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October 6, 2008

Is an Ivy League School the Right Choice for you?

A recent article was published on FoxBusiness.com regarding the return-on-investment of attending an Ivy League School for an undergrad degree. The article raises the question that many Ivy League schools have as well: Is an Ivy League school right for you? "The most important thing for a student to do is assess who they are and what they want out of their educational experience," says Senior College Consultant Jim Fowler.

"If they want a large school with big sports, well, Cornell might not be a good fit," he said. "And if they want to do a wide-ranging list of activities like choir, student government and sports, they might not get that from an Ivy League school because the nature of the student body will require them to specialize a little more with their activities."

If a student has focus however, the results can certainly pay off. It is widely known that having one of the eight Ivies on your resume will assist you in navigating through your career, often with greater ease than a state school. Research also shows that the salary gap between persons with a degree from an Ivy League and a traditional school gets wider as time goes on as well.

There's also the controversial hurdle that graduate school applicants face when applying to an Ivy without attending one in their undergrad. That doesn't mean that GPA and other factors don't come into play, however. The many benefits of an Ivy education range from not only graduate school admission but also networking opportunities and the greater likelihood that recruiters might be on campus.

There are certainly other factors that affect future salary as well, especially as it pertains to a student's choice of major during their undergrad. If a student chooses Engineering, for example, the top schools aren't Ivy at all. What's important is that students do their research and examine their motivations behind why they want to attend an Ivy. This is important not only for them, but will also come into play during application season.

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