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College selection: factors to consider

293 bytes removed, 17:14, 10 April 2014
/* The prestige of the college that you attend matters */
See also [[choosing between a large state school and a private school]] for an application of these considerations.
== The prestige of the college that you attend matters ==
Some people say that you shouldn't worry too We discuss some of the pros and cons of going to a more prestigious college in [http://cognitomentoring.org/blog/how-much about -does-where -you -go -to -college, because it won't matter later on in life. While it's true that -affect-earnings/ How much does where you went go to college tends to matter less the longer you've been out of college, it still has an impact on your life trajectory: the opportunities that are available to you early in life affect the opportunities that are available to you later on in life, and more prestigious colleges generally give you better opportunities than less prestigious colleges doearnings?].To summarize:
Empirically, people who go to === Pros of attending a more prestigious colleges are more successful later in life. [http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-Salaries_for_Colleges_by_Type-sort.html For example], survey data shows that mid-career annual earnings of UC Riverside graduates ~ $81k/year and of UC Berkeley graduates ~ $112k/year. UC Berkeley is generally considered the most prestigious University of California selective college, and UC Riverside among the least prestigious University of California colleges. Money isn't the only measure of success, but it's one.===
There's a question of whether going ====Signaling to a more prestigious college ''causes'' someone to be more successful later in life. Students who go to more prestigious colleges are generally more capable and therefore would be more successful independently whether they went to a more prestigious college. There's an [http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2013/11/hoxby_vs_dale-k.html economics study] that presents evidence that going to a more prestigious college does not affect one's earnings. employers====
Employers give weight to the prestige of college attended. However, there's a widespread belief amongst elite populations the effect size is smaller than it might seem. In a [http://www.gallup.com/poll/167546/business-leaders-say-knowledge-trumps-college-pedigree.aspx 2013 Gallup Poll], 9% of business leaders said that going to a more prestigious school does play the college a role in determining one's success later in lifejob applicant attended is “very important” to managers making hiring decisions, and we think 37% said that this should carry more weight than a single studyit’s “somewhat important. Some reasons why going to a more prestigious ” Employers listed college breeds success are:attended as the least important of the 4 factors that they were asked about, behind major choice.
===Signaling quality=More capable peer group====
There's Having a broad consensus that employers are generally more likely capable peer group can lead to hire a better learning opportunities. Harvard student from a prestigious school than a non-prestigious school, because going to a prestigious school signals that the student has higher ability than other people do. For [http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2011/11/how_elite_firms.html example], high paying investment banks, law firms, and management consulting firms show a strong preference for graduates of the top 4 ranked universities in the country.Ben Kuhn wrote
=== Having a [blockquote]By watching how more capable peer group ===competent people work and think, you can often pick up useful study habits and better techniques for the subject you’re studying. I’ve found this especially true in CS classes, where I’ve had this experience from both sides, e.g. teaching classmates how to use Git and picking up C coding style and tricks from better programmers.[/blockquote]
Going It can also give one access to a more prestigious college exposes you to stronger students. [httpbetter advice://www.benkuhn.net/ Ben Kuhn] at Harvard [http://lesswrong.com/lw/ikh/course_selection_based_on_instructor/9pv5 describes] advantages of being in a peer group with stronger studentsalso wrote:
''[blockquote]By watching how more competent people work and think, you can often pick up useful study habits and better techniques for the subject you're you’re studying [.I’ve found this especially true in CS classes, where I’ve had this experience from both sides, e.g.] Both more advanced students teaching classmates how to use Git and instructors can be very useful for the academic advice they provide laterpicking up C coding style and tricks from better programmers. Knowing talented students has given me info about several excellent courses, as well as summer opportunities, I wouldn't otherwise have known about. A professor who can become a good mentor is also invaluable.''[/blockquote]
Making connections with stronger students is also useful for networking later on in lifeThese considerations generally favor more selective schools, because stronger students tend but not as strongly as might meet the eye: less selective schools often have honors courses and honors programs, where one might be able to meet students as capable as those who one would be in positions of greater influence later on interacting with at less selective colleges (though the best students at more selective colleges will generally be stronger than weaker the best students areat less selective colleges).
{{quotation|'''KEEP IN MIND''': Because [[intracollege versus intercollege variation|differences within a college are often bigger than differences between colleges]], don't assume that going to a prestigious college will ''automatically'' give you a capable peer group, or that going to a less prestigious college will preclude the possibility of finding a capable peer group.}} ==== Mentorship from higher quality professors ====
If you're pursuing a career in research and/or academia, having exposure to higher quality professors as an undergraduate can give you a head start. In particular, some professors do research with undergraduates, and if you can do research with higher quality professors, you can get to the cutting edge of the field faster, and learn more by observing how they think.
{{quotation|'''KEEP IN MIND''': You usually have to take initiative to get good research opportunities as an undergraduate, and talk with the professors whose research interests you. You shouldn't expect to get good research opportunities by default.}}
 
====Networking benefits====
 
Going to a more selective college will generally expose one to people who will be in higher places later on in life, and who will correspondingly be able to connect one with influential people in one’s professional field, who may get one a high paying job and so forth. Such people may also serve as professional collaborators, for example, if one wants to do a startup right out of college.
 
As above, the effect here is smaller than might initially meet the eye, because one might be able to get similar benefits by interacting with the most capable students at a less selective college.
 
====Confidence====
 
Venture capitalist Paul Graham [http://www.paulgraham.com/colleges.html wrote]
 
[blockquote]In addition to the power of the brand name, graduates of elite colleges have two critical qualities that plug right into the way large organizations work. [...] Having been to an elite college makes them more confident. [...] Since individual performance is so hard to measure in large organizations, their own confidence would have been the starting point for their reputation.[/blockquote]
 
 
=== Pros of attending a less selective college ===
== Diverse colleges give you more options ==
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