There’s an article out today in “The Wall Street Journal” that focuses on high school students who are rethinking attending Ivy League colleges because money’s tight and, frankly, Ivy League educations cost quite a bit of money. The article features one student who, while he was admitted to Cornell University, chose instead to enroll at a City University of New York school. He wanted to save his family the high cost of tuition. He also knew that he wanted to be a doctor and that his family was going to be on the hook for four years of medical school tuition after college. The student figured it’s better to invest in the medical degree than on investing in the bachelor’s degree.
According to “The Wall Street Journal,” article on Ivy League grads, “Such choices meant families across all income brackets spent 9% less – an average of $21,889 in cash, loans, scholarships and other methods – on college in 2010-11 than in the previous year, according to the report. High-income families cut their college spending by 18%, to $25,760. The report, which is released annually, was based on a survey of about 1,600 students and parents.”
But what “The Wall Street Journal” doesn’t tell you in this article is what an Ivy League degree can do for one’s career (check out our post The Ivy League and Career). It doesn’t include the line that it’s often who you know, not what you know though it does say that many top firms recruit exclusively out of the Ivy League. McKinsey, for instance, won’t hire you unless you attended an Ivy League school. Or Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.
The article does, however, point out an interesting fact that we’ve never brought to your attention before. If you’re admitted to an Ivy League school and choose to attend a CUNY school instead, do you always want to wonder where you’d be in your career had you chosen to attend an Ivy? We don’t think so. You don’t want that kind of regret, that “what if.” If you’re admitted and your family can afford it, go. Figure out the money after.