Is Ivy League worth it?

“The value of college education is not the learning of many facts but training of mind to think.” – Albert Einstein

Does it make a difference to go to an Ivy League school? Or is it just a fancy badge with expensive fees? Deciding which school/college to go for higher education is the most crucial part in a child’s future.

Each year thousands of students apply to be a part of the race to an Ivy League, a group of eight elite universities. This groups consists of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania. These eight institutions promise not only to impart education but they act as your way to prestige, exclusivity, high pay and network. And they claim this with anecdotal evidences like Microsoft’s Steve Balmer and various others in the Fortune 500 list. However, to every Steve Balmer there is a counter argument of Apple’s Steve Jobs or someone like Mark Zuckerberg who dropped out of Harvard. 

So how do you know if attending one of these elite institutions would be worth it and is it a right fit for your child. Does an Ivy league mean higher salary or is it expensive in long run? Do they provide right environment or just increase the competitiveness? Let’s dig into these common concerns and help you make a right choice.

The benefits of attending an Ivy League:

Networking: The ongoing pandemic in many ways has told us the value of networking from finding help online, to get jobs and what not, which is why Networking as benefit is on top for me. When your child gets into an Ivy League, they will be attending best talent not only from your country but from all over the world. The learning they’ll get will not be limited to the resources and faculty at the university but they will also get to learn from their peers and unlike the college resources, the learning from peers never stop and is lifelong. These peers would be joining a variety of sectors across the globe and as they grow into their role, you’ll also grow along with them through the rich network that you share.

The benefits of network are not limited to after your complete your college but they start as early as the first year of your college, as the rich network of an Ivy League helps you in getting you internships with fortune 500 companies and thus indirectly provides you with necessary practical exposure. And these light universities have specials cells to help you connect with their vast and exclusive alumni network.

Resources: Each student attending an Ivy League has strong academic background and the university not only furthers it but also provides standout facilities for extracurriculars as well, thus leading to an enriching experience. 

When we said that thousands around globe apply to be a part of these universities, we not only meant students but teachers as well. And just like selected few students get a chance, most standout faculty gets to be a part of these universities. However, the learning is not limited to this as there are frequent guest lectures and seminars by Nobel prize winners among others. And from the freshman year itself the student will have direct access to researchers, academicians and other resources to choose from, which is unavailable in other universities.

The Prestige: What’s in the name, right? Well not exactly, not everyone gets to call themselves an Ivy league graduate, when there is just 6.87% acceptance rate across the eight universities. And while not attending a Ivy league cannot stop you from learning, it can stop you from earning and experiencing with industry leaders, as nearly a third of directors and CEOs of fortune 500 companies hail from Ivy League and earn more than double when compared to their non-Ivy League colleagues. Further almost all the places in top 10 are filled by Ivy leagues when it comes to ranking in terms of education, employability and experience.

Therefore, those with Ivy League resumes are definitely impressive as they are some of the best universities not only in USA but in entire world.

Drawbacks of Ivy League:

Expensive: One of the major arguments against Ivy League is that they are only accepting only around 6% of total candidates, meaning they are the best of the best and these students have calibre to achieve success anywhere in the world and Ivy League is adding nothing to them. So, to pay almost 4-5 times greater fees when compared to other colleges is not wise and in long run with a lesser amount of education loan to pay, student from other universities can easily catch up to an Ivy League graduate.

However, while this number is undoubtably high but Ivy League students also get a number of financial aids in form of scholarships and grants to students with financial need and sometimes these grants can even cover 100% of the tuition fees, as in case of Harvard if your family income is less than $65000 you practically pay nothing.

Competitiveness: Everyone you meet in an Ivy league is of similar calibre with equally impressive academic record and that sometimes lead to imposter syndrome which can affect your performance, while in a non-Ivy league university you might perform comparatively better as it is less selective when it comes to students.

Further there are several other universities in USA and outside it which are comparable to an Ivy league and are relatively cheaper as well as can provide you a better environment free of imposter syndrome. Afterall it is said that once you land a job, what happens next to you is mostly dependent on how you perform on that job.

The bottom line: “We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges.” Getting an admission into Ivy league is never easy, and the process after that is full of challenges as well, so to make avail of all the facilities and benefits, you must face the challenges and this goes without saying that don’t forget to compare the pros and cons when deciding on the best school for you.