Many folks are quick to point out that the quality of the in-classroom experience at Ivy League universities is not that much better than the quality of the in-classroom experience at big state schools. Some go on to say that it’s thus unjustifiable for Ivy League universities to claim their education is better. We think these people are absolutely wrong. The quality of the in-classroom education at Ivy League universities is indeed better than such at big state universities. At Ivy League universities, students have the opportunity to learn from leaders of their fields, from researchers as well as teachers, from people who have sought out to change the world and done exactly that. Do such professors exist at big state universities or outside of the Ivy League? You bet. But not in such strong percentages.
But the quality of an Ivy League education isn’t just about the in-classroom education. It’s also about being surrounded for four whole years by smart and ambitious students who hustle to succeed. That’s something you just don’t get at the University of Kentucky. Sure, there might be a few exceptions, maybe even more. There are indeed bright students at the University of Kentucky but the percentage of ambitious and high-achieving students at UK just doesn’t compare to the percentage at a university like Harvard, Yale, or Brown. It just doesn’t and anyone who tells you otherwise probably doesn’t believe it themselves.
Being surrounded by smart and ambitious people invariably makes one smarter and more ambitious as well. And it’s not like these people disappear after your four years of education. They stick around as lifelong friends, acquaintances, etc. So by attending an Ivy League university, you’re basically committing yourself to being surrounded by the best and brightest for the rest of your life. That’s something that the University of Kentucky just can’t offer. And that’s the bottom line.