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Thread: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

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    Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    Like do students that go to Ivy League schools (or any other prestigous college) actually get a better education than the same student at a state university? Are the teachers at Ivy League schools actually better teachers, or is it just that the students who attend Ivy League schools are just better students?

    I suspect that the reason that Ivy League schools tend to produce lots of succesful students is because: 1) They get the best students to begin with, 2) their students have the opportunity to meet other very good students (from wealthy and/or powerful families) and thus tend to be more successful at networking 3) they tend to get better jobs just because of the reputation of their college.

    But are they actually getting a better education?

    I never had the Ivy League experiance, so I can't comment on the quality of their teachers, but I would assume that there are great teachers at all colleges, and some really bad teachers at all colleges. Sure, maybe Ivy League schools have more "famous teachers, but does being "famous" make you a good teacher? You can find teachers with impressive credentials at every college. Surely every teacher at Harvard isn't better than every teacher at State U. And don't highly motivated and bright students tend to be succesful at most everything they do?

    While helping my son to pick his college, I kept noticing that almost every college has a list of highly successful graduates on it's web site. Govenors, presidents, CEO's, Nobel prize winners, actors, inventors, etc. Seems that amazing people come from all colleges, even bottom of the barrel colleges. I also notice that even famous colleges tend to have a lot of failed students also.

    Julliard, the world famous performing arts college has a 5 year after graduation success rate of less than 25% (with success in this case being defined as students who find a full time career in their field of study). Thats pretty pathetic that they actors, musicians, and dance students in the world, and less than a quarter of them are able to establish a career that fits their education.

    Another thing that I noticed is that the curriculum at prestigious colleges tends to be somewht less rigorous than at state universities. For example, my son applied to U of South Carolina and Furman. Furman is not well known outside of our area, but it is the most selective college in our state. Furman only required 120 credit hours for the same degree that USC required 132 credit hours. And furmans credit hours were easier to come by than USC (like one semester of student teaching yields 16 credit hours at Furman, but only 12 credit hours at USC). Furman doesn't require calculous for my son's major, yet USC does.

    Isn't English 101 or Chemistry 102 pretty much the same at every college? Arn't the rules of physics taught by MIT the same rules of physics taught at the community college down the street?

    I've got this theory that you could take the student population from Harvard, and put them in the same size non-Ivy Leage college, rename the college to Harvard, and you would have just as many students to become unusually succesful as the "real" Harvard would typically produce.

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    Well they say the hardest part of Harvard is getting in (and to be honest, I've heard some Harvard grads agree).

    In any case, I would argue that students at those schools are getting a better education for two reasons: 1. Professors 2. Students

    The bests college usually attract the most well-known and respected academics. This gives students first hand experience with professors who really know what they're talking about and who have had a substantial impact in their field. The ability of undergrads students to take advantage of these professors depends on the school - some schools pay attention to undergrads (and thereby have the great professors teach and interact with them) and others do not.

    These colleges also tend to attract good students - this increases the quality of class discussions and also competition. In other words, you have students pushing each other to perform as well as possible. Another thing about the student body is that they are overwhelmingly motivated to learn and succeed - so these schools create a culture of scholarship where you're pretty much expected to be amazing.

    Bottom line for me though: the best college is the one that fits the student.
    "It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    ivy leagues are known for grade inflation. i think it was harvard, with the highest grade inflation in the country. i think ivy leagues just assume that the students are doing their best and just give them the A.

    that being said, i think the main benefit of going to a prestigious school is that you are with equally talented/motivated students. because of this, teachers are able to go at a much faster pace, cover more material, and go more indepth without leaving people behind. so indirectly, i think prestigious university do provide a better education. not because they have better teachers but because they have better courses that are a result of the elite students.

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    After listening to Harvard students on TV, answering questions about the return of ROTC to campus, I lost respect for Harvard. Some of the students sounded a bit dumb. They used bad English.
    NOTICE: I am not a troll, because what I write I believe, and I have no intention of derailing threads or manipulating human nature. I am not a terrorist, because I do not endorse the killing of innocent people, and I am not here to promote violence. I AM HERE ONLY TO EXPRESS MY PERSONAL OPINION AND ENJOY LIVELY DISCUSSION.

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    Ivy league schools are like public high school education... Private schools or certain high schools in more affluent areas have a larger percentage of better students, and many times this attracts better teachers, but at the worst inner city schools, you have brilliant students, there are probably just fewer of them. That is all. There are terrific students and terrific teachers everywhere, just at different concentrations.

    The "better the school" the better the contacts. The least bright at Harvard won't just walk onto a community college and be the best student or the brightest... though they may think that they are. I went to a California State University and a few of my friends from my group in high school went to Stanford, Berkley, Brown and Yale etc. Top schools. I didn't since I let my gpa drastically fall my junior and senior years due to surfing and sports. Kinda stupid of me, but oh well... I was not the absolute brightest in my university classes and there were others that went there for monetary reasons or they were married or a lot of reasons. Ivy League schools might like to think that they have the cream of the crop, and they might well have a lot of the cream, but certainly not all, not by a long shot.
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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    a better education? depends

    My father spent two years at a good public college-Miami of Ohio because that is where the navy sent him for the V-12 program during WWII (nearest college to his home) and two years at yale. He noted that the classes were pretty much the same and because of the war, the quality of the students was close

    My mother went to a top women's college for college and the U of Cincinnati for grad school, she noted what I noted when I visited state colleges.

    the classes often use the same books, contain the same information and often the professors are close (some top colleges use grad schools for teaching freshman-Yale didn't for the most part but other ivies do)

    however, I learned as much from interaction with my classmates as I did from classes. and that is that advantage at a place like Yale or Cornell or Amherst or Harvard. you have lots of people who are exceptionally good at something

    my suite my senior year included a future Supreme Court clerk and Bush nominee to the Court of Appeals, an International Chess Master, a decorated Marine and a national class gymnast-dancer who is now an orthopedic surgeon who works on ballerinas' knees

    90% of the students I interacted with were top 2% at something. chess, violin, rowing, poetry etc. our suite often had 2-3 grandmasters hanging out and talking about chess, poker or backgammon (I was a top flight player in that game) Other nights it was 80% of the group that founded the federalist society, or a couple girls who had been professional ballerinas and the neat thing was that everyone respected excellence even in areas they weren't familiar with

    best example was when we graduated, A guy I had not spent much time ever talking to-he was into latin and greek literature and teaches that at the LSE in Britain was being recognized as a summa cum laude, phi beta kappa etc. They called me next and while I had some honors and had won a prize I noted to this fellow "Damn I should have studied harder maybe I would have been summa cum laude. He looked at me and noted-that if he had been out in 15% weather in driving sleet shooting a shotgun he might have been an All American and national champion too. He didn't know the first thing about guns or shotgun shooting but he knew that was something I was really good at and he respected it.

    I will never forget what I learned from people like that
    Quote Originally Posted by EarlzP View Post
    Why would you not want to register your weapon?

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    This is a question I have pondered myself before. One of my friends went to Georgia Tech for engineering and I got to a state university. Some of my worst teachers are teachers that are doing their required one credit hour they have to teach in order to continue to do research. I think these type of teachers are more prominent at big name colleges, like Georgia Tech and MIT, etc. I haven't spoken to my friend a GT for a while now because we both got busy but at the end of his freshman year, he was struggling and considering changing majors. I was continuing on my little way. I have a feeling though that when we graduate we will know the same amount. It is possible to teach a class where you learn a ton without making you want to cry and give up. My opinion on Ivy league vs state universities is that they do not provide a better education but they do offer more opportunities.

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    Villiage Idiot
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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    Quote Originally Posted by lovetosing4678 View Post
    This is a question I have pondered myself before. One of my friends went to Georgia Tech for engineering and I got to a state university. Some of my worst teachers are teachers that are doing their required one credit hour they have to teach in order to continue to do research. I think these type of teachers are more prominent at big name colleges, like Georgia Tech and MIT, etc. I haven't spoken to my friend a GT for a while now because we both got busy but at the end of his freshman year, he was struggling and considering changing majors. I was continuing on my little way. I have a feeling though that when we graduate we will know the same amount. It is possible to teach a class where you learn a ton without making you want to cry and give up. My opinion on Ivy league vs state universities is that they do not provide a better education but they do offer more opportunities.
    Yea, on another site I watched people argue back and forth which colleges were better. they were saying stuff like "X is better because it is a top rated research college". I really don't know that being top rated in research results in a better education for students. If anything, it seems like it would detract from education, for the same reason you pointed out (more emphasis and resources devoted to research = less emphasis and resourced devoted to teaching).

    Other people used arguements like Y university has the biggest library or Z university is the oldest and most established, or W university has the largest endowment fund, or V university is the most "green". None of that has much to do with education. I could care less how big a library is, as long as it is decent - most learning comes from classroom and text books, not libraries. I could care less which college has the most money, sure, in theory lots of money should mean better facilities, but then again the wealthy get wealthy in part by being mizers. Age means nothing, if a college is great, it's great regardless of how old it is.

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    Quote Originally Posted by imagep View Post
    Yea, on another site I watched people argue back and forth which colleges were better. they were saying stuff like "X is better because it is a top rated research college". I really don't know that being top rated in research results in a better education for students. If anything, it seems like it would detract from education, for the same reason you pointed out (more emphasis and resources devoted to research = less emphasis and resourced devoted to teaching).
    That depends on the college. I went to a big research institution and undergrads were taught by the best research professors and encouraged to work with researchers. It benefited students a lot from my perspective. Other colleges don't encourage must interaction between undergrads, grad students and researchers/professors. It depends on how the college decides to incorporate research into undergrad education.
    "It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields

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    Re: Are Ivy League collegess better than other colleges?

    Ivy League colleges give added value in the form of social networks on which to draw throughout your career.
    Eternity is an awfully long time, especially towards the end.

    Hi, I'm from Europe, where the history comes from.

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