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Do You Really Need to Attend an Ivy League College?

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Summary: Find out whether or not the Ivy League name and reputation are worth as much as they seem.


Question: Does a true distinction exist among elite colleges? Specifically, do the big Ivy League schools—Harvard, Princeton, and Yale—have a higher standing in the professional world than schools with less name recognition in the general public, such as Northwestern, Brown, and Dartmouth?

Answer: I’m sure the distinction exists in some people’s minds, but with varying interpretations often related to the individual’s own alma mater. The practicality of splitting hairs at that level of excellence is less apparent. In addition, different selection criteria yield different ratings.

Some companies favor certain elite colleges and specific programs and target the top 10% to 15% of the class. Because each university has strengths and areas of “lesser strength,” reputations often are distinct to the program and the faculty. In making a decision about which college to attend, consider a host of variables, some of which include reputation, program excellence, faculty, geography, cost, extracurricular opportunities, campus environment and experiential-learning offerings.

Do You Really Need to Attend an Ivy League College? by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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