May 6, 2007

Name School

I've been thinking lately about the value of a "name" school. Places like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Williams, or anywhere that has a program ranked #1 or #2 in the U.S. News rankings. I was thinking about it because Janet is planning to go to library school and she has applied to the University of Illinois. Illinois has the top ranked Library Science program in the country, and this is a draw for Janet, since she can pay in-state tuition to do their well-regarded online program.

We've gone back and forth about the value of a top-rated program. At times, I've thought that it really helped getting a job to be able to say, "I went to Cornell," or something like that. I've since decided that it might help you get an interview, but not necessarily a job. You'll get your job based on who you are and what you've done, not where you went. Janet will get her next job just like she got her last one, because she's good at it. The fact that she went to little Messiah College makes no difference. She found this out at Loyola. She was one of the smartest history students at Messiah, and nothing changed at Loyola, just like it wouldn't change anywhere else. The same abilities that cause you to excel in school will transfer to your job, and a smart interviewer will base their decisions on that rather than the name at the top of the diploma.

So, I conclude that the best college choice isn't the one with the name, but it's the one that is the best fit for you and will let you accomplish your goals. College really is what you make of it.

1 comment:

s_man said...

Small school achievers represent!