Ivy Leagues: Overrated, Over-Competitive, & Over it

As January approaches, college applications are closing, and many seniors are beginning to make their final decisions. However, choosing the right college is one of the most difficult decisions for anybody. Receiving an acceptance letter from one of the prestigious Ivy League schools can be a dream come true for many, but the name Yale or Harvard does not guarantee a successful career. Even though some individuals may feel accomplished and successful after attending these elite schools, others are left with their name on a fancy degree and realize that the hype was not worth it. Students may believe that the only way to find success is through attending the top colleges in the world, but every college has an environment based on different fields of interest. Going to a school for the name is not as important as focusing on which schools provide the right opportunities. Every college offers unique chances for each student that is specific to their interests. Also, the reputations of these colleges are simply not worth the costs.

Students should seek a college that fits best for their occupational aspirations and not simply for which name sounds the most impressive. For example, if an individual wants to pursue the career of an engineer, Yale may not be the best option as it not the top school for that field. Yet many individuals will apply to Yale regardless, thinking that because it is an Ivy League, it is prestigious in every major. This is simply not the case. For example, Harvey Mudd graduates make more than Ivy League graduates in their careers. According to USA Today: “At Harvey Mudd, a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California the median starting salary for recent grads is $73,300…” According to the Washington Post, “The median annual earnings for an Ivy League graduate 10 years after starting amount to well over $70,000 a year.” Harvey Mudd is a very prestigious school, but individuals believe Ivy League names are more important. This idea drifts away from the purpose of college—to get knowledge on a specific field for the future. In order to get the most out of a college experience, putting an individual’s major first before the school name will help find a successful match. This is due to the fact that each school offers different opportunities and connections for the students attending. The name of the school does not guarantee any opportunities to the students that choose to attend, which shows the importance of choosing a school based on your major.

Although prestigious schools may seem like an amazing option, opportunities and financial struggles are more important than the name of any school. College is supposed to prepare individuals for their career path, so do not pick a college because of the name and reputation. Since January is approaching, the names of the schools stay the same, however, doors will continue to open with new opportunities for every individual no matter how prestigious the college is that was previously attended.