Double Edged Sword Of Ivy League Schools

Ivy League Schools

Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, Yale, Cornell, UPenn, Brown & Princeton! Names that scream intellect, pride and prestige. For years, these schools were the epitome of a student’s dream and still is for many. But, for many others, the thought of these schools invoke feelings of regret and selective bias.

Affirmative Action

The root of the problem begins with affirmative action, a policy designed to create a “fair playing field” for people of all races. But as many are asking, isn’t it a policy that creates reverse racism? If 100 students regardless of race are the best fit for a program based on academic criteria, shouldn’t those 100 students be admitted? According to Affirmative Action policies, the answer is no. For every 100 students, 10 must be from minority race X, the other 15 from minority race Y, and the remaining population can be to their discretion. The problem with these criteria is that If 100 Asian students excel, those 100 students won’t be admitted because those 100 hundred students are fighting for those 15 spots as opposed to the total 100. As a result of this, many students who are underachieving are admitted into universities largely based on their race. While the idea is a gross generalization of the entire affirmative action process, this is the ELA5 version of it.

Cost Effective

The second problem is the rising cost of these Ivy League schools which brings forth the question, do the degrees really pay off? The answer to this is that for some professions, they make a huge difference while others honestly did nothing. The average cost of an Ivy League education, both undergraduate and graduate hovers somewhere around the $50-$60K. Comparing that to the cost of other private schools, these numbers seem fairly manageable. While that’s true, not all of their offered majors result in salaries that make a significant difference. The average graduate earned a salary of $125,000 while 66 percent of individuals said they got a sign-on bonus. These numbers are significantly better than those from other professions, but the majors that resulted in high paying jobs in other professions performed the same way for the Ivy’s.

That means the majors that result in careers that aren’t top-earning professions do NOT change by attending an Ivy League school. Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering & Digital Media are the top earners no matter where you go. Earning a degree from these schools in those majors boosts your earnings by 15%, but does not do much if your major doesn’t rest within those.

Graduate degrees in business, medicine and law have substantial returns! But otherwise, the earning disparity isn’t that far off! We should keep this in mind, especially in light of the recent college scandal.


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