For college bound students, the idea of getting accepted into–and graduating from–an Ivy League college is one that would be any parents’ dream. Not only is graduating from such a school great for a person’s resume, it can open doors to networking circles that many others are excluded from. Of course successfully getting into an Ivy League is easier said than done–but that does not mean it is impossible. However, students setting their academic goals at this level will still want to think this decision through carefully by weighing the pros and cons of submitting to and getting into this type of school. Believe it or not, Ivy League colleges and universities aren’t perfect and are not for everyone.
(FYI: There are 8 colleges in America that qualify as Ivy League – Yale, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Columbia and Cornell.)
Ivy League Pros
Bragging Rights: How many people can say they actually graduated from a college or university that is widely known as an Ivy League establishment? Because of how difficult it is to achieve this, those that have this accomplishment listed on their resume definitely deserve a pat on the back.
Dealing With the Best of the Best: Hey, they don’t call these schools Ivy League for nothing. As privately run universities, these schools offer the highest level of academic excellence by employing top professors and providing students with the best resources, facilities and dedicated staff.
Great Prospects for Graduates: A number of highly recognizable public figures are alumni of Ivy League schools. Being a part of this network means placing yourself right in the middle of the action. Having access to alumni, as well as other notable people within the university, is ideal for graduates looking to get their foot into the door of their dream career. Most employers jump at the chance to have an Ivy League graduate on their payroll and it isn’t uncommon for past graduates to extend a helping hand to give a new graduate a shot in the workplace.
Ivy League Cons
High Cost of Education: Since Ivy League schools are privately run institutions, this typically means paying much higher expenses as it relates to things like tuition and fees and housing. Studies show that Ivy League graduates often take on a large amount of debt in order to complete their education. With the average cost hovering around $50,000 per year, students and their families will be in for quite a challenging financial commitment.
Difficulty Getting Accepted: Wanting to go to an Ivy League university is one thing–getting accepted is a whole different beast. These colleges are highly selective as to which students to offer acceptance letters to. It doesn’t help that there are more applicants than spots available on campus or the fact that these schools only end up enrolling between 10-15% of all students that apply.
Culture Shock: It’s no secret that Ivy League campuses tend to carry a holier-than-thou attitude. Some students may feel uncomfortable with the social elitism that is often demonstrated and even promoted among the staff and student body.