Interesting Article on Choosing Prestige over $$$

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Re: Interesting Article on Choosing Prestige over $$$

Postby cornellbeez » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:35 pm

ahduth wrote:
Ship87 wrote:I come from a small state school and I'm currently applying to almost all of the T14. This article and the abstract for the paper cited brings to the forefront a depressing truth about mobility in America. I attended the college I did because I wouldn't have to pay tuition, but I think I made the wrong choice over the long term, and that prestige is worth the debt you accumulate. Hopefully I can graduate from a good law school with good grades and attain a decent job, but it does feel like the game is rigged against you. Sadly, I didn't have the money to go to build huts in Latin America over the summer.

Yeah, debt you can pay off. That degree/prestige thing is permanent.

You probably can't pay off a 160k debt (average cost of a private undergrad) with a liberal arts degree. On average, liberal arts majors from every school make low salaries, especially after the i-banking/consulting bust. More doors open for you at a prestigious undergrad if you major in something legit, but otherwise, you're about as unemployable as a liberal arts grad from a low-ranked school.

Undergrad prestige is really overrated. Maybe I'm disenchanted, but I've known plenty of not-so-smart people who have graduated from good universities, and plenty of really intelligent people who went to regular undergrads. The smartest person I know went to a Tier-2 undergrad.

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Re: Interesting Article on Choosing Prestige over $$$

Postby ExpectLess » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:02 pm

To everyone who was complaining about attending not-so-great UGs for financial/personal reasons: What?

Your UG prestige has very, very little influence on your law school admissions prospects, and after law school the only thing that matters is your law school prestige (excepting in all of this, perhaps, a HYP UG). I chose $$$ at a T50 over sticker at a T10 for UG, and it was the best decision I've made. Not only do I not have that 150k in debt right now, but I have to imagine it was easier to get a 4.0 at my T50 than it would have been at a T10. Similarly, it was easier to stand out to professors and get unique opportunities at said T50.

If you had no intention of going to grad school after college, then yes, I'd go for the prestigious UG. But if you did plan on going to law school or med school, paying 150k for a degree that will be relatively useless in deciding your law school or job prospects afterward seems like a poor investment.

Edit: Not to mention, my UG experience was incredibly fun. Great sports, great nightlife, and cool people. I somehow doubt I'd have had that going to the higher prestige school.

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