We’ve written quite a bit on our college admissions blog about the editorial published by William Deresiewicz entitled “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.” As you might expect, we were rather critical of the article. Today, we came across another response to Mr. Deresiewicz’s piece that we thought our readers might like to take a look at. In her piece entitled “Why You Should Apply to Ivy League Colleges,” Columbia University and London School of Economics graduate Ruchika Tulshyan raises a number of excellent points that counter Deresiewicz’s mostly unfounded argument.
As Ms. Tulshyan writes in reference to Mr. Deresiewicz’s op-ed, “I nodded in agreement for much of the article – the anxiousness, the self-doubt, couched in bragging and self-inflating – seemed so familiar at both, the Ivy League and Ivy-equivalent that I attended in the U.K. and U.S. But I still find a brand-name college education can be extremely beneficial for one section of society. Quite a large section, actually: Anyone who isn’t white and male, and born into an upper-middle or upper class family. My argument to attend an elite college mostly focuses on what one can do after attaining that degree. Sure, the plethora of experiences – reading Shakespeare with the world’s leading authority on it, or learning the affects of climate change from a Nobel prizewinner, for example – are fantastic while at college. But the maximum value of the degree, the moment when those burdensome student loans really begin to pay off, is once you’ve graduated from the institution.”
We couldn’t agree more. Is a Harvard education better than a Williams education? If you asked us, we’d say no. Schools like Williams and Amherst offer among the very best educations in the world. And these schools do have excellent name recognition on the job market after college. But they don’t have Harvard’s name recognition. When prospective job applicants have an Ivy League on their resume, they are given the benefit of the doubt that they’re smart. The Ivy League benefits career trajectories by the dozen. As Ms. Tulshyan argues, it helps students who are not Caucasian males secure jobs that nobody in their family previously ever dreamed of even being up for. It closes that gap. A student with a University of Maryland Bachelor of Arts on her resume just isn’t given that same benefit of the doubt. It is what it is. It’s not always about the education. It can be about the connections. It can be about the confidence you get from attending an Ivy League college, from the exposure you get to other ambitious and highly successful students.
Agree? Disagree? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on the value of the Ivy League. So write a Comment below!