Is attending an Ivy League school all about the prestige, or do they truly offer an unmatched education experience? It’s certainly true that some high-achieving students put these schools at the top of their dream list because of their names and image alone. There’s a tendency to focus on being admitted rather than the whole higher education experience at that school, including programs, affordability and opportunities.
Matt López, executive director of Admission Services at Arizona State University, says it’s not the quality of a professor, class or program that matters the most, it’s the willingness of the student to leverage the opportunities presented to them by that professor, class or program.
Ivy League schools have restricted acceptance rates. About 6% of applicants are actually admitted. It makes sense for parents and students to consider the benefits of attending a school that has a broader acceptance rate. Going to the right college — one that encourages collaborations among students of different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. — allows students to challenge ideas and learn new ways of thinking about problems.
Ivy League vs. Public Universities
In the case of really any school, the quality of education that a student gets oftentimes is not necessarily determined by the quality of the professor.
It's determined on whether or not the student goes for it.
The best faculty don't impact a student's experience unless the student takes advantage of those best faculty.
I think we are what we make of it, right?
Education is not just what you learn about from one perspective in a textbook.
Education is about hearing that perspective and then challenging it.
When you have schools that literally only one in 15 — whatever it may be — can get into, you know that ... that just causes this kind of feedback loop. The population might be, kind of, too homogenous, if you will.
From my perspective, students at ASU have more opportunities available to them because we are built upon providing access and opportunity for our students.
We're built to give students from diverse backgrounds, from different perspectives, opportunity to challenge each other.
Going to class is just one piece of it.
The people you meet, challenges that you have to go through just personally, opportunities to have to find creative ways to work with different people who have different interests — who have maybe even different goals — that's a big part of what an undergraduate degree is.
Maybe the title of the school has somebody read a resume, but the depth of experience will have somebody hire you.
One of the things that employers have told me specifically about ASU that they like is that our ASU students have experience working with students from all over the world.
Working in teams.
Those are kind of those kind of skill sets that I think really is what employers are looking for.
So yeah, maybe that school, like I said, gets you into that first-year, entry-level job.
But it's the skills that our students bring that will make them successful, beyond that first job.