I'm crying about not getting into Harvard? I have a lot of respect for Harvard, but none for dicks who think that because they go to Harvard they're better than others. In addition, I never once said anything bad about Harvard, anything students there won't say themselves. I got that quote from a relative's friend; I'm more than happy to provide name and number of my relative.

Again, I would like to invite someone who's been to China, talked to a large amount of Chinese people, ••••, STUDIED chinese to comment on this. I have done all three. Cornell is more famous because it's known for engineering, which tends to be the reason for asians to immigrate here. Yes, maybe I went over the top with the Harvard and Yale elicit blank looks, but Cornell is at least as well known as the big H.

Stanfordman- you're right. Look, this is stupid and I hate these prestige discussions, it just irritates me when people call Cornell a reject ivy because they're nominally intellectual, intelligent kids.

By Sarasote (Sarasote) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit

"China Cornell is just as famous, if not more, than Harvard or Yale"

I don't go to harvard and sry to burst ur bubble but no that is not true. lol. actually most people in china dont know any schools in the UNited States except Harvard. Even the most educated probably only know Harvard and perhaps Yale. Princeton isnt even known in China/Taiwan.

Why do you think many chinese people's goal is to go to Harvard? Because their parents are immigrants from China/Taiwan and all they know of is Harvard. Harvard is definitely the most prestigious school in the country, there is no doubt about that.

**how do i know this? i am asian, i lived in taiwan for 3 years, most of my family live there/china/japan/korea**

**i dont want to go to harvard either so dont think im biased lol**

"Say Cornell to half the people in China, and they'll instantly know what you're talking about. Harvard and Yale elicit blank looks"

umm thats backwards

By Diceypit (Diceypit) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 08:57 am: Edit

The thing about Cornell and China is that very recently, The chinese media made a very big deal about the Taiwanese president speaking at Cornell. The Taiwanese went super happy while the mainland went pissy! So Cornell got alot of coverage.

By Snack (Snack) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 09:19 am: Edit

"Even the most educated probably only know Harvard and perhaps Yale. Princeton isnt even known in China/Taiwan."

Are you kidding? Do you think everybody in China/Taiwan is so ignorant? I can assure you that I know many uneducated and educated people from those places, and your statement is completely ridiculous.

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that you're correct about Harvard being much better-known than Cornell.

By Canadian_Idol (Canadian_Idol) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 10:42 am: Edit

I've lived in Korea for 12 years and I can assure you that Cornell isn't widely known there. The names that come up most frequently are Harvard, and less frequently Yale, Princeton and Stanford. I've only come to know Cornell last year when I started my college apps.

You can also see the difference in how people in Korea name their books. When translated it sounds very corny but they all go like "Shoot for Harvard, not Seoul University" not "Shoot for Cornell". Likewise, "Kids who got into Harvard" not "Kids who got into Cornell".

By Rtkysg (Rtkysg) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 03:30 pm: Edit

In China, Harvard and MIT beat the rest. Harvard for Math, MIT for Math, Physics, Chem & Engineering.

Do u think china ppl go to Yale taking Film/English ? or going to Princeton taking International Relation (very very unlikely)? Don't be kidding ..... anyway Cornell probably comes after Harvard/MIT,Stanford (Engineering), Caltech and Princeton (Math), in China as for preference.

By Howdydoody (Howdydoody) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 05:10 pm: Edit

I thought Stanford was very well regarded in Asia. The World Rankings created by the Chinese MIT placed Stanford after only Harvard.

By Sarasote (Sarasote) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 05:39 pm: Edit

Are you kidding? Do you think everybody in China/Taiwan is so ignorant? I can assure you that I know many uneducated and educated people from those places, and your statement is completely ridiculous.

snack, u are free to express your opinion, even if it is wrong. i lived in asia for 3 years. my entire extension of my family lives there. i return every year (3 times a year to be exact). ive been to school in taiwan. my parents lived there until they were 30. i think i should know what i am talking about. princeton is NOT that well known in china/taiwan. my brother goes to princeton and none of our friends in taiwan know what it is. harvard on the other hand is very well known

By Treyy685 (Treyy685) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 05:55 pm: Edit

honestly i have to say this is a ridiculous post. who cares which schools people have heard of in China--or anywhere else for that matter? if you're going to base how you feel about your own school on how other people perceive it, you are an IDIOT.

By Meth5400 (Meth5400) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 07:09 pm: Edit

thats ••••••••-all these ppl pick up that "holier than thou" 'who cares what other ppl think'....nobody is fooling anybody. Who do u think lives in the world with you and is responsible for what happens to you? an elephant?!!? nah-its ppl. and when i say 'what happens to you' i mean the JBOS you get-the OPPORTUNITIES and OFFERS you'll get. Cornell is a GREAT school-"ivy reject" lol its one of the top schools in the nation-period. Now, with regards to Harvard-yes, except in some fields-a Harvard education is CONSIDERED to be of better quality. Why argue with reality?
ps-about the china point...are you planning to look for a job in china? or america?

By Stanfordman99 (Stanfordman99) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 08:57 pm: Edit

"thats ••••••••-all these ppl pick up that "holier than thou" 'who cares what other ppl think'....nobody is fooling anybody. Who do u think lives in the world with you and is responsible for what happens to you? an elephant?!!?"

LOL!!!!! Meth5400 I have to give you props for that. I found it to be hilarious!

By Gabushida (Gabushida) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 11:01 pm: Edit

Dont be silly.

Its a llama :)

By Techieguy (Techieguy) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 11:10 pm: Edit

I've lived in Taiwan for 4 years. Everyone there knows Harvard. And, from my experience (sarasote would probably disagree) but Cornell is known there. However Harvard is uncontrovertibly the most prestigious there. This is disregarding the fact that the president of Taiwan is from Cornell.

By Ct04 (Ct04) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 11:14 pm: Edit

ok, ok, you know what? I give up the damn China thing. I'll freely admit I was wrong (I blame my Chinese teacher), but I still say that anyone who bitches about Cornell being the reject-ivy is a dumbshit.

oh, and yokel- I haven't forgotten that bitter reject comment, and I'm still trying to figure what exactly brought it on.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 01:32 am: Edit

Northstarmom, that's a ridiculous, rude, and elitist comment.

By Stanfordman99 (Stanfordman99) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 12:14 pm: Edit

"The difference between Harvard students and students at many other schools is that Harvard students don't spend much time pondering what other people think about their college."

Hence the reason I chose Stanford over Harvard. Elitists like Northstarmom are rather unappealing. Our rivalry with Berkeley is actually FUN and LAID BACK, while the Harvard-Yale rivalry reminds me of two WASPy old white men slapping each other with their wussy gloves.

By Nannabanana08 (Nannabanana08) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 01:12 pm: Edit

My god, it's people like you Stanfordman that make me happy that I chose Harvard! Do you realize that in your post you came off as "rather unappealing"? Congradulations for not chosing Harvard! And I hope Standford is everything you're expecting. Reality check: the people that go to stanford are the SAME people that go to harvard! There's bound to be elitists no matter where you end up. Do you think that all the elitists, as you call them, chose to only apply to harvard? No... they probably apply to Yale, and Princeton, and STANFORD. God forbid they get rejected from Harvard, where do they chose? Stanford, etc. They don't become more pious because they are now attending stanford. So stop stereotyping Harvard as a bunch of elitist snobs. I'm sorry for this post. I usually just keep my feelings pent up inside, but you really offended me with your generalizations about Harvard. One more thing, your comment about the Harvard-Yale rivalry... you would know all about this because... I'm assuming you attended one of these schools and witnessed it firsthand? Or are you once again generalizing based on the comments people make on one stupid website...

By Vecter (Vecter) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 04:13 pm: Edit

nannabanana, well said

By Stanfordman99 (Stanfordman99) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 05:23 pm: Edit

"Congradulations for not chosing Harvard!"

Spelling phonetically only goes so far.....

By Stanfordman99 (Stanfordman99) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 05:31 pm: Edit

"God forbid they get rejected from Harvard, where do they chose? Stanford, etc."

Wow. I think a lot more Harvard people are elitist than Stanford people. Many of us chose Stanford precisely BECAUSE we wanted to get away from the pretension of the ivy-leagues and the inherent WASPyness associated with them. Of course there are Harvard-rejects at Stanford just like how there are Stanford-rejects at Harvard. Admissions are for the most part subjective and Harvard is by no means the most selective school in America (Caltech takes the cake on that one). Many of use choose Stanford over Harvard because of personal preferences, and some of us never even applied to Harvard in the first place.

So yes, the people who go to Stanford are for the most part less elitist than Harvard students. Why else do you think the Harvard social life blows? That's because the school has a larger share of elitists/prestige-whores who chose the school just cause it's Harvard and not because it's the best fit for them.

By Techieguy (Techieguy) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 01:42 am: Edit

"reject ivy"

Being the worst of the best still ain't bad :)

Actually I think Brown's the worst, but bleh.

By Diceypit (Diceypit) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 09:16 am: Edit

No, UPenn without Wharton is the worst. Brown is definately better

By Nannabanana08 (Nannabanana08) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

Stanfordman, your last post just goes to show that you really suck as a person. I'm sorry to say that. (I contemplated taking that first line out for a long time, because maybe in real life you really are an awesome person. And yes, I'll admit I'm wrong to judge you over something as stupid and trivial as this). And I really don't like to be negative, but in this case I feel that I have to defend myself. I really like Stanford. I really like many of the colleges out there. I don't speak poorly of any of the top colleges, because honestly, I think it's irrelevant and unnecessary to debate the quality of the most respected schools in the country. Furthermore, I never said that Harvard is more prestigious than Stanford (or any school for that matter). In fact, I could really care less about prestige. And once again (and I know this is kind of overkill... but), you would know exactly how Harvard’s social life is... because... you went there. Right?

One more thing, in regards to your post somewhere above:

"'Congradulations for not chosing Harvard!'

Spelling phonetically only goes so far..... "


Wow, Good comeback! I can see you're obviously not elitist or anything. How can you be ready for college when you still think like a fifth grader?

Btw, feel free to proofread my post and point out any more spelling/grammar errors.

By U2tustp830 (U2tustp830) on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 11:40 pm: Edit

Hahaha nanabanana! I like, I like!

Stanfordman, she makes a good point. You can't really accuse someone of being elitist when you are pointing out grammatical errors in their message posts. That is kind of pushing it, wouldn't you say?

By Collegeboarders (Collegeboarders) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 10:46 pm: Edit

As an objective observer, Nannabanana seems to be the one who is being immature and elitist.

Stanford99 is just stating his perception of the Harvard/Stanford differences with some stereotypes and exaggerations thrown in for good measure. It started out pretty light.

On the other hand, Nannabanana is the one who is getting excessively defensive, and lacking a sense of humor -- even personally attacking him: "your last post just goes to show that you really suck as a person." Come now, is there any need for that?

Earlier, you responded to Stanford99's comment about your tendency to spell phonetically with a biting remark -- "How can you be ready for college when you still think like a fifth grader?"

Hm. Well, I thought Stanford99 had a rather witty response to your distractingly poor spelling... so I ask you Nannabanana -- How can you be ready for college when you still spell like a 5th grader??

Hah, all in good humor. Although it seems lacking from you Nannabanana... c'mon and represent Harvard well. Accept that you will get accusations of elitism for the rest of your life because of your Harvard association. The solution is not to defend it ridiculously and attack others. Instead, accept the accusations, play around and have fun with it.


Having a sense of humor will *show* others that Harvard kids are not elitist dipshits. :-)
(haha, let's practice now... haha, are you with me?? )

Don't tell us you're not a snob, show us.

By Varr (Varr) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Not even in Mexico thats isnt even as far as China ,
Cornell isnt known by the mayority of the population, seriosuly not even than less than half of the educated people here in Mex are aware of Cornell , they also draw a complete blank when you mention the name!!

People are most likely to recognize H, then Y, THEN P, and then Stanford MIT etc....

Trust me, this I have experienced!!!!

And yes I wish to go to Cornell if I get in and If i get rejected for Stanford, MIT ,ETC.
Hopefully that wont happen lol :)

By Nannabanana08 (Nannabanana08) on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 11:35 pm: Edit

Oh well. Not everyone has to like me. You win some, you lose some. At least I had the decency to admit that people may be more than what they seem to be based on college confidential posts. And I don't think you should judge me like that for mis-spelling like 3 words. Seriously, I don't have to defend myself (and don't think you childish attempts to belittle me have affected me in any way) because I think thusfar my accomplishments speak louder than words. I am very happy with my life and that's all that matters to me. And I am very proud and honored to be a member of the Harvard class of 2008!

By Snack (Snack) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 09:18 am: Edit

To Nana: as another objective observer, I have to agree that you're the one being childish, critical, and snobbish here. You are obviously proud of your accomplishments thusfar, and may have good reason to be. But based on the tone of your posts, you have some maturing to do.

By Vecter (Vecter) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 03:27 pm: Edit

this dumb argument should come to an end.

By Nannabanana08 (Nannabanana08) on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 04:34 pm: Edit

I agree with you vector. I'd like to make one concluding comment: I'm sorry if I came off as snobby and immature. It really wasn't my intention and anyone who knows me personally would tell you that I am far from either of those. I'm genuinely sorry if I offended anyone. This thread is very dumb indeed and has brought out the worst in all of us. So stanfordman, collegeboarder, snack, etc. I just want you to know that I am actually a very humble and friendly person. I'm sorry if I came off as otherwise. This is my apology; if you choose to accept it or not, that's up to you. That's all.

By Malicemizer9 (Malicemizer9) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

Harvard is the best (most prestigious), and there is no denying that.

Cornell is still one of the absolute best schools in the country and the world.

Anyone who labels Cornell a "reject Ivy," should first gain admission into one of the endowed colleges, which are more selective than Dartmouth, Penn, and on-par with Brown. Cornell engineering is the best in the Ivy League, and its sciences are similarly spectacular. Everything else is as solid as a bank vault. There is NO doubt that Cornell should be in the company of the other Ivies including Harvard.

Now excuse me while I beat myself for using the term "reject Ivy."

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 09:00 am: Edit

definitely. Even the applied economics and management major in the College of Ag. and Life Science(not endowed) is highly selective. A friend got into Wharton but not that.... Anyway, there's no point in arguing which Ivies are "better". I agree that Harvard is more prestigious and has more name recognition than perhaps every college in the country, however each Ivy and others has something to offer that the others don't.

By Collegeboarders (Collegeboarders) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit

heya nanna, apology accepted -- I believe you! "This thread is dumb and brought out the worst in all of us" Yeah agreed: that's what makes these college-comparison threads so useless... so let's all be off and grace some other more useful/fun thread with our presence!

Have fun at Harvard next year; if ya'll ever get sick of Baston, come visit at sunny Caltech. :-)

By Docarchitect (Docarchitect) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 10:20 am: Edit

Most folks at Harvard I talked to about other colleges spoke of those colleges with respect. Harvard folks seemed to have a great reverence for University of Chicago in particular. But the ivies are like cousins, they're family, they're peers.

By Serdu (Serdu) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:19 pm: Edit

Agreed. Rarely do H kids malign other Ivies and highly selective institutions.

By Haruhara (Haruhara) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

i believe congratulations is spelled um... yeah...

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 12:47 am: Edit

I have a quibble with the person who said that Caltech is more selective than Harvard. I'm assuming that you base this on the fact that Caltech has a higher SAT score range.

The fact is, successful applications to Harvard have a lot more going for them than high scores. There is a million other criteria that Harvard adcoms use to narrow the playing field. A good amount of those accepted to Caltech probably can't get into Harvard (even though they'd probably not be interested), because they are too lopsided (in the science/tech fields). Caltech loves them for it, though.

By Rtkysg (Rtkysg) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 01:23 am: Edit

You're absolutely right Candi :)

By Nannabanana08 (Nannabanana08) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit

Haruhara, so I made a spelling mistake... get over it... we've been there already, and thankfully that ended in a very positive and mature manner. I don't claim to be a spelling bee champion, and lucky for me, Spelling 101 isn't part of the core at Harvard next year ;) Good luck to you in the future. One word of advice: don't waste your time obsessing over trivial matters like this.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 12:15 am: Edit

I thought it was universally known among the academic world that Caltech is THE hardest school to gain admission to. They don't have legacy admits, don't give significant boosts to black/latino applicants, and demand the highest academic merits of everyone.

I mean you never hear of people like George Bush getting into Caltech. Yet he got into Harvard and Yale. Only geniuses get into Caltech, while rich kids, legacies, URMs, and Bushes slip through the cracks to get into HYPS.

HYPS certainly have all the prestige and glory. But Caltech, and to a much lesser extent MIT, are known for their smarter student bodies.

By Irulekalimdor (Irulekalimdor) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 12:34 am: Edit

Mysticwistful

I would be very surprised if you can justify the statement "known for their smart*er* student bodies" with some actualy figures which substantiate your point.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 02:25 am: Edit

Here are some figures. How about the middle 50% SAT scores for first-year students?

Caltech---
Verbal: 710-780
Math: 760-800
COMBINED: 1470-1580

Harvard---
Verbal: 700-790
Math: 700-780
COMBINED: 1400-1570

Stanford---
Verbal: 660-760
Math: 690-780
COMBINED: 1350-1540


Of course you can always use that age old argument that SAT scores mean very little. But seriously, it is a standardized nation-wide test that measures one's intelligence, and morons like Bush don't get extra points just cause they have social connections. That's more than I can say about HYPS admissions.

I know that as a Harvard/Stanford admit I'm being a hypocrit trying to criticize the very system that got me in. But in my honest opinion Caltech is the hardest school to get into because not only is the class size a fraction of HYPS's student body, but their admissions are almost completely meritocratic. They give no significant admissions boosts to URMs, females, legacies, athletes, etc. You never see Tiger Woods, Bush, the Olsen Twins, and other academically sub-par celebrities going to Caltech. 100% of the students at Caltech are there because they are qualified to be there, and everyone with a Caltech diploma earned it through academic excellence. The only way you can get in is by academic merit, and therefore Caltech has the most selective admissions policy of all universities.

By Ken (Ken) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 04:04 am: Edit

And that's the reason why Caltech is not very popular...because it's so boring. It's full of bookworms, there is no cultural diversity ; it's just plain old dull. It's just not the ideal college life for ANY student.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 02:42 pm: Edit

Ah beating around the bush are we? So you admit that Caltech is the most selective university in the world?

By Irulekalimdor (Irulekalimdor) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 03:37 pm: Edit

"You never see Tiger Woods, Bush, the Olsen Twins, and other academically sub-par celebrities going to Caltech."

The Irony in this statment is that they actually don't even bother to apply to Caltech. Name any celebrity figure who applied to Caltech and didn't get in to make that statement valid.

By Sakky (Sakky) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 05:20 pm: Edit

Well, mysticwistful, I wouldn't go that far. The fact is, Caltech also has affirmative action and considerations of diversity and all that stuff. So when you say "The only way you can get in is by academic merit", you go too far.

You might be able to make the case that Caltech is more meritocratic than the other schools. But to say that Caltech is completely 100% meritocratic? Or that academic merit is the absolute only way to get in? That's too extreme. Let's face it. Every school gives out some admits that have nothing to do with merit. Every one. You might argue that Caltech does it less. But to say that Caltech doesn't do it at all? Come on.

Finally, I don't buy your arguments that small class size necessarily means harder admissions. It might, but it might not. Is the law school with the largest enrollment in the country easy to get into? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that getting into Harvard Law School is easy (and yes, HLS has the largest enrollment of any law-school in the nation). Nor would I say that getting into Harvard Business School easy to get into, yet HBS has the largest enrollment of any business-school in the nation. What about the EECS PhD graduate school with the largest enrollment in the country, is that easy to get into? Believe me, getting into the EECS PhD program at MIT is no walk in the park. The point is that class size may or may not influence how selective a school is . It really depends on how a school chooses to handle its class size. You can be large, yet highly selective (i.e. Harvard Law, MIT EECS PhD). You can be tiny yet not selective (i.e. community colleges).

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit

"The Irony in this statment is that they actually don't even bother to apply to Caltech. Name any celebrity figure who applied to Caltech and didn't get in to make that statement valid."

When academically sub-par people don't apply to a school, that's what we call a self-selective applicant pool.

By Sakky (Sakky) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 01:00 am: Edit

I also have to question your direct linkage of academic merit and selectivity. As I'm sure you'd agree, academic merit is not the only way for an organization to be selective. The NBA, for example, has nothing to do with academic merit, but that doesn't mean that it's not selective. I would venture to say that it's easier to get into Harvard or Caltech than it is to get into the NBA.

I would only agree with you that Caltech might be the most selective school when it comes to academic merit, but not the most selective school otherwise. You talk about some of those celebrities like it's easy to be a celebrity. You cite Tiger Woods. Yet I think we'd all agree that it's easier to get into any school in the world than it is to be the #1 golfer in the world.

You might even cite somebody like Bush and say that it all has to do with bloodlines and luck. However, if want to explore the avenue of luck, then I just as easily turn that gambit right on its head and say that Caltech admits were lucky that they were born with natural talent in science and mathematics. Hence, there's luck all around. Everybody is lucky in some sense.

So if you want to say that Caltech is the most selective school went it comes to sheer academics, I might get onboard. But if you then want to stretch that to say that Caltech is the most selective school overall, my friend, that's where we part company.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:02 pm: Edit

But NBA selectivity and college selectivity are completely different and they use completely different criteria. Sure I can make up my own college and say that the criterions for admission are that your first name must be Adssda, you have to be 7 feet tall, and know how to use a toaster as a deadly weapon. Then yes, my college would be the most selective in the world because nobody (or almost nobody) can meet my admissions standards. But would it be the most academically respected? Likewise, the NBA is selective because they want people with top basketball skills. If the NBA selection committee allowed other factors like lagacies, rich dudes, and race to make up for a lack in basketball skills, I doubt the NBA would be quite as revered for it's ability to draft the top basketball stars. Since the NBA specializes in basketball, I would expect the NBA to only draft people who have great basketball skills. Colleges are supposed to be places of higher learning. Therefore, academic merit should be the single most important factor in college admissions whereas factors like legacies, race, and wealth should not count for anything. In that sense, Caltech is the most selective university in the world because it's admissions focuses almost purely on academics, and their student body has the highest SAT average in the world.

But I must say Sakky, you are the only Harvard student/alum thus far who has made great arguments. Some of what you say is hard to dispute.

By Deferreddude (Deferreddude) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:07 pm: Edit

Actually, from what I've gathered from Sakky's other posts, I think he is a Berkeley grad.

By Sakky (Sakky) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit

But you see, mysticwistful, what you said in your first paragraph is exactly what I'm talking about. Just because a particular school is the most academically selective doesn't mean that it's the most selective school overall. The one does not necessarily mean the other. If you want to make the argument that Caltech is the most academically selective undergraduate school, then I have no quarrel. But if you then want to make the jump that Caltech is then the most selective undergraduate school period, that's where we part company.

To parse the NBA analogy further, I agree that if the NBA started using other criteria like legacies or ec's or whatever, then I would agree that it might no longer be the most basketball-selective organization in the world. But that doesn't mean that it still isn't overall selective. It may still be selective, but selective using different criteria.

The key point in dispute is what colleges should be all about vs. what they actually are all about. You say that colleges are supposed to be places of higher learning, and I agree. That's what they should be, but we both know that that's not what they actually are. We can discuss why that difference exists, but for the purposes of this discussion, none of that matters here. The only thing that matters is what schools actually are doing. And many schools have taken it upon themselves to mint future leaders, which we both know is not exactly congruent with academic merit. As we both know, just because you have great academic merit does not automatically mean that a school like Harvard will want you. Whether we like it or not, that's what a lot of schools do.

So again, if you want to say that Caltech is the most academically selective school in the world, then I don't think too many reasonable people would seriously dispute you. But to then jump to the generalization that Caltech is therefore the most overall selective school is taking it one step too far.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit

Okay then. I concede. Caltech is the most academically selective school in the world. And in my opinion, that's the whole point of the college admissions process.

By Irock1ce (Irock1ce) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:00 am: Edit

China's list of most prestigious schools (coming from a boy who was born in China and came here to the United States when he was 6.... and this is in relationship to how my family, and friends in china look about it):
1. Harvard
2.Yale/ Stanford/Princeton/MIT/Berkeley <-- this group is VERY hard to separate.. believe me.
3. CalTech
4. Columbia
17. Cornell

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:26 pm: Edit

Yale doesn't have much of an international reputation. Neither does Princeton. Berkeley might have a huge reputation over there, but that's in name recognition and not prestige.

Harvard, Stanford, and MIT have the most name recognition AND prestige overseas.

By Foreigngrad (Foreigngrad) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:48 pm: Edit

Guys and gals,

how about looking at another indicator of schools' popularity and prestige abroad:

alumni density

I would be curious, which schools have the highest in East Asia. MIT and Harvard would be my assumption, although this is speculation.


Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page