Skip to comments.Student turned down all 8 Ivies to go to a state school, and we should celebrate it
Posted on 05/20/2015 4:47:37 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
First, I should note I am a proud state-school grad. (Go Dawgs!) In a sea of Ivy-League degrees in Washington, it has never seemed to limit my opportunities, and it gives me a special camaraderie with the other state-school grads in the business. But I applaud Ronald Nelson Jr., not just because of my personal affinity for state schools, but because he’s a really smart young man who made a really smart decision.
Nelson is a phenom a sky-high GPA and SAT scores, a talented alto sax player, student body president, National Merit Scholar, among other honors. And, he was accepted at all the Ivy League schools. Wow.
In the end, he decided on the University of Alabama and rejected offers from all eight Ivy League schools.
Nelson also rejected offers from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Vanderbilt, and Washington University in St. Louis.
He decided to pass on these big names in favor of UA for two big reasons: He got a full ride from Alabama and got into its selective honors program.
“It took a lot of soul searching for me to push that first ‘accept’ button for Alabama,” Nelson said. “Of course there’s a bit of uncertainty.”
Nelson and his family don’t want to take on the debt the more prestigious universities would have left him, especially because he wants to go to medical school post-undergrad. His parents’ wisdom shows where the kid got it:
“With people being in debt for years and years, it wasn’t a burden that Ronald wanted to take on and it wasn’t a burden that we wanted to deal with for a number of years after undergraduate,” Ronald Sr. said. “We can put that money away and spend it on his medical school, or any other graduate school.”
Looking long term, Nelson doesn’t think his decision will impact his chances of getting in to a top medical school or other graduate program. After speaking with his teachers and guidance counselors, Nelson said, he realized that “any undergraduate school can prepare you for a graduate program. It’s just determined on how much work you’re willing to put in.”
Business Insider first reported this story, calling Nelson’s decision “brilliant.” But I stumbled on the tale at Mic.com today told in a slightly different way. More Shakespearean tragedy:
The premise is that such a talented student should not have to reject all the Ivies in favor of a state school out of fear of crippling debt. The story gets it right as far as the insane rise of college costs. Colleges have utterly failed to keep their costs down, and they should have to pay some price for it. But they almost never do, partly because of this mindsetthat everyone should go to the college of their dreams, no matter what the cost, without a care for cost-benefit analyses, or how long it might take them to pay off the debts they accrue. The “solution” proposed for all of this is unlimited easy government-backed debt, which puts more students in more debt, puts those who didn’t accrue debt on the hook for those who flake, and incentivizes colleges to keep hiking costs with no end in sight.
On the other hand, when a sought-after student like Ronald Nelson does a cost-benefit analysis and concludes he does not need the Ivies, perhaps they will think about how to contain costs in the future. It will require more than that for a cultural shift, but Nelson is a good start and a good role model for other students who should be making the same decision. There will be no cost containment if the Ivies are always considered the only option for students like Nelson.
While Nelson will certainly be fine, eminently qualified students like him shouldn’t be forced into backbreaking loans. For America to retain its preeminent place in the world, its young people can’t start off their professional lives mired in debt.
Nelson wasn’t forced, and he won’t start his professional life mired in debt. He’ll do great, have a fun college experience, and come out $100K ahead of most of his peers. Told you he was smart.
Whatever the merits of his decision, it certainly was NOT based on funds.
All Ivy League schools have scholarship money out the wazoo.
But they don’t necessarily give it out. Few if any full boat scholarships at the Ivys.
Yet Yale’s and Harvard’s endowments have reached critical mass where they can cover tuition at current enrollment levels.
No one - but no one - declines an Ivy League school for lack of cash.
Not Harvard or Yale, anyway, and probably not many of the others.
But do they hand it out they billons of dollars just sitting there collecting interest.
Wonder what percentage they truly give out I would bet that it is small.
“Nelson also rejected offers from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Vanderbilt, and Washington University in St. Louis.
He decided to pass on these big names ... “
You gotta be kidding. New York University a big name? That place is loaded with retards where no one fails a single class or semester (as long as you pay the tuition). The place is less than a community college.
Dunno. I never worked in a campus financial aid office.
On the other hand, I’ve had friends who’ve gotten fairly lavish (by student standards) free rides right through Ph.D.
So why waste the application fee money and apply in the first place?
Roll Tide...Rejecting the Ivies for Bama? Smart....Ivies are overrated, just look at Obama or Hillary...
As I see it, there are certain professions that are greatly advantaged by attending the ‘Ivies’, but there are a lot of other career paths that are not advantaged. In the Legal/Government majors, there is no doubt that graduating from one of these schools is a major boost for ones entire life. Just look at the current Supreme Court and the major political figures.
Equally, careers in Academia, Journalism, NGO and Non-Profits are also greatly influenced by these embossed sheepskins. However, in all of the above there is also the influence of the post-graduate ‘fellowship’ networks that make opening the doors to hiring and promotion easier.
All of this being said and acknowledged, I personally regard this system as incestuous and corrupt in that by prestige and ideology the Ivies, by and large, graduate indoctrinated ideologues with an enhanced sense of entitlements and a skewed view of patriotism and obligations.
They have become a de facto overclass that bodes ill for the future based upon the last several decades.
Another article from a few days ago of anyone is interested in the comments thereon:
Student Who Got In to Eight Ivy League Schools Picks Alabama Instead ^
You don’t make money by giving away your interest.
Why spend “their own money” to cover tuition when they can rely on incoming student loans?
Sure they do. Over and over. Knew a local kid who declined a prestigious school because at half tuition her part would have been 30K plus living expenses in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Where the ivy's (and other big names) make their reputation is through graduate school. There IS a big difference between Cooley Law School and Yale Law School.
Sounds like Columbia or Penn - not nearly so generous.
i turned down a full academic and athletic scholarships to princeton and was also accepted yale (who wrote to ask which school i was going to so they could offer the opening to someone else if i ws not going) brown and cornell and went to USNA..... i often thought about it while i was ashore in viet nam... at that time they didnt offer degrees in economics or finance or have girls on campus... it was afterwards they lowered the bar and let em in. I lost 10% of my classmates in viet nam....... So it especially perturbs and enrages me to watch the TRAITOR in the WH.
Does that make me “no one”
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