Is the education at top private schools superior to that of top public schools?

  • Superior

    Votes: 41 27.9%
  • Equal

    Votes: 105 71.4%

  • Total voters
    147

Saluki

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Do you think the education at a top state undergrad is of lower quality than that of one of the top private schools?
 

tennisnr2

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I don't think you're going to get most ppl saying anything but equal b/c when ppl think of "Top public school" they think of the University of Michigan, UCSF, UCLA, U Washington, etc.
 

mercaptovizadeh

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Depends on what. For graduate and professional study, many large state universities are stronger than smaller private colleges. E.g. Berkeley or UMichigan or Penn State graduate studies are going to be far superior to those of Pomona or Swarthmore. Are they superior to those of larger private universities, such as Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Carnegie Mellon? Probably they're equal.

As for undergrad, I think that the more elite smaller schools give a better undergraduate education. Reason being, there are much smaller classes, more seminars, more attention from the teachers (which is what really counts in undergrad), than at larger universities.
 

BooMed

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As someone who has attended both a public university and a "highly ranked" private school, I can honestly say that my $30,000/year bought nothing better. In fact, my classes weren't nearly as good and I hated most of the other students. Just my experience though, it's not like I would turn down Mayo or anything. ;)
 
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Saluki

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SearsTower said:
where's the inferior option
You want to vote for the top private schools being inferior to the state universities?
 

barcelona-bound

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mercaptovizadeh said:
Depends on what. For graduate and professional study, many large state universities are stronger than smaller private colleges. E.g. Berkeley or UMichigan or Penn State graduate studies are going to be far superior to those of Pomona or Swarthmore.
pomona is only an undergrad, not a graduate/professional school. i'm pretty sure the same can be said about swarthmore, right?

mercaptovizadeh said:
As for undergrad, I think that the more elite smaller schools give a better undergraduate education. Reason being, there are much smaller classes, more seminars, more attention from the teachers (which is what really counts in undergrad), than at larger universities.
i personally can't compare my experience at CMC with one at a large public undergrad university, but i do agree with the smaller classes, more seminars, and more attention from teachers.
 

nick661806

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Yeah put me down for an inferior vote as well. I hear alot about professors being so tied up in their research or being so into themselves that they barely give the time of day to their undergrad students. Nearly all my professors at UMD have been really into teaching and the success of their students.
 

jebus

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I spent 2 years at WUStL and then two years at the University of Washington.
Academically, I regret leaving WUStL. I got a better education in St. Louis. The facilities were nicer, the teachers were better, the students were more driven, there was no "budget crisis", & the list goes on... People say, "Oh, it doesn't matter where you go to school. You can get a good education anywhere." These people are full of it and don't know what they're saying and I listened to them and I regret it. And you see it here when people say "Well, I heard at top public school this and this and that," or "I think that and this"....
Y'all can keep arguing about it - and I know you will - but I attended both a top private school and a top public school and I this isn't just some mental masturbation for me. This is my life and I threw away a great opportunity because I listened to people like y'all.
 

odrade1

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As long as your university is adequate, education is what you make of it. You can go to Yale, not learn very much, and not go very far in life. Also, you can go to Yale, not learn very much, and become president. (So maybe we should be trying to become oil-millionaires, instead of physicians). I went to an "average quality" state school, got a great deal out of it, got into my first choice graduate program (top 10 in my area of specialization), and into my first choice medical school (24th or something nationally, according to US NEWS) on my first attempt. I am where I wanted to be, and it didn't cost me much in tuition.
If you are a really bright and motivated student, and you don't want to be president or teach at Harvard, then you probably don't "need" a "top" school to achieve your goals.
I tend to believe that it is the unimaginative, & unmotivated who benefit most from being at a "top" institution. However, if you are clever and a pleasant enough person, your teachers will recognize this, your grades will be good, and you can benefit from their attention, guidance, and connections. This will be true of both "top" and "non-top" private and public schools. If you are not much of a self-starter, look forward to outrageous grade inflation, or have impoverished people skills, going to a school with a "top" repuation may add something to your chances, so avoid public education. Alternatively, if you plan a carreer in national politics or you need to network exclusively with people of sufficiently high breeding, then going to a "top" school is probably also a good idea. I had a friend who went private so she could be around people who were in the same socioeconomic class she was, and who would recognize who her family was. These are also good (though perhaps shallow) reasons to go "top" over "non-top" or private over public.
I discovered that I could build a fantastic resume and strong connections through being an excellent student at my state university. This is also a great way to develp resources and connections in the local business and political scenes. I went to a large, public, urban research university, and found wonderful teachers, great mentoring, and lots of opportunities opened up to me through these faculty relationships. Good students can come from most anywhere and go most anyplace they want. Some political/class issues are also a factor, so depending on your career goals, a top undergrad school may be a better choice for you. (Top private schools tend to hire more faculty from other "top" private schools, and a few "top" public schools. When people make babies in this way, we call it inbreeding. When you hire faculty this way, it is called building prestige.)
I was raised in private schools, and was unable to imagine myself at a public college. Nonetheless, one thing led to another & I ended up at a local public institution. I am thankful that I was able to swallow my pride and take full advantage of the many opportunities that came my way at my "average" public school. Today, I am an enthusiastic supporter of my alma mater. Because of this experience, I have fairly strong feelings about discussions like these. If I ever have children, they will probably attend private schools through 12th grade (unless we move into one of the better school districts in town), and I hope that I would support my child's matriculation to either a public or a private college--whether it is a "top" school or a "non-top" school--as long as his or her reasons for choosing it were appropriate.
 

SearsTower

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don't post too much orade, it gives people a headache.
 

MarzMD

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In between inferior-equal. What you are paying for is the competition with geniuses for 4 years. How fun! Better preparedness for the rigors of medical school...perhaps. Better education(as in factual knowledge and mastery of material)....no. Like someone else said, it all depends on what you do when you are there, now matter "where" that may be.
 

LabMonster

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Compare apples to apples and I'd say the numbers for accepted pre-meds would be similar. Regardless, you could study the same texts used almost anywhere and with enough work you could accrue the same knowledge base. It's all about what you put in to your own education.
 

Hoberto

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I have been an SDN user for too long....I feel like we just had this debate last week.
 

jbrice1639

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MB in SD said:
Inferior - on average.
as in hopkins and wash u are inferior to michigan and ucsf?! hmm..... :rolleyes:
 

DropkickMurphy

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hoberto said:
I have been an SDN user for too long....I feel like we just had this debate last week.
I think we did actually.....

By the way, I personally feel how far you get in a medical career is more of a product of how much effort you put into your education than the name on your diploma. Granted, if you want to do academics, then that's a whole other ball of wax.