Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, UPenn, Cornell and Dartmouth — these are some of the Ivy League schools that are held above our heads from kindergarten to our senior year of high school.
With parents spending astronomical amounts of money on SAT/ACT preparation classes and college application tutors, it builds this stigma that attending only an elite college will destine you for a bright and successful future. Although this case could be true for some students, there are other universities that can give you a rewarding education and a place to grow.
Once college decisions start rolling around in March, you’ll come to realize that committing to a school is not easy. There are so many factors that are involved when selecting the place you will call home for the next four years: your major, location, cost, overall campus environment and prestige. Although prestige plays a large role in many students’ decisions, it shouldn’t be the sole factor. Sure, prestige can give you a basic idea of the college’s reputation, the quality of the education and how people will view you.
However, the name of your college will not guarantee happiness or success in learning. You should choose your college based on if it is a good fit for you, not if it’ll impress others or if it’ll make your resume stand out. Instead, you should take the time to find a place with endless opportunities and think about if you actually love this university.
Besides the Ivy Leagues, there are plenty of institutions that can provide you with an amazing, and maybe even better, undergraduate education career. A few include Stanford University, Boston College, Amherst College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University and the University of Southern California. Research all of the possible college options instead of only applying to the Ivy Leagues. There are many other elite universities, such as liberal arts colleges and state schools, that can fulfill all of your needs.
Getting A Job
Also, job hiring managers don’t always care about what college you graduated from. While going to an Ivy League can definitely enhance your chances of having a head start in competitive professional fields like medicine and law, your college degree will not necessarily determine where you will work. Rather than looking at the fact that you earned a B- in your Biochemistry G.E. course or if you received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from Yale University, job recruiters want to see your enthusiasm, characteristics, past experiences and knowledge.
Where you go to ivy league schools does not necessarily determine your success — what determines your success is the amount of opportunities you take advantage of and the different experiences you create during your undergraduate years. Rather than being a small fish in a big pond, you’ll get the most out of your education if you become the big fish in a small pond.