Elite Colleges Aren't As Important As Self-Motivation And Choosing The Right Major
During the past several years, a number of studies have shown that graduates do not need to attend an elite college (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Stanford) to be successful. Instead, the studies consistently showed that students generally have a comparable or even better chance for career success when attending non-elite colleges that are a better fit for their majors, provide environments better suited to their interests and expose students to opportunities for solid internships.
• The most comprehensive discussion on the topic is a book called Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni, a columnist for the New York Times and author of three bestsellers. It provides many examples in which students who were not admitted into elite colleges still became very successful from opportunities realized at non-elite colleges.
• Highlighting the findings of the Gallup-Purdue Index, “Measuring the Most Important Outcomes of Higher Education,” Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University, said, “Our survey clearly indicated that it wasn’t so much where you go to college as much as it is how you go to college — what you extract from the campus experience.”
• In an extensive research paper, “A ‘Fit’ Over Rankings: Why College Engagement Matters More Than Selectivity,” Denise Pope, co-founder of Challenge Success, says, “Engagement in college is more important than where you attend,” and “while some employers might check the name on your college transcript, most care far more about your track record in the field, basic communication and problem-solving skills and the attitude and work ethic you bring to the table.”
• The educational backgrounds of the Fortune 100 CEOs validate the position that attending an elite college does not make a significant difference in future earning power. In fact, a dominant 89% of Fortune 100 CEOs graduated from non-Ivy League schools, according to Kimberly A. Whitler, author of “A New Study on Fortune 100 CEOs: The (Surprising) Undergraduate Institutions They Attended.”