Sin of pride and college choice


I think this is true to a degree, but I think it depends more on where you go to high school.

I went to a high school where less than half the kids went directly to college from my class. A lot joined the military and others when into agriculture (we had a big ag program at our high school) and trades.

So for me, any college would have been “iron sharpening iron.”

Then, I think it’s the demographics of the college too. If you go to a party or big school, that can be hard if you are someone who cannot focus on academics with lots of distractions.

I feel that “iron sharpening iron” is more about picking the school that is the right fit for the individual and less about the school itself. Afterall, while some might thrive at large Ivy’s like Harvard, UPenn or Columbia, others might thrive at smaller college like Bryn Mawr College or Mount St Mary’s University.

And, just because a kid thrives at an Ivy like Brown doesn’t automatically mean that he/she would thrive at Harvard, Penn, Columbia or Yale.

All colleges are different, even inside the Ivy League

God Bless


I’d give preference to a “Catholic friendly college” if I were considering a religious vocation or some other career working for the Church or something related.

Otherwise I wouldn’t make that a consideration.

You don’t have to attend a Catholic college to have a Catholic experience. My aunt attended the hometown state college and was part of the college’s Catholic center. In my experience most colleges have a Catholic center or association where you can affiliate with other Catholics if it’s that important to you.

Agreeing with both main points.

I also don’t like the attitude that everyone should go to the biggest name school they can get into, that people who go to big name schools are “better,” or that you’re “stupid” if you have a chance to go a big name school and choose something else. I rebelled against that attitude in high school and don’t like it now.

And I also believe, and am not the first to say, that college is what you make of it. If you go to the lesser name school or the community college and work hard and get a marketable skill you’ll be better off than the person who went to the big name school and played beer pong.

But - I got my master’s degree from an institution which has one of the best undergrad business programs in the country (maybe the world). The school offers opportunities for internships and networking that are second to none, and a lot of the people who are decision-makers who do the hiring went there (especially in my region). So I really think if someone thinks that would be the thing that would be the best for them, it would be advantageous to go there.


Absolutely right.

For admission to law school, law schools care about GPA.

For job offers, the perceived strength of the law school is important.

In the U.S. there are fourteen law schools that are considered the “Top 14,” and there is a significant gap between #14 and #15.


I absolutely hate that in a way. I hate how it’s basically useless to go to law school unless you go to one of those 15 schools and the reliance on GPA.


As I said, most employers don’t care. Most people will NOT hire you just because you are from a high class university if you cannot do the job.

With all the stuff going on universities these days, don’t bet on it.

  1. What makes you think students at elite universities don’t do pot

  2. Community college students in many cases will make more money than those graduating from 4-year schools especially if they have a worthless major.


It’s true, they won’t hire you if you “can’t do the job.”

But, where they’re looking at a thousand resumes from people who meet the minimum requirements for the job, they’ve got to choose. One applicant might come from a well-known college and the employer may have some idea what the programs there are like and what sort of person goes there. Another applicant might come from school the employer’s never heard of.


If #15 is Georgetown, which is usually the case, the reason for the gap is largely because Georgetown is humongous. If you go there, get grades in about the top 1/3 of the class and have law review / moot court / great summer clerkships on your resume, you are basically the equal of the Top 14. If you don’t make the cut with grades and/or other activities, you will have a harder time getting work that pays back your loan.

Also, once you get below about the second tier, expect your law school experience to be considerably less “fun”.


The job market for this field is so-so.

I can gurantee you that next to no one looks at rankings. Your best bet as far as school is if the hiring manager is a alumni of the same school you went too.

But even when they screen resumes, they’re usually looking for certain skill sets.

People really are out of touch if they think in the mainstream you’re just going to oooo and ahhhh employers if you went to Harvard, Oxford or some Ivy League school.


There are all sides of that. Agree totally that employers are looking for a skill set.

Over the years, I’ve been responsible for hiring many, many engineers. I’ve had ivy league candidates who didn’t know ohms law, which is about as fundamental as it gets. I once had a UCLA MSEE ask me what a “paradigm” was. Only he pronounced it “pair ah dig 'em”.

When I interviewed at my current job, one person meeting with me was a PhD from MIT. Wrestled with him to a scoreless tie. That man is SMART. Found out later he has an IQ of 165.

I recently interviewed a candidate with a nondescript school BSEE. He is the first and only candidate who actually KNEW his stuff. My recommendation coming out of that meeting: Hire him. Hire him NOW.


The best thing that could happen to the field is for about 2/3 of the schools to shut down and the remaining ones to only accept candidates who definitely want to work as lawyers, as opposed to just going to law school because they don’t have any other ideas about what to do with their life.



Isn’t that the school that the Thomas fire was just named after? It broke out nearby, but went in another direction from the school, which came through unscathed.


That is a very interesting idea.


Wow…that’s impressive!


Yeah, he is. One of the two smartest men I know.


Colleges and universities have different strengths and weaknesses in their departments. I for instance went to UC Davis. They have a phenomenal biology department, medicine department, and oddly enough, food science department. Students in those departments are going to get more cutting edge tech and material. Especially because Davis is a research University. Employers are going to take note of students there because they’ll have opportunities other similar majored students at other universities won’t have.

Unfortunately prestigious institutions have bigger endowments and can get the best instructors and equipment. So two students equal in intellect and work ethic and all that, the institution does make a difference.


Just teach them discernment and to think for themselves. I don’t have kids so I don’t really know…

But every institution has an agenda

Propaganda and false information is taught in colleges…

It is more important to use discretion and wisdom than any of that…

Prestige can help… but… as a Korean convenience store guy once told me “Society turns us into a liar.”


That part of it I totally agree with.

I’d say overall an Ivy League degree is a plus and not a minus, but it’s not automatically going to get you the job over someone else. In fact there was a newspaper article a while back about Ivy grads facing rejection in the job market.

And there are negatives, too. The perception isn’t 100% positive. I’ve heard the Ivy League described as “stuck-up,” and my father used to tell me a lot of people hate the Ivies. Don’t know how true that is.

And of course, even if your degree gets your foot in the door, you still have to perform.


So-so is probably optimistic. I wasn’t suggesting OP’s kid go into law, I was just citing law as an example of a field where school prestige is heavily influential. I went to a “fancy” law school and something like 90% of my law school class was gainfully employed at graduation. There are law schools where that number is like 40%. Almost all of that is prestige and the belief that our class had better credentials going in. It’s not because we were demonstrably more able to “do the job”, because we were just as entry-level as the people from the second-tier schools, and the curriculum is virtually identical everywhere.

In certain fields, people legitimately do care.

When they’re hiring an entry level person, they have no way of knowing for sure whether this person can “do the job.” One of the things that a selective college signals is that this person is generally bright, conscientious, and works hard, because people know that the school doesn’t admit anyone with a pulse.

They might very well smoke pot, but they’re not likely to be the listless 27 year old variety of pothead who is living in mom’s basement and taking classes at the local community college with the vague idea that they’ll transfer someday.

Yup, that’s true. If you read what I’ve posted here, I haven’t been advocating that OP’s kid should go to the fanciest school she can get into in all cases. I’ve said several times that the answer depends on her goals. If her goal is to do something where vocational training would be more appropriate, then yeah, by all means, go to the community college/vocational school/whatever. (And to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing vocational training over liberal arts. There are, as you noted, plenty of technicians making way more money than overly educated baristas.) I’m just pushing back on the idea that there is never a reason to select the more prestigious school.



Well, the top 14 is true and false at the same time.

The top 14 allow you to practice anywhere in the country. Then, every major city has their own regional/local law schools that will still get you a job at the top law firms in the city.

If you don’t go to a Top 14 law school, then you need to determine which city you are going to practice in before you go to law school and then attend one of the top regional/local law schools.

Finally, the reason for this in general is because there are FAR too many people with a JD vs. attorney jobs available.

God bless

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