What students should know about the value of a big-name school.
Will you have a better life if you graduate from an elite school? Students and their parents think the answer is yes, and competition for slots at top-ranked (and costly) schools seems higher than ever. Having a big name college on your resume can impress employers, friends and the opposite sex.
The Times columnist Gail Collins says this national fixation makes little sense. "We can do a great service to the youth and parents of America by telling them to stop obsessing about choosing a college," she wrote recently in The Conversation blog. "Kids, you do not need to go to a school with a name that impresses your friends. Go to a school you can afford."
If enough people took her advice, the spell might be broken. In the meantime, what should sensible and ambitious students keep in mind about where they go to school?
- What You Do vs. Where You Go Martha O'Connell
- Access to Money and Power Anthony P. Carnevale
- Merit and Race Luis Fuentes-Rohwer
- Graduate School Matters More David W. Breneman
- Numbers Favor Top Schools Richard D. Kahlenberg
- Skip the Admissions Game Kevin Carey
- The Specialization Trade-Off James Shulman