Originally Posted by Violinist
O please... people who tell you that Ivy's are shit didn't get in or they did, and couldn't afford it so now they're jealous. No, they aren't always the best schools in the universe, but you'll get amazing world class profs that won't necessarily be at lesser schools with less money and less prestige. Also, your classmates are likely to be smarter and better connected. Ultimately you want to be in dialogue with good people. Yes, a lot of them will be total nerds, but at least they'll be the best book nerds the world has to offer. You'll also find a number of very intelligent, talented people that you can become friends with.
Ya, going to a state school would be way more fun, but I wouldn't automatically berate the Ivy league. In I Banking and Law, the statistics really don't lie. Connemara included schools like Stanford, so if you're talking about the top schools, some of which are Ivy's, then yes, it actually does matter a lot for employment. Undergrad probably not so much. However, like I said, it's about the people. Anyone who thinks your education will be just as good at a university where you need like an 1100 SAT and the school's main achievement is being a football factory, you probably won't be likely to find the better minds of your generation there.
O please...re-read my post and you'll see that I, for one, have never written that the Ivy's are "shit", because I don't believe it.
There is some truth to what Violinist wrote--not that being at the same school as "amazing world-class profs" is worth much, but being around outstanding students who push you and teach each other can be an incredible experience.
My own experience in grad school, at an Ivy League school incidentally, is that my advisor was almost totally inaccessible. He was so busy traveling the world convincing people that he was one of "the better minds of your generation" that I spoke with him for a total
of 2 hours 50 minutes during my first 3 years of grad school. He carefully cultivates a reputation as a teacher, but during my 5 years in grad school, he taught class for a grand total of 1 semester. He team-taught the class with an assistant prof who took care of all the paperwork, office hours, and lectured when The Big Man was out of town, i.e. the assistant prof did all the work except for delivering half a dozen lectures. So passing a great mind on his way to the airport is unlikely to contribute much to your education. The best thing about my experience was learning from all the amazing people, who, like me at the time, were star-struck by the man's reputation.
Violinist, in your subsequent post, you answer the wrong question for someone considering which school to attend for an undergraduate education. Students shouldn't care about the statistics regarding high-achievers who graduated from X school. Students should ask, "what value does X school add to my educational experience?" The answer is a very individual one. Personally, I believe many students are best served by a small, highly selective liberal arts college, where the profs are amazing and
generally very accessible. The disadvantage of such a school is a relative lack of advanced classes and research opportunities during senior year. And before jumping to any conclusions about my background, you might like to know that my experience also includes a BS from a highly selective, small school.