The Wrangler

Is College Name Branding Legitimate?

Though the Ivy Leagues have a reputable name, they may not be the right fit for everybody.

Though the Ivy Leagues have a reputable name, they may not be the right fit for everybody.

Christian Muresan, Photojournalist

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Seniors at YLHS need to make some tough decisions when it comes to college. Many factors must be considered when choosing a college, and a college’s “name brand” seems to play a key role in this decision. But how much more important is it to recieve a degree from an Ivy League school rather than from a state school?

 

Though many students are very qualified to attend some of the top schools in the nation, many are rejected for various reasons. This is simply a result of too many applicants seeking so few spots, but this does not mean that these students are not good enough to attend a decent college. In fact, some of the most qualified individuals did not attend an Ivy League or a university to that caliber. It has been reported in the book, Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be, that only about 30 out of the current Fortune 500 CEOs attended an Ivy League school.

 

The common assumption when it comes to selecting a college is that colleges with a prestigious name and reputation will magically make a student successful. However, getting accepted to one of these “elite” schools is only half the battle. The other half is maintaining respectable grades while taking rigorous courses while trying to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

 

So the question remains: does a school’s name brand determine the intelligence level of an individual? Or are these elite institutions merely a ploy? A convincing argument can be made for either side. Of course, universities such as Harvard and Stanford have proven to have incredible research facilities and faculty. However, in most cases students who have a self-motivated character thrive in almost any environment, even in state schools.

 

Prestigious schools are simply magnets to have “the best of the best” bolster their name brand even further by offering acceptance to few applicants from a large pool of candidates. And the crazy part is, this tactic works extremely well. As the acceptance rates decline, students are encouraged more than ever to apply—just to see if they can get in. Even if their chances of acceptance are only 5 percent, students want to “play the odds”, because the worst that could happen is they lose $100 from application fees. This mentality has also been reinforced by the ease that students have when submitting through the common app.

 

While the application process has many variables, there are a few things to consider. The most important is that the school’s brand name is not as important as each individual’s personal character. While it is exciting to attend an Ivy League school, it is not paramount to one’s success.

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