The Ivy Coach Daily

September 11, 2020

Ivy League Remains a Good Investment

Henry David Thoreau’s sage advice rings true today.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” We happen to agree with the nineteenth century American transcendentalist on this point. We also happen to believe that his argument is especially fitting at this moment for our nation. America, after all, is at an inflection point in its history. We’re less than two months away from the most important presidential election of our lifetimes, one that could shape the world’s future for generations to come. We’re living through a pandemic that has led to the deaths of thousands among us in addition to shuttering so many of our businesses and adversely impacting the livelihoods of just about all of us. Yet even in these uncertain and deeply trying times, there are good investments and there are bad investments. An Ivy League education — as expensive as it may be — remains as good of an investment as ever.

There are Those Who Argue An Ivy League Education Isn’t Worth It

It’s not as though we’re unaware that there are folks out there who suggest that an Ivy League education just isn’t worth it. Their argument typically goes something like this: “You can get just as good of an education at your local state university for a whole lot cheaper.” It may surprise our readers to know that we at Ivy Coach don’t disagree with the underlying logic of their reasoning. We do believe you can get a great education at a local state university, particularly at our nation’s best public universities like UVA, Michigan, the UC schools, and UNC. And we don’t disagree that one can get a great education even at a not particularly selective state university (all the aforementioned state universities are highly selective). We’ve never once argued on the pages of this college admissions blog that organic chemistry is taught any better at Princeton than it is at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

An Ivy League Education Isn’t Just About the In-Classroom Experience

But it’s not just about the in-classroom education. You see, the vast majority of students who attend the University of Nebraska are from Nebraska — approximately 78% in fact. And while the school does pull the remaining 22% of its students from other states and countries around the world, it doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of students are from within the state’s borders. And we don’t believe the best way to understand the world is to view it strictly through the prism of your own experience or the experiences of your neighbors.

An Ivy League Education Is About Exposure to Different Perspectives

Rather, we believe the best way to understand the world is to view it through the prism of a great diversity of perspectives. America’s Ivy League schools pull intellectually curious change-makers from states across our union and from nations around our world. 78% of students don’t come from any one state and the students who do enroll, well, they tend to not only earn more than do their peers who do not attend Ivy League schools, but they are able to leave important imprints on our world. Just take a look at the Supreme Court. How many justices hail from Ivy League schools? How many of our nation’s Fortune 500 CEOs hail from Ivy League schools?

An Ivy League Education Is Goodness

Yes, an Ivy League education remains a good investment. It was a good investment two centuries ago. It was a good investment this past century. And it’s a good investment this century, especially in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tech stocks go up and down. So too does real estate. But while the cost may go up, the value of an Ivy League education remains fairly stable over time. And why? Because there is goodness in an Ivy League education. There is goodness in seeing the world through the prism of the experiences of others. There is goodness in the lifelong friendships forged among diverse, exceptional young people on America’s Ivy League campuses. Thoreau knew what he was talking about.

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