Why does everyone want to go to Top Tier Colleges?





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: May 2004 Archive: Why does everyone want to go to Top Tier Colleges?
By Rbc13 (Rbc13) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

Something I was wondering, why does everyone want to go to a top tier college? Is it all for bragging and prestige? The way I figure it is, you drive to college, get lessons, drive home. Is it worth paying 5000 a year or so for some prestigious college? Why not just take in state colleges, and you actually GAIN 2000 a year? College is just a place of learning and education. Also if you go to a college with high expectations, you feel overwhelming pressure to perform. But if you go to a normal college, you will be given the the oppurtunity to develop without limits.

By Shaka (Shaka) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 10:04 pm: Edit

why do we want to go? you should ask yourself why do they even bother to rank colleges...

By Gastudent123 (Gastudent123) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 10:13 pm: Edit

The overwheliming pressure usually makes me perform at my optimal level whereas if I were to go to a normal college, then I would not feel a need to perform at my best level. Also, going to a really good college opens up many doors to internships, jobs, and graduate school just based off the prestige of the college.

By Mhawk177 (Mhawk177) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 10:21 pm: Edit

For me it is fear with the job market.. I love Notre Dame, but my want for prestige is based off the job markey. An ND grad should be able to find a job no problem, while a Southern Illinois grad would have more of a problem.

By Whowasthursday (Whowasthursday) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 10:52 pm: Edit

Just wondering, what is the dividing line between top-tier and whatever the other tiers are? Is that a US News & World Report thing?

By Ragnathor (Ragnathor) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 11:11 pm: Edit

5k a year? dont you mean 20k+ a year? and how do you actually gain money from going to a state college?

By Mrbesch (Mrbesch) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit

I know this wise man. He is very wealthy, having started a sucessful law firm, owning many properties, etc. He told me that your college degree only matters for your 1st job- after that, it's how well you perform in that job.

Btw, he went to BC, but he was class of '53 or so, before BC was all that prestigious.

Yeah, Harvard's nice, but you can still succeed even if u go to a lesser place. Reach for the stars, but don't freak out if you don't get an Ivy or whatnot, because that won't decide whether you are sucessful or not.

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

Well, political correctness aside, it is undeniably true that people who have attended prestigious universities are in general more successful than people who attended less prestigious ones. (note: in general)

This can be interpreted in several ways:

1. The better education that they received helped them perform better in their careers.

2. They were naturally more talented/hardworking, which is why they were accepted in the first place.

3. They came from more privileged backgrounds. The resources, such as family connections, that had helped them in college admissions later contributed to career success.

4. College alumni networking.

Whichever of the above is true, society has come to equate attending a prestigious university to success in life, which is why we try so hard to get into those schools.

The question is, how much do the perceptions of society matter to you? Attending a 'top tier' school may contribute to your success in life, but it is only one of many factors to consider.

As for the original question - Is it worth it? (I think you meant $50000 not $5000, though the actual figure would probably be around $20000 to $40000)
Well.. what else are you going to spend the money on?

By Haithman (Haithman) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 01:57 am: Edit

Because we're human and always want the best thing possible...
That, and im about to sound EXTREMELY Cliche here, but I want to surround myself with people on the same intellectual level as me.

By Feuler (Feuler) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 02:00 am: Edit

I only skimmed over the responses, so I don't know if someone presented this idea already, but for me it is quite possibly the number one reason I would like to go to a top tier school: the other people there. The fact that a school is upper-tier means that if I were to go to it, I would be among many very capable and intelligent people, who would thus inspire me to work harder, allow me to learn from them (and them from me), and, most important of all, me similar in mindset to myself and thus lots of fun to be around, do stuff with, argue with, etc., and would likely to be my friends for a very long time.

I don't think I expressed that very well, but I think you can get the gist of it. Attending MOSP this past summer showed me that the value of being around very intelligient people is much greater than I had every imagined; I felt more at home in Lincoln, Nebraska than I ever have at my own school, among my own peers, in my own city, and I want college to be like that too.

By Haithman (Haithman) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 02:11 am: Edit

Yup I said that Euler

By Feuler (Feuler) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 02:56 am: Edit

Haha, yeah, I saw that after I posted it. I think you posted while I was typing my post, so I didn't see it.

By Haithman (Haithman) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 03:07 am: Edit

Yeah, but that is one of my top reasons. After having to live through attending a crappy highschool and being surrounded my mediocre students, I cant wait to be surrounded by people who are on the same level as me.
Ah 2 more years!

By Rbc13 (Rbc13) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 05:48 pm: Edit

I can see how you all want to go to top tier colleges, but here are my reasons that I don't:

1. Heavy limits placed on me, having to perform up to same level. I like to go beyond what is expected, but if all I do is what is expected, how can that be fun. I get inspired when I don't have countless hours of work ahead of me.

2. Companies don't really care that much about what college you went to. They just look at it and say wow, good for you.

3. I don't really want to worry about paying for college, as after all the work I have spent, I think I should be rewarded.

4. It doesn't really matter what college you go to, its the education you get. A teacher lecturing at Harvard and assigning a 50 page thesis paper and at ASU assinging a 10 page paper are the same. If I really wanted to I could add 40 pages to it, but that would be tedious. A

5. I don't really want to be around people that are just flat out intelligent. They don't do any work and get exceptionally high scores on everything while slacking off. Or otherwise, then when I compare myself to them, and why they got a 35 or 36. on the ACT, I don't have an answer for myself to justify my score.

6. I don't want to move to a dorm and have to live in that type of atmosphere, I would rather be at home where people are loving and there is a comfortable atmosphere.

Am I missing something?

By Tri_N (Tri_N) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

You're destined for failure if you're afraid of challenging myself.

I'm from the best HS in Illinois and I'm bored every day. As for the financial issue, you won't have to worry about the money if you're a great student. The money will be there for you through financial aid.

By Mhawk177 (Mhawk177) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit

Best HS in Illinois? Im from the Chicago area and I would be interested to hear which one that is lol.

By Tri_N (Tri_N) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Academically, Northside is the best HS in Illinois.

If you base your opinion on sports and clubs, you might have a case.

By Bellevueteen (Bellevueteen) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 08:53 pm: Edit

"5. I don't really want to be around people that are just flat out intelligent. They don't do any work and get exceptionally high scores on everything while slacking off. Or otherwise, then when I compare myself to them, and why they got a 35 or 36. on the ACT, I don't have an answer for myself to justify my score. "

Wow way to stereotype. Just because a person is smarter doesn't mean he/she autmotatically works less. There are plenty of people who take assignments and go beyond the parameters to challenge themselves.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 09:04 pm: Edit

US News World Report Top 50 schools are the top tier.

By Tired_Student (Tired_Student) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 09:05 pm: Edit

I dunno, some things that might turn some people off about these super competitive schools is backdoor stuff and sabotage.

I mean, some people who have connections in these prestigious schools, "frat boys with prestigious legacy" will probably get answers/grades without working for it. In addition, I've heard that in some of these schools, when a professor assigns an assignment, everyone runs to the library and rips out the pages so that others wont succeed. Thats kinda wrong. I definitely wouldnt hire someone who acted with this kind of ethics just to get ahead.

Hope i didnt offend anyone, its just stories i've heard from stressed out ivy leaguers who wished they went for the college they wanted to rather then the college their parents wanted them to go to.

By Tired_Student (Tired_Student) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 09:05 pm: Edit

I dunno, some things that might turn some people off about these super competitive schools is backdoor stuff and sabotage.

I mean, some people who have connections in these prestigious schools, "frat boys with prestigious legacy" will probably get answers/grades without working for it. In addition, I've heard that in some of these schools, when a professor assigns an assignment, everyone runs to the library and rips out the pages so that others wont succeed. Thats kinda wrong. I definitely wouldnt hire someone who acted with this kind of ethics just to get ahead.

Hope i didnt offend anyone, its just stories i've heard from stressed out ivy leaguers who wished they went for the college they wanted to rather then the college their parents wanted them to go to.

By Madfoxmadfox (Madfoxmadfox) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 09:06 pm: Edit

Sometimes you just have to go. Pressure from your family can be crazy. Yes, I am an asian, but I'm sure it applies to other racial groups as well. When your parents, sisters and/or brothers, your aunts/uncles, cousins all went to top colleges in the country, it not only makes you feel like a real idiot when you say "i'm going to a no-name college", but also extremely ... what's the word? ostracized.
To me what people think of me is more important than how I think of myself (I know, it's sad, but I've always been that way), and I can't help thinking that people will think less of me if I don't get into a top-tier university.

By Feuler (Feuler) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 10:12 pm: Edit

I do wish we, as a society, did not judge people based on what college they attend. Looking over the reasons for and against going to a top tier school, the obvious conclusion for me is that it is a matter of personal preference about the college experience. Of course, the problem is that kids (and, more so, parents) like to brag about going to competitive schools, or get all snooty about going to a "better" school than someone else, and all of that should not be present; it really is all about what an individual happens to want out of college.

That was terribly cliche and I apologize, but for some reason I was compelled to put that out there.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Hey, Feuler, seeing as how you're a math genius, are you related to Euler, one of the founders of calculus?

By Shhh (Shhh) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit

to prove we are better t han everyone else
duh

By Dotcommie (Dotcommie) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 12:16 am: Edit

I'd wager that top-tier schools are full of good STUDENTS, not necessarily the most intellectual. I want to go to a school that fits my intellectual philosophy (it's in my profile if you really care). One of the schools at which I'm looking isn't even ranked by US News - by their own volition. That's ballsy enough to make me want to go there. Most of the Ivies are too pre-professional for me, and I'd like to escape the insane grademongering I encounter in AP courses. I'm not sure why everyone wants to go there, but I'm guessing prestige.


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