PDaddy wrote:bernaldiaz wrote:
No. The best public schools don't even crack the top 20 overall, probably not top 25ish if you count liberal arts schools too. If ND, Gtown, Hopkins et al don't get a boost, there's no way that lower ranked schools like Berkeley, UVa, William and Mary, UNC should get a boost.
I'm comfortable saying that maybe the top 10 (call it Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Penn, Columbia, Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, maybe a couple others) get a boost and no one else really does, but there's no way that only those schools, then also a couple random public schools that are way lower ranked also get a boost skipping over 10-15 or so schools that are harder to get into and higher ranked.
What gets missed is that there are only slight differences in quality between the schools that make up the top-60 or so schools. I would feel no better or worse about attending say UC-Davis undergrad versus schools like Emory, Vandy, WUSTL, or Notre Dame. I would be confident that I received as good of an education as anyone at those other schools. The top-20 list is tough to crack because there are so many damned great schools in the U.S. It's almost embarrassing.
If there are rankings, some schools have to fall in the middle or on the lower end, but that doesn't devalue the education you receive at the lower end schools, especially when you're talking top-60 schools. They're all absolutely outstanding schools, whether public or private.
That's exactly what I was trying to say. Top 10 might be better than the top 40, but after that there really is a fine line and it wouldn't make much sense for one school to get a bump over the other.
And MoneyBagsPHD, on the harder to get into part, I guess I don't speak authoritatively on that. The ones I applied to were Berkeley and Michigan (which tons of average people from my school got into), but I guess I don't know about UVa WM or UNC? I can't imagine they're harder than Hopkins Vandy etc. Didn't mean to sound like a tool. Or are you saying it's dumb to talk about how hard it is to get in to an UG? In which case I don't think you're right, because that's definitely a portion of the prestige.