It was a rare morning because I spent it eating breakfast out instead of nibbling on toast at my computer. A friend of my husband’s was interested in talking about the stock market over French toast and Mexican scrambled eggs and ultimately the conversation veered to college.
His son had just gotten his SAT scores back and he was worried that they were not good enough for the Ivy League schools (they weren’t) or Berkeley.
The smart business executive was struggling with the same dilemma that plenty of educated, affluent parents face. During our conversation, it was clear that this dad was interested in these schools because of their reputations and their networking potential. He worried that connections are everything and he seemed to believe that going to a no-name school could doom his kid.
It was a tough sell when I tried to tell him that there are many wonderful schools scattered across the country that can provide great educations. And, even better, for discounted prices.
This fear of being denied an enviable career path if you attend a school like San Diego State or Western Michigan University is nuts. Here’s one reason why: 99.8% of teenagers attend schools other than those in the Ivy League. You can’t tell me that a mere .2% of all college graduates are hogging all the great jobs.
The dad nodded at what I was saying and promised to buy my book, but I don’t think I convinced him of anything.
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The Philippine education has also been plagued about the issue of school credibily, ranking, and reputation. But I love the argument that you have pointed out here. Sometimes, a cutthroat argument is necessary to help people realize simple things.
Great post. I’ve always known what you say is true, but your statistics really put it into focus. I wrote about your post on my blog for international students: