The Ivy Coach Daily
April 22, 2022
The Omission of Colleges Outside Major Cities
It doesn’t take a Caltech rocket scientist to understand why so many students applying to elite universities include schools like Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania on their college lists but omit schools like Duke University and Dartmouth College. Many students simply love cities and are reluctant to spend four years in, say, Durham, North Carolina or Hanover, New Hampshire. In fact, it’s the focus of a piece today in US News & World Report in which Ivy Coach is cited.
As Andrew Warner writes for US News & World Report in a piece entitled “What to Consider When Visiting a College Town,” “While many high school students gravitate toward choosing big cities like New York City or Los Angeles for college, Brian Taylor, the managing partner at Ivy Coach, a college admissions counseling firm, recommends students consider the benefits of attending school in smaller towns as well. ‘When you go to a school like Duke or Dartmouth, you come away with lifelong friendships because there’s not much else to do,’ he says. ‘Those lifelong friends, we would argue, are the biggest benefit of attending any school.'” Yes, indeed.
Yes, the Organic Chemistry course at the University of Minnesota may be no different than the Organic Chemistry course at Duke. We’ve never argued on the pages of this college admissions blog that the in-classroom experience is so much better at a highly selective university as compared to a less selective, major public university. But what we have argued — vociferously — from the pages of this blog is that the out-of-classroom experience at these elite institutions simply has no equal.
There’s a reason most of our Supreme Court justices attended the same schools. There’s a reason so many major American businesses were started on Ivy League campuses — even if their founders ended up dropping out. When you attend an elite university, you’re going to school with future captains of industry — of finance and entertainment, medicine and hospitality. You name it. And when you go to school in the middle of nowhere (like in Durham, North Carolina or Hanover, New Hampshire), there aren’t so many outside distractions as there are in major American metropolises. Students thus have the time and attention to build what will become vital lifelong relationships that will serve them incredibly well.
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