Ivy Day: Why You Shouldn't Care

This year, Ivy League schools chose April 6th 2021 as the date they announce their regular decision acceptances, otherwise known as Ivy Day. (Turn on the waterworks 'cuz here comes a flood of tears.) An average of 90%  to 97% of applicants will be rejected. Even fewer this year than last due to many students taking a gap year in 2020 due to covid restrictions. But here's the truth.:

It doesn't matter, not one iota, where the degree comes from.

We've been fed a lie and a lot of marketing hype. And I can prove it.

It may seem strange for someone in my position to dismiss Ivy schools, after all didn't we have a huge scandal with parents, teachers, and counselors cheating to get their kids into these "top-twenty" schools? So it must be important, right?

First, let me assure you, I've done the research. Those who know me, know that I will research to the death, to be absolutely certain, before I state anything. The research, and not just mine (Google Dale & Kreuger), shows that for the vast majority of teens it does not matter where the degree comes from. That name will not increase your teens opportunities after graduation or their income as compared to students who attend a state university. If your teen is a go-getter, motivated, and has what it takes to do well, they will do just as well or better with a degree from a much lower priced school. Why better? Because they likely won't come out with decades of debt.

But this discussion is not about the debt. What I want you to know is that there is no outside authority ranking schools on educational quality and student outcomes. Let me repeat that. There is no outside authority ranking schools on educational quality and student outcomes.

The 'ranking' that is published every year is nothing more than a popularity contest where the contestants submit their information and can manipulate what they submit. It's a numbers game. For example, one of the criteria is admission rate, the ratio of applicants to number of seats they can fill each year. That sounds nice except that many of these schools buy the contact information lists of students who have taken college entrance exams. Then they send post cards or letters to these students saying, 'Your scores are great! Apply with us and we'll waive the application fee!' Very few kids will pass up the opportunity to send in a free application because, well, you never know what the outcome may be!  And, by the way, they've never seen your scores. 

There are smart people coming out of state schools and smart people coming out of Ivy's. But there are also stupid people coming out of both as well. Yep. I said it. I've seen it personally. I know some of the most ignorant people with a Name Brand on their diploma and I have to wonder why the school didn't rescind their degree! It has to be embarrassing for the school. 

On the other hand, I know people who came out of state schools whose initial entry level job paid them nearly $100,000 and more. Your outcome depends on you, not the name on your diploma.

Nothing ticks me off more than a lack of integrity. I know it's just 'marketing' and I get that it's a business. I just wish more people, parents and teens, and counselors, knew the truth about college rankings.

So if you are or know of someone who is emotionally crushed and disappointed by either college admissions rejections or by the lack of financial award offered, take heart. There is a college out there for you/your teen. And the odds are they will be happy wherever they land.

Success isn't about where you attend school. Success is defined by who you are.


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