Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Statistics/Outside Data’ Category

Princeton
A college freshman wrote to me with some questions on Ivy League schools: their merit, their policies, and their preferences. My responses follow.

1. When interviewing my head of school, who attended Penn approximately 20 years ago, he told me “no one graduated without a job”. This obviously has changed, but why do you think that is? Do you think it is the quality of Ivy League schools that has gone down?

That certainly may be part of it, but it’s not the whole story. The first question is, what do we mean by a “quality” education? What makes one school better than another? Is it the practical (i.e. professional) value of the education? The challenge it provides? Perhaps it’s the social experience, or the values the university conveys? I think it’s fair to say that there’s been a dramatic demographic, socioeconomic, and political shift in the Ivies over the past fifty or so years, but that doesn’t necessarily imply anything about the quality of the coursework. My general impression is that many elite private universities have rather academic curricula compared to their public counterparts, in the sense that they aren’t geared to train students for the “real world.” I’m not opposed to taking courses out of personal interest, but I think most students who are fresh out of high school are hoping to gain some vocational skills as part of their education, and in that respect I think many top-rated private schools don’t deliver.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Larson

One might think that America’s best universities would be intent on recruiting the top minds in the nation, but that’s often not the case. Instead, many highly-ranked private schools provide special preferences for anything but stellar academics. Brace yourselves: If you want a place at one of America’s elite universities, the answer may not be to study hard and get good grades, but rather to be born into the right circumstances – i.e., to be of the right race, religion, socioeconomic background, legacy status, or athletic ability.

Affirmative action – or just plain racism?

Not long ago, Harvard was charged with ethnic discrimination against Asian applicants. The following article discusses this issue at great length and suggests that the accusation is indeed well-founded. It additionally reveals a pattern of discrimination against gentile whites (Euro-Americans), as well as arbitrary favoritism toward Jewish students. Harvard employs an affirmative-action program to ensure that it has an abundance of ethnic minorities, but in the process knocks out some of its would-be best and brightest. How good can America’s top-rated university be if it’s not even meritocratic?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

564464_10151525408062735_813542314_n

Today I offer yet another laundry list of stories, this time focused on top-tier grads who face underemployment, some of whom work in minimum-wage positions.

Harvard to Homeless and Other Anecdotal Evidence Not to Go to Law School
http://butidideverythingrightorsoithought.blogspot.com/2010/09/harvard-to-homeless-and-other-anecdotal_21.html

“In April of 2009, almost one year after I had graduated from Ivy League, I began a pretty hardcore job search […] By September, I had my first job in the restaurant industry serving room service at 6 a.m. “
http://underemployedinnyc.blogspot.com/

“So here I am. Eight years of experience, a Master’s degree, and an Ivy League school. You’d think I could at least get an entry-level position.”
http://gawker.com/5992314/unemployment-stories-vol-32-you-are-slowly-erased-from-the-lives-of-your-friends

(more…)

Read Full Post »

homeless

After receiving a submission from someone saying he had never met an unemployed Ivy Leaguer, I felt compelled to find more stories of graduates of elite universities who can’t find work. Turns out, it’s not difficult… the more I look, the more I find. Below are about 35 more articles chronicling cases of unemployment, underemployment, poverty, insurmountable debt, and general shock-and-awe stories coming from graduates of top-tier universities.

A new Stanford grad on food stamps
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57359795/a-new-stanford-grad-on-food-stamps/

Yale grad: “Turns Out My Ivy League Education Is Worth Squat”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rek-lecounte/us-my-ivy-league-educatio_b_2924315.html

Columbia grad: “$60,000 Ivy League Degree Was Just a Pyramid Scheme”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lilly-odonnell/college-costs-loans-debt_b_1890254.html

55-year-old Dartmouth graduate is unemployed and homeless
http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2011/08/09/55-year-old-dartmouth-graduate-is-unemployed-and-homeless/

Harvard Grad Seeks Babysitting Jobs
http://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2013/01/18/harvard-grad-seeks-babysitting-jobs/

Princeton grad works at a video store
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/news/economy/1105/gallery.lost_generation/index.html

Dartmouth grad – “Ivy Leaguer Shocked By Likely Future As Burger Flipper”
http://gawker.com/5003010/ivy-leaguer-shocked-by-likely-future-as-burger-flipper

Stanford grad, unemployed and living with parents, reflects on his first year after graduation
http://www.voicewaves.org/2012/05/stanford-grad-reflects-on-year-since-graduating/

Yale, Penn, George Washington University sue graduates over loan debts that they can’t pay back
http://business.time.com/2013/02/08/schools-suing-graduates-for-defaulting-on-loans/

Stanford Law school grad turned call girl under house arrest after cheating the government
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/law-school-grad-turned-call-girl-cristina-warthen-house-arrest-cheating-government-article-1.402237

Emory Law Student Lament: ‘We don’t need donuts, we need jobs.’
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/07/emory-law-student-lament-we-don’t-need-donuts-we-need-jobs/

Being an Unemployed Ivy League Grad
http://etiennema.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/being-an-unemployed-ivy-league-grad/

Even a Yale Pedigree Could Leave One Unemployed
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/649281/posts

Discussion –how many elite school grads are in those unemployed statistics?
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1353870-how-many-elite-school-grads-those-unemployed-statistics-2.html

The adventures of an unemployed Columbia grad
http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/1177/the-adventures-of-an-unemployed-columbia-grad/

Unemployed Duke grad who got a spot on the TV show “The Apprentice” couldn’t even keep that
http://blogs.newsobserver.com/tv/duke-grad-called-elitist-kicked-off-apprentice

A self portrait created in 2003 may help this struggling, 2012 Duke graduate to find her way out of poverty
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-795060

Cornell Grads Find Fewer Jobs, Earn Less Than In Previous Years
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/19/cornell-grads-find-fewer-_n_542476.html

“Underemployment hits double digits for schools listed below ninth-ranked University of California, Berkeley.”
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865577918/Unemployment-crisis-for-law-school-grads-deepens.html?pg=all

From Ivied Halls to Traveling Salesman (includes a UPenn grad)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203733504577024090027351410.html

Fewer University of Chicago and Northwestern law graduates finding jobs at law firms
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-16/business/ct-biz-1216-chicago-law-20111216_1_law-firms-law-school-elite-law

“It’s interesting when an alumna suggests that a professor at her law school is interfering with her ability to find employment. And it’s downright sensational when the unemployed lawyer is a Stanford Law School graduate.”
http://blogs.findlaw.com/california_case_law/2012/08/stanford-grads-defamation-case-plagued-by-inadmissible-evidence.html

9% unemployment for recent Georgetown grads
http://cew.georgetown.edu/unemployment/

MIT grad still unemployed after a year
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1339593-graduated-year-ago-still-unemployed.html

MIT computer science graduate couldn’t find a job
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704699604575342751927334436.html

“Six months after graduating from Princeton University, 22-year-old Kati Henderson was still looking for work.”
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/12/princeton_universitys_2012_gra.html

Georgetown graduate unemployment rises
http://georgetownvoice.com/2010/02/18/graduate-unemployment-rises/

“Unhappy anniversary: My first year of joblessness” – Recent Johns Hopkins graduate wonders what Congress is doing to help
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-07-14/news/bs-ed-unemployed-20110714_1_informational-interviews-unhappy-anniversary-federal-unemployment-benefits

Discussion – Unemployed or underemployed recent Top-20 college grads
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/794669-unemployed-underemployed-recent-top-20-college-grads-why.html

Report: Many Emory Law Students Underemployed After Graduation
http://vahi.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/report-many-emory-law-students-underemployed-after-graduation

“8 months out, no job… I guess my Ivy League Master’s Degree was a waste of money”
http://personalitycafe.com/education-career-talk/132189-8-months-out-no-job-i-guess-my-ivy-league-masters-degree-waste-money.html

Ivy League degree, no job
http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/17/news/economy/recession_lost_generation/index.htm?iid=HP_LN

Life after the Ivy League: Surviving unemployment without losing all self-confidence
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1172529-life-after-ivy-league-surviving-unemployment-without-losing-all-self-confidence.html

Google Is Not Impressed by Your Fancy Ivy League Credentials
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/06/24/google-is-not-impressed-by-your-fancy-ivy-league-credentials/

Read Full Post »

tomatoes

One gentleman wrote in with a litany of complaints and personal criticisms. Below is a copy of this e-mail, with his comments in quotes and my responses in italics.

“You need to change the name of your blog.  You keep referencing the Ivy League when you didn’t even attend an Ivy League university.  You’re lucky the Ivy League hasn’t sued you for libel yet.”

You’re right, I didn’t attend an Ivy, but this blog isn’t just about me, and no other phrase is so quickly and readily associated with top-ranked schools. Many people refer loosely (albeit erroneously) to roughly the top 15-20 universities as the “Ivy League,” and for lack of a better term, I’m doing the same. I suppose I could call it the “The Ivy-and-Ivy-Equivalent Lie,” but somehow that just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so well. 

As for the accusation of libel: Last time I checked, our great nation still has something called the First Amendment. For me personally, college sucked, and I have every right to say what I please about my own experiences. As far as more general statements are concerned, it’s not libel unless it’s patently and demonstrably untrue, and there are plenty of articles cited on this blog to back up the assertions I’ve made.

“You made the wrong choice of school to attend.  You should’ve went to Yale or MIT.  Duke is a great school, but in reality, its national reputation doesn’t come close to Yale or MIT’s.  Regardless of the rankings, Duke is better known for its sports teams than for academics.”

Maybe. In my experience, the perception of any given school is heavily dependent on where you are and what job you’re applying for. On the East Coast, Duke seems to be very well-regarded, and to be known for having students were not only bright but also more well-rounded than some of their Ivy League counterparts. Duke has slipped a bit in the ratings the last decade – when I started there it was tied for 4th with Stanford and MIT – whereas now it’s hovering around #8 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Regardless, it’s consistently a Top -10 university, so I disagree that there’s a very substantial difference between Duke and say, Columbia or Princeton. And personally, I disagree that I would be better off had I attended Yale or MIT. The key problems for me would have applied at any of these universities – namely, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, the tuition was exorbitant, and the coursework was painfully difficult and utterly irrelevant to any profession. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t even apply for any of those schools, let alone consider attending one of them.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

unemployment-line

Still dreaming of a spot at Princeton or MIT? Still believe that a diploma from Stanford or Yale will make all your dreams come true? Here are a few more links that might change your mind:

Ivy League Graduates on Food Stamps

http://www.nationalreview.com/phi-beta-cons/276106/ivy-league-graduates-food-stamps-nathan-harden

Graduating into unemployment

“Nikki Muller, known for her viral YouTube video, “Ivy League Hustle,” still can’t make more than $14 an hour… [she] graduated from both Harvard and Princeton.”

http://www.diamondbackonline.com/opinion/article_9563b87c-26f4-11e2-9ab4-0019bb30f31a.html

Is an Ivy League Diploma Worth It?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203733504577023892064201700.html

Ivy League degree, no job

http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/17/news/economy/recession_lost_generation/index.htm

30s: Ivy League Unemployed

“Good-bye, Rat race. Good-bye, Bank Account.”

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/bizfinance/finance/features/n_7941/index3.html

Unemployment Stories, Vol. Three: ‘Absolute Hell’

“I am a mid-30s female with an Ivy League graduate degree. I just received my third layoff in a little over four years.”

http://gawker.com/5930119/unemployment-stories-vol-three-absolute-hell

Unemployed Banker and Ivy Leaguer Reaches All Time Lows

http://www.ivygateblog.com/2009/09/unemployed-banker-and-ivy-leaguer-reaches-all-time-lows/

Scamployment! The e-mail inbox of an Ivy League unemployed

http://scamployment.wordpress.com/

Is the Ivy League a waste of money?

“Princeton professor and economist Alan Krueger set out to prove an Ivy League education paid off. He wound up proving exactly the opposite.”

http://money.msn.com/college-savings/is-the-ivy-league-a-waste-of-money-weston.aspx

From Ivy League to Unemployed: How College Grads Should Approach the Job Hunt

http://onecubicle.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/from-ivy-league-to-unemployed-how-college-grads-should-approach-the-job-hunt/

Read Full Post »

atlas

Actually, this applies to just about any private university or even public school if you’re from out of state. With some schools now costing over $50,000 per year – and that’s only including tuition, room & board, etc. (not travel fees or other personal expenses) – you might think twice before attending an Ivy League university. Sure, statistically it pays off, but unfortunately those statistics “don’t tell you about the economic handicap of repaying a six-figure college loan over decades or the resulting diminished ability to buy a house, car or comfortable lifestyle.”

In other words, your salary will most likely be higher if you attend an elite private college, but how much of those additional earnings are going to have to be used to pay off loans? And God forbid you’re one of those unfortunate souls that can’t find work at all – then what? You could spend decades dealing with financial hardship, but you at least you can say, “I went to Hah-vahd. I’m broke and the bank is coming after me, but I’m still smarter than you, you lowly state-school grad.”

Besides, now that we’re in the Great Recession, a lot of Ivy League schools are cutting back what I would consider essential services. Do you still want to fork up $200,000 if you have to deal with cut-backs like these or these or these?

In my experience, Ivy League schools are surprisingly bad when it comes to penny-pinching on basic expenses, even though they have multi-billion-dollar endowments (which they won’t touch). When I stayed on the Princeton campus in the summer of 2000, I was told that our dorm was one of the best on campus – but many of the crank windows didn’t work, the desks were rickety and looked like something from a one-room school from the 1800s, and the bathroom – all two toilets and three showers of it – had to service over 50 students.

My advice to all prospective “elite” school applicants: Don’t even consider it unless you can get a full-ride scholarship. And even then, it might not be worth it. I mean this seriously when I say it: Your local community college may give about the same education than you’ll get at Harvard (it’s likely to be more practical, at least). And if you’re going to be facing $200K of debt – well, honestly, what’s to like about the Ivy League?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »