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Disadvantages of elite schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Oncie, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Oncie

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  2. WedgeDawg

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    This article has been posted here and elsewhere many times before and there are a lot of counter opinions that exist for it. Ultimately, it's one person's experience and should not be taken to be the experience of every person who has attended one of these schools.

    Edit: I just re-read the article for perhaps the 4th time and found that, while there are some elements of truth, I disagree with a lot of what this writer says (having been through the experience myself). Again, just my experience, but just goes to show this is only one perspective in a whole ocean of them.
     
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  3. Oncie

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    Had I gone to Harvard, I bet that physics professor would've let the quiz I missed slide :(
     
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  4. WedgeDawg

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    I can tell you that professor probably wouldn't have. I missed a quiz for an interview and I lost that grade.
     
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  5. Spector1

    Spector1 Orbis non Sufficit
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    You should read his full book Excellent Sheep. It is quite a good read.
     
  6. md-2020

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    The author's inability to communicate, socialize, and empathize with people of different backgrounds, coupled with his perceived superiority over non-Ivy equivalent graduates, seems to indicate major personality disorders on his part.

    The entire piece is written with the supposition that every other graduate has similar feelings towards his own, when in fact the opposite is true. The tone indicates a significant disconnect between the writer and the world around him. Cleveland State grads are not ever going to have social status/high income? What a joke. I'd be willing to bet the plethora of engineers, doctors, and other professional grads of those mid-level schools far out perform humanities and social science grads from better universities, such as the author himself.

    This is the type of person that literally is a waste of space.
     
    #6 md-2020, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  7. cloudmurder1

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    It seems on the surface, the author is very critical of these schools, but the article also seems to imply that this phenomenon perpetuates the income gap and stifles social mobility.

    I wonder by how much the importance of college will increase in 5-10 years. It would be a pity, to some extent, if the rest of your life was so determined by high school performance.
     
    #7 cloudmurder1, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  8. NickNaylor

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    Not really an interesting read, just a story about a clueless guy who has a minimal ability to relate with others.

    I do think there's something to be said about being among a community of ambitious, "thinker" types if you're also that kind of persuasion. I went to an undergrad that is pretty middle-of-the-road, and after going to medical school at a prestigious university and interacting with the undergrads there, I wish I had had the opportunity to go somewhere like that. That being said, college will not teach you how to be a Good Person, which this guy seemed to expect. Your family and other life experiences teach you those things.
     
  9. Affiche

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    All I got from this was that the author succumbed to the elitism that's prevalent in elite schools.
     
    #9 Affiche, Aug 6, 2015
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  10. Doug Underhill

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    Having gone to both, I can say that the support staff is far better at the elite Top 20 national university than the big state school. The facilities are nicer. There are many more free sandwiches. Otherwise, I prefer the state school environment.
     
  11. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    Nothing was ever free at my school. Life exists so profit can be made.
     
  12. nwts

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    That's so strange to me. I am always confused when I am on breaks from school because I actually have to pay for things. When I am at school, I forget that things actually have to be paid for in the real world.
     
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  13. Affiche

    Affiche SDN Gold Donor
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    Pretty sure I went through 4 years of college wearing free t-shirts from clubs and surviving on free bagels and coffee from the alumni center and clubs trying to get me to join. I miss it.
     
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  14. sliceofbread136

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    I think the biggest difference between a state school and an Ivy League school is around $30,000
     
  15. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    Ya'll be feelin' some generosity...a foreign term in many parts of the world.
    Not necessarily, as top privates give you really solid financial need-based packages w/o loans. I have many friends who ended up w/ them as the cheapest option.

    But I ended up choosing to pay $70k/yr over my state school's full-COA scholarship.

    Class sizes, support services, advising etc. are also top notch @ top privates IMO.
     
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  16. sliceofbread136

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    How could a state school be 30k/year more if they cost 10k/year? That seems kind of weird!
     
  17. nwts

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    It may be different at other schools, but at my school I don't think it's so much generosity as the fact that it costs a lot to go to my school and my school has a lot of money, so they can afford to give us more "free" stuff. I guess I don't see it as being "free" and "generous" when it costs so much more to attend my university than it does to attend other universities that don't give out so much stuff. In my mind, a lot of stuff is "free" in that I don't pay for it at the time at which it is given to me, but I don't think I would be getting all of this stuff if tuition and room and board weren't so high, so it's not really free, I'm just paying for it at a different time than I'm receiving it.

    Disclaimer: Please don't read this as me complaining that my school costs too much. I think it is totally worth what it costs. However, I have a hard time viewing the stuff that is given to students as generosity when my school costs substantially more than most.
     
  18. sliceofbread136

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    That would not be worth 70k/yr in my opinion. I can't imagine the amount of debt you'll be in after completing med school.

    But to each their own, if you think it is worth it then good for you.
     
  19. md-2020

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    I paid 70k/year b/c my family (I am the only child of 2 subspecialized surgeons) did not qualify for financial aid (no merit aid at many top privates) and footed the bill. If I would have to go into debt, obviously I'd go state.

    My point in the previous post was that for families that even remotely need the aid, the top schools are absurdly generous. At my undergrad, families w/ income under 140k/yr received full tuition aid, and under 220k/year received ~1/3 tuition off. Average financial aid grant per student (no loan policy) is almost 50k for freshmen.
     
    #19 md-2020, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  20. Petrichor1

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    There are just 2 types of people at the end of the day in my book:
    1. that are good and have manners
    2. those that don't have either
    Class or education does not determine that and by saying that the author was ivy league educated and the plumber was not was possibly even more shallow. The author seems to have automatically assumed that the guy in front of him was not intelligeable enough to hold a casual conversation like he would with other classes.
    I could easily say the same about a construction worker that behaved so rudely to me at a highway because he was in a hurry and I was allowing cars to pass me out of my goodness of heart. I cannot easily say that it is because of his education and neither can I say that my quietness and tolerance was because I was educated at a good institute that literally didn't impart me societal intelligence to give a piece of my mind to an average person. All of the actions are a result of where each of us came from and what people we were surrounded by.
     
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  21. WedgeDawg

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    Posting to say that three of my top private school options were cheaper than my flagship state school and I am solidly middle class.
     
  22. cloudmurder1

    cloudmurder1 Average Student

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    This point was a bit important
     
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  23. Spector1

    Spector1 Orbis non Sufficit
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    Its price discrimination, they'll bleed you for as much as you can pay.
     
  24. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    No, because if my family income was lower, the repeatedly mentioned great financial aid @ top schools would kick in, as long as you could get in
     
  25. Banco

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    People underestimate the amount of aid that ivies and similar caliber schools can provide. The private school I went to ended up being cheaper than my state school.

    It's the middle tier privates that have high costs like the ivies, but not as much money to give towards financial aid, that end up being the super expensive ones.
     
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  26. WedgeDawg

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    And in this case, it was less than I was to be paying for my state school, but I'm grateful to never have paid the $60k price tag in full any year I attended.
     
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  27. avgn

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    Yeah, let's pile the judgment onto the child of two professionals in a field that you're trying to pursue!
     
  28. WingedOx

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    Ironically I was also in a situation where there's no school on the planet that would give me need-aid (yay for being spawn of surgeons), but instead my parents flat out refused to pay for the school I wanted to go to saying it wasn't worth they money when I had lower-tier schools giving me merit scholarships.

    well over a decade later, I can't say I can argue with their wisdom on that topic.
     
  29. WingedOx

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    Considering I also came from a mid-tier and my SO is a gradate of said elite school...

    ...I've had the opposite reaction when I meet UC grads. I have many close friends who came out of there, but there's no way I'd have ever wanted to have gotten my education there.
     
  30. NickNaylor

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    There are certainly some crazies and plenty of people that, for lack of a better phrase, are too smart for their own good, but the small cohort of undergrads that I spent time with were surprisingly pleasant, incredibly intelligent, and ambitious. A pretty good combo if you ask me. But yes, there are just as many if not more complete morons that might be incredibly intelligent but have no idea how to use that intelligence in a meaningful way. But I imagine that's true of anyone who is strong academically.
     
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  31. cantankerous

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    I don't know about that. I have a friend (household income $30K) who got into UPenn, and he was only offered a $20K scholarship. With financial aid (FAFSA, Pell Grant, etc.), he would still need to pay $10K a year even just commuting from home....
    But maybe you just went a very generous school.
     
  32. avgn

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    Uh, paying $10k for a school whose sticker price is $60k would count as absurdly generous on the school's behalf.
    Also, there is no way your friend's household income is only $30k if that is indeed the financial aid package he got (Ivies do not give "scholarships"). Somewhere, your numbers are distorted
     
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  33. md-2020

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    Are you certain about his household income? Do they have lots of savings/property/net worth?

    http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/paying/paying-pro-look-at-the-facts.htm
    Penn pledges full COA to all admitted students w/ family income <40k/yr. That's tuition, room, and board, all covered by grants! Sticker price of 2015 Penn is 65k.

    Edit:
    Ivies do not participate in loans; for income of 30k, it would have been a full-ride on Penn's dime. Your friend was probably being somewhat disingenuous either about his family income or his acceptance.
     
    #33 md-2020, Aug 7, 2015
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  34. cantankerous

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    All I remember is that he thought it wasn't worth it when he could get free rides from other schools. I think he said that his parents refused to take out college loans, so that's probably why he refused.
     
  35. avgn

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    Either way, the numbers you quoted are not in line with the actual numbers I knew from school and friends, including those from my own financial aid package. $30k household income with no extra assets at any Ivy League is automatic full cost of attendance granted.
     
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  36. avgn

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    He either pretended to be poorer than he was or pretended to get accepted. lol sorry man
     
  37. cantankerous

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    NP. Honestly, I was surprised that he got in with his stats, but then I'm not too sure on how these schools evaluate students from low economic status.
     
  38. altblue

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    God, I wish I had known this. I would've taken my acceptance there.

    That said, I agree with NickNaylor. The writer also just seems kind of socially awkward
     
    #38 altblue, Aug 7, 2015
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  39. md-2020

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    There was a student directed study at Penn that indicated in order for the school to meet their generous guarantees, low SES students faced significantly higher hurdles to gain admission. If your friend's stats weren't sky high I'm betting he didn't actually get in.
     
  40. cantankerous

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    Haha my university sucks, so he was probably trying to defend his decision to go here.
    Personally, I don't really care about my school's rep; they pay for everything, including summer stipends.
     
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  41. Banco

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    I thought penn was need blind?

    I know that brown is need aware.
     
  42. md-2020

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    Officially, yes Penn is need-blind.

    The study was student run from the College, and quickly denied/censored by the administration.

    Edit: I'm trying to find the article from the campus newspaper that covered this but am not having much luck atm.
     
  43. Transistor

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    .
     
    #43 Transistor, Aug 7, 2015
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  44. WingedOx

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    Oh, it's not a knock on them, but when they talk about their undergraduate experience it almost sounded difficult for the sake of difficulty rather than for the sake of intellectual pursuit. Keep in mind these were non-pre-professional science graduates though. Some of their liberal arts classes sounded great though.
     
  45. RedPhys

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    This definitely was something I don't think I could have gotten at my local university. Going to a top school really immersed me along people who were pretty serious and smart about their studying. Certainly made me more ambitious and hard-working.
    Do his parents own a house or have assets? My understanding is that owning a house can be a pretty big hit to many families.
     
  46. UNMedGa

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    Couldn't the author have used his education to say the same amount of information in half the number of paragraphs? Holy crap.

    I feel like there are two sides to the Elite School coin. It really depends on what you want to do. They seem to offer excellent networking opportunities, so in fields where that is important, these schools can give big advantages. But many who go to "lower tier" schools can find those connections as well if they are savvy enough.
     
  47. Stagg737

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    It's really dependent on the school though. Example, I got into WashU when I applied and would have had to take out over 40k/year in loans to pay for it even though my family's annual income was well below 100k. Some private schools do offer obscene amounts of aid, but there are also several top tier schools which do not.

    As for the state school being more expensive, that's entirely dependent on what state you live in. I had friends that went to schools that charged less than 10k/year at the time, and that included room and board.

    I'm not sure if the house necessarily matters, but assets is a good point. My parents had to included their stock and some other accounts in the FAFSA and it definitely hurt how much aid I was able to get. They were pretty appalled that the fact that they had lived conservatively and built up a solid retirement plan/savings to help send me to college ended up hurting us in terms of how much I could receive in loans.
     
  48. avgn

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    That's why I said Ivy League. There are even differences among them. WashU is not a well-endowed enough school to dish out the dough. Same for Tufts, BU, small LACs, and the like.
     
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  49. Stagg737

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    Right, I was more addressing md-2020's claim that all top private schools have great financial aid kick in. Way too general of a statement. Though with an endowment of 5.6 billion and around 13,000 students when I applied, I would have expected them to be able to do better than what I was offered.
     
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  50. md-2020

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    My bad, should have been more specific.
     
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