Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

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bigben
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bigben » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:19 pm

Possible small bump for HYP, maybe a few others and the rest doesn't matter at all.

Between two applicants with the exact same numbers, sure. But all the other soft factors matter too in that case.

As for why, this has been covered. It's not an objective metric. Some programs at top schools have even more grade inflation so if anything they could be bumped down.

HeavenWood
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:20 pm

MrKappus wrote:^ All true unless you want to do banking/consulting. Then go the best UG you can.


But we're all going to law school! Who in their right mind would major in something employable? :mrgreen:

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bedefan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bedefan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:27 pm

HeavenWood wrote: Go to an ivy if you prefer the environment and can pay the tuition. Don't go thinking you'll have a magical leg up over everyone else. Four years down the line, you'll be quite disappointed.


I'd say it's not a magical leg-up. But it is a greater diversity of opportunities, for those who wish to take advantage of them.

This greater diversity derives from the relatively easy access to the highest socioeconomic strata that elite private schools provide their students.

Private schools provide this access better than public schools because private schools offer, in their student bodies and alumni networks, a far greater concentration of stinking rich aristocrats than do their elite public counterparts. It's just a fact.

So to OP, I say, buck up old chap. Speaking from several years out of UG at a "top 10 liberal arts college," I can affirm that there are real advantages.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:32 pm

bedefan wrote:
HeavenWood wrote: Go to an ivy if you prefer the environment and can pay the tuition. Don't go thinking you'll have a magical leg up over everyone else. Four years down the line, you'll be quite disappointed.


I'd say it's not a magical leg-up. But it is a greater diversity of opportunities, for those who wish to take advantage of them.

This greater diversity derives from the relatively easy access to the highest socioeconomic strata that elite private schools provide their students.

Private schools provide this access better than public schools because private schools offer, in their student bodies and alumni networks, a far greater concentration of stinking rich aristocrats than do their elite public counterparts. It's just a fact.

So to OP, I say, buck up old chap. Speaking from several years out of UG at a "top 10 liberal arts college," I can affirm that there are real advantages.


If you want to work straight out of undergrad, that may be true. But once advanced degrees come into play, the advantages of an elite undergraduate alumni network become much less apparent. The kid from Penn State with the UPenn JD will fare much better than the kid from Penn with a Dickinson diploma.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby Lagunitan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:35 pm

If you can, check with your school's pre-law office and see if they have a database with the stats of students from your UG who applied to law school. Students coming from my "top" undergrad (HYPS) were accepted to top schools (especially HYS) with numbers well below the average/median numbers for those schools, especially for GPA (i.e., the median GPA for students at my school who were accepted to Harvard last year was .15 below the overall median GPA for HLS admits).

This effect may be limited to the very top UGs (and/or the very top law schools, who might care more about UG prestige), but people on this board who say that a 3.9 in basketweaving from Southeast Nowhereville State school beats a 3.8 in Physics from HYPS don't know what they're talking about.

For for the OP (who, regardless, has sunk the time/money into a top school), I would say: aside from prestigious job/internship opportunities, the best part of attending a high-ranked private school is the opportunities you have to build close relationships with incredibly smart (and often widely-known and respected) professors. Use those connections to get great LORs.

[All this said, overall I'm inclined to agree that, if you're facing a choice between a top private school for $$$ and a top public school for much less, choosing the top public is probably not a bad decision. If I could do everything over again, I would probably choose my state flagship (Berkeley) over the school I went to - the opportunities and QOL were not worth the extra $30,000/year]

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bk1
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:37 pm

I'm pretty sure it has been acknowledged on this board time and time again that certain schools do value undergrad prestige. That being said, they are but a handful and it is largely irrelevant.

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bostlaw
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bostlaw » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:45 pm

bedefan wrote:
OGR3 wrote:Truthfully, I can't understand why anyone would pay so much for a private education. I certainly don't think that my education at a public regional school was as good as top private schools, but there's no way I could justify spending an additional $30,000 annually in tuition for that higher quality.


Best kept secret about top private schools is they drastically reduce their tuition, effectively, through grants (once they admit you, and assuming your family isn't rich). I paid 12k/yr including rm & bd to go to a "top 10 liberal arts college." At the time I went to college this was only 2-3k/yr more expensive than my home state's best public uni. It was a no-brainer.

"Top 10 liberal arts college" is in quotes because it's in one way a dumb thing to say. Like, are Dartmouth grads smarter than UNH grads? Maybe--maybe not--who knows? Do they have better professors? Well, they might get professors more dedicated to teaching, since they're a liberal arts college. But there are great teachers and scholars at every state school.

So why go to Dartmouth (for example) over UNH (for example)? The alumni network. My experience coming out of a "top 10 liberal arts college" is that alums of my school WATCH MY BACK in a way that alums at my brother's big state school alma mater just don't do for him. Job opportunities, informal career counseling, etc.

Privilege begets privilege. You go to Dartmouth, you have access to a national (or at least regional) network of privilege that UNH does not provide access to. Other things being equal, you will have better access to jobs, research opportunities, travel opportunities, networking opportunities, etc. etc. etc. if you go to a rich-people (aka private) school rather than an everybody-people (aka public) school. If you go to a school with a culture of extreme school loyalty (Dartmouth, Harvard, Oberlin, Carleton, many more actually) these benefits do not dissipate much as you get further from graduation.

Now as for big firms... Meh. I don't know, IANAL. For all I know everything I've said above is only relevant for the business/big non-profit world, where one's network is extremely important.


Untill now! For more never before seen eye opening secrets, have your credit card number ready and dial.....

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bedefan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bedefan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:48 pm

HeavenWood wrote:
bedefan wrote:
HeavenWood wrote: Go to an ivy if you prefer the environment and can pay the tuition. Don't go thinking you'll have a magical leg up over everyone else. Four years down the line, you'll be quite disappointed.


I'd say it's not a magical leg-up. But it is a greater diversity of opportunities, for those who wish to take advantage of them.

This greater diversity derives from the relatively easy access to the highest socioeconomic strata that elite private schools provide their students.

Private schools provide this access better than public schools because private schools offer, in their student bodies and alumni networks, a far greater concentration of stinking rich aristocrats than do their elite public counterparts. It's just a fact.

So to OP, I say, buck up old chap. Speaking from several years out of UG at a "top 10 liberal arts college," I can affirm that there are real advantages.


If you want to work straight out of undergrad, that may be true. But once advanced degrees come into play, the advantages of an elite undergraduate alumni network become much less apparent. The kid from Penn State with the UPenn JD will fare much better than the kid from Penn with a Dickinson diploma.


I actually don't know anything about Penn. I'm not sure if it has a cohesive enough culture for what I'm talking about. What I'm saying is a Stanford JD with a Pomona BA will have a more lucrative network to draw on than a Stanford JD with a San Diego State BA.

Lawyer #1 will have an in with Pomona alums s/he has never even met due to the school's cohesive alumni culture, whereas lawyer #2's connection with SDSU alums s/he has never met is likely not to be strong enough to give him/her any sort of networking advantage. For elite, relatively small private schools, this socioeconomic benefit extends well beyond the right-out-of-UG years, as I can attest.

But both hypothetical attorneys are really well off with Stanford JDs so it might end up being irrelevant.

Then again, it might not.

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bk1
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:51 pm

bedefan wrote:I actually don't know anything about Penn. I'm not sure if it has a cohesive enough culture for what I'm talking about. What I'm saying is a Stanford JD with a Pomona BA will have a more lucrative network to draw on than a Stanford JD with a San Diego State BA.

Lawyer #1 will have an in with Pomona alums s/he has never even met due to the school's cohesive alumni culture, whereas lawyer #2's connection with SDSU alums s/he has never met is likely not to be strong enough to give him/her any sort of networking advantage. For elite, relatively small private schools, this socioeconomic benefit extends well beyond the right-out-of-UG years, as I can attest.

But both hypothetical attorneys are really well off with Stanford JDs so it might end up being irrelevant.

Then again, it might not.


I'm thinking that the difference is going to be marginal at best.

Though, I have heard people on TLS who have very unique UG/LS combos (think really small, unknown UG to T14 or something like that) finding people with the same combo to help find employment.

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bedefan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bedefan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:52 pm

bostlaw wrote:Untill now! For more never before seen eye opening secrets, have your credit card number ready and dial.....


But today, October 28th 2010, on the TLS forum, I decided it was time to let the world know.

I just want to say to everyone here: be the change you want to see. Or see the change you want to be. Truly, we are living in a marvelous age of dreams.

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bedefan
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bedefan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:57 pm

bk1 wrote:
bedefan wrote:I actually don't know anything about Penn. I'm not sure if it has a cohesive enough culture for what I'm talking about. What I'm saying is a Stanford JD with a Pomona BA will have a more lucrative network to draw on than a Stanford JD with a San Diego State BA.

Lawyer #1 will have an in with Pomona alums s/he has never even met due to the school's cohesive alumni culture, whereas lawyer #2's connection with SDSU alums s/he has never met is likely not to be strong enough to give him/her any sort of networking advantage. For elite, relatively small private schools, this socioeconomic benefit extends well beyond the right-out-of-UG years, as I can attest.

But both hypothetical attorneys are really well off with Stanford JDs so it might end up being irrelevant.

Then again, it might not.


I'm thinking that the difference is going to be marginal at best.

Though, I have heard people on TLS who have very unique UG/LS combos (think really small, unknown UG to T14 or something like that) finding people with the same combo to help find employment.


Yeah, for law, for all I know you're right. I'm mostly talking from my experience from the business and non-profit worlds, being part of an alumni network that is full of stinking rich elites...

But such people hire lawyers, no? Perhaps a lucrative, elite UG alumni network is more helpful for things like developing your own client base when you're an associate. I am talking out of my hat (a hat) though, since I don't know a thing about BigLaw. Mostly I'm talking from cynicism. It just seems to me that having social access to really, really rich people gives you economic advantages, no matter how much of a meritocracy (???) BigLaw is.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby lolol10 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:00 pm

despite what a lot of people say on here about UG not mattering, it does--at least for a good number top schools in my experience through meeting with administrators and counselors. i was recently told in an interview/meeting with a NW admin that because i go to a top 20 ug my gpa is going to pull more weight than it would have if i were at a public school. i have also heard that my university's law school favors students from ug as well as other premier academic institutions. this is not to say that someone with a public education has any less chance--its just a little more selective. you would be terribly mistaken if you think that most public schools (excluding top ranked ones like Berkley) give the same quality/rigor in their education as a top private school. your opportunities at top private schools of taking classes with the top educators in their respective fields along with all the other amenities that come with a 50K a year tuition already put you ahead. though, bottom line for every school is YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SCORES. so by and large having a 2.0 at harvard isnt going to get you too far, but if you do well enough name recognition can give you that little boost.
Last edited by lolol10 on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HeavenWood
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby HeavenWood » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:01 pm

lolol10 wrote:despite what a lot of people say on here about UG not mattering, it does--at least for a good number top schools in my experience through meeting with administrators and counselors. i was recently told in an interview/meeting with a NW admin that because i go to a top 20 ug my gpa is going to pull more weight than it would have if i were at a public school. i have also heard that my university's law school favors students from ug as well as other premier academic institutions. this is not to say that someone with a public education has any less chance--its just a little more selective. you would be terribly mistaken if you think that most public schools (excluding top ranked ones like Berkley) give the same quality/rigor in their education as a top private school. bottom line for every school is YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SCORES. so by and large having a 2.0 at harvard isnt going to get you too far.


In other words, it's a soft factor, which no one is disputing. But you stated the bottom line yourself: YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SCORES.

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bk1
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:01 pm

bedefan wrote:Yeah, for law, for all I know you're right. I'm mostly talking from my experience from the business and non-profit worlds, being part of an alumni network that is full of stinking rich elites...

But such people hire lawyers, no? Perhaps a lucrative, elite UG alumni network is more helpful for things like developing your own client base when you're an associate. I am talking out of my hat (a hat) though, since I don't know a thing about BigLaw. Mostly I'm talking from cynicism. It just seems to me that having social access to really, really rich people gives you economic advantages, no matter how much of a meritocracy (???) BigLaw is.


biglaw is not really meritocracy, they value prestige. The thing is that the more recent and more relevant school (i.e. law school) is going to be the one that matters more than most. After that, grades. And maybe somewhere down the line UG comes into play, but it isn't going to makeup for poor attributes in other areas.

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bk1
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:02 pm

Adcomms never portray a distortion of the actual admissions process, never.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby lolol10 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:04 pm

bk1 wrote:Adcomms never portray a distortion of the actual admissions process, never.

they dont when you are family friends with them.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby lolol10 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:04 pm

HeavenWood wrote:
lolol10 wrote:despite what a lot of people say on here about UG not mattering, it does--at least for a good number top schools in my experience through meeting with administrators and counselors. i was recently told in an interview/meeting with a NW admin that because i go to a top 20 ug my gpa is going to pull more weight than it would have if i were at a public school. i have also heard that my university's law school favors students from ug as well as other premier academic institutions. this is not to say that someone with a public education has any less chance--its just a little more selective. you would be terribly mistaken if you think that most public schools (excluding top ranked ones like Berkley) give the same quality/rigor in their education as a top private school. bottom line for every school is YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SCORES. so by and large having a 2.0 at harvard isnt going to get you too far.


In other words, it's a soft factor, which no one is disputing. But you stated the bottom line yourself: YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SCORES.



right. but i am saying that it matters to some extent so far as you make it worth your while and not just ride on the coattails of name recognition.

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bk1
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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:05 pm

lolol10 wrote:
bk1 wrote:Adcomms never portray a distortion of the actual admissions process, never.

they dont when you are family friends with them.


I still disagree. While I think every adcomm truly thinks they are holistic, even in their own mind, that does not mean they are. Unless you mean 95% numbers, 5% everything else is holistic.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby paratactical » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:06 pm

bk1 wrote:
bedefan wrote:Yeah, for law, for all I know you're right. I'm mostly talking from my experience from the business and non-profit worlds, being part of an alumni network that is full of stinking rich elites...

But such people hire lawyers, no? Perhaps a lucrative, elite UG alumni network is more helpful for things like developing your own client base when you're an associate. I am talking out of my hat (a hat) though, since I don't know a thing about BigLaw. Mostly I'm talking from cynicism. It just seems to me that having social access to really, really rich people gives you economic advantages, no matter how much of a meritocracy (???) BigLaw is.


biglaw is not really meritocracy, they value prestige. The thing is that the more recent and more relevant school (i.e. law school) is going to be the one that matters more than most. After that, grades. And maybe somewhere down the line UG comes into play, but it isn't going to makeup for poor attributes in other areas.


FWIW, my experiences leads me to believe that biglaw values both meritocracy and prestige. It might be easier for someone with more prestigious credentials to get staffed on the big case as a first associate, but the associate who is good at their tasks on the big case will get rewarded with more complex tasks and eventually better assignments and value in the firm, regardless of their credentials. Two of the most successful midlevel associates I know went to Suffolk. They have told me that they had to fight tooth and nail to get into the firms but that their work protected them through ITE when it happened, while more prestigious JDs got the axe.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bedefan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:09 pm

bk1 wrote:
bedefan wrote:Yeah, for law, for all I know you're right. I'm mostly talking from my experience from the business and non-profit worlds, being part of an alumni network that is full of stinking rich elites...

But such people hire lawyers, no? Perhaps a lucrative, elite UG alumni network is more helpful for things like developing your own client base when you're an associate. I am talking out of my hat (a hat) though, since I don't know a thing about BigLaw. Mostly I'm talking from cynicism. It just seems to me that having social access to really, really rich people gives you economic advantages, no matter how much of a meritocracy (???) BigLaw is.


biglaw is not really meritocracy, they value prestige. The thing is that the more recent and more relevant school (i.e. law school) is going to be the one that matters more than most. After that, grades. And maybe somewhere down the line UG comes into play, but it isn't going to makeup for poor attributes in other areas.


So what I'm starting to think is that UG may be part of the equation in getting hire at BigLaw, but will not be terribly important. UG is also a "soft" for getting into LS.

As for the rest of one's economic life, OP and others are well-advised to investigate the strength of their (potential) alma mater's alumni network, as well as the cohesiveness of said school's culture, and make a prudential judgment as to whether attending the school is rational, keeping in mind that many private schools offer extensive packages of grants that make real tuition comparable to that of state schools.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby lolol10 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:11 pm

bk1 wrote:
lolol10 wrote:
bk1 wrote:Adcomms never portray a distortion of the actual admissions process, never.

they dont when you are family friends with them.


I still disagree. While I think every adcomm truly thinks they are holistic, even in their own mind, that does not mean they are. Unless you mean 95% numbers, 5% everything else is holistic.

well whatever man. i trust his word. of course you can't be a blithering idiot with poor scores and get into a top school--that much is common sense. i am simply saying, as i have numerous times earlier, that according to what i have heard it gives you a little extra edge. if you are an investor wouldnt you invest in someone who as proven their worth/potential by doing reasonably well to very well at a top private university versus someone who did very well who went to satellite campus public school? i cant believe you are arguing that haha

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby paratactical » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:14 pm

lolol10 wrote: if you are an investor wouldnt you invest in someone who as proven their worth/potential by doing reasonably well to very well at a top private university versus someone who did very well who went to satellite campus public school? i cant believe you are arguing that haha


This depends on how badly the Ivy is known for grade inflation.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby lolol10 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:15 pm

paratactical wrote:
lolol10 wrote: if you are an investor wouldnt you invest in someone who as proven their worth/potential by doing reasonably well to very well at a top private university versus someone who did very well who went to satellite campus public school? i cant believe you are arguing that haha


This depends on how badly the Ivy is known for grade inflation.


your face is grade inflated. i kid. no i agree, to some extent.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:17 pm

lolol10 wrote:well whatever man. i trust his word. of course you can't be a blithering idiot with poor scores and get into a top school--that much is common sense. i am simply saying, as i have numerous times earlier, that according to what i have heard it gives you a little extra edge. if you are an investor wouldnt you invest in someone who as proven their worth/potential by doing reasonably well to very well at a top private university versus someone who did very well who went to satellite campus public school? i cant believe you are arguing that haha


Looking at LSN is pretty telling in this instance. Take a look at NYU last year. At 3.85+/171+ you are pretty much automatically in where as almost all sub 3.85's in this range are wl's. At 174+ a 3.4/3.5 gets you in and anything below that is a wl. In most instances there is a hard and fast line where yellow dots become green dots on LSN.

You're also ignoring the fact that even if these softs matter a bit for a few borderline candidates, that UG is but one of a whole host of other things including resume, essays, etc.

EDIT: I'm not saying that UG is irrelevant, I'm just saying that it is pointless to even think it matters (with a few exceptions of top schools who care) when you can never really definitely say that two candidates are equal in all respects except UG and then claim that UG was what helped them get in.

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Re: Why is it that UG institution is irrelevant?

Postby lolol10 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:20 pm

bk1 wrote:
lolol10 wrote:well whatever man. i trust his word. of course you can't be a blithering idiot with poor scores and get into a top school--that much is common sense. i am simply saying, as i have numerous times earlier, that according to what i have heard it gives you a little extra edge. if you are an investor wouldnt you invest in someone who as proven their worth/potential by doing reasonably well to very well at a top private university versus someone who did very well who went to satellite campus public school? i cant believe you are arguing that haha


Looking at LSN is pretty telling in this instance. Take a look at NYU last year. At 3.85+/171+ you are pretty much automatically in where as almost all sub 3.85's in this range are wl's. At 174+ a 3.4/3.5 gets you in and anything below that is a wl. In most instances there is a hard and fast line where yellow dots become green dots on LSN.

You're also ignoring the fact that even if these softs matter a bit for a few borderline candidates, that UG is but one of a whole host of other things including resume, essays, etc.

EDIT: I'm not saying that UG is irrelevant, I'm just saying that it is pointless to even think it matters (with a few exceptions of top schools who care) when you can never really definitely say that two candidates are equal in all respects except UG and then claim that UG was what helped them get in.


ok thanks for proving my point.




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