Friday, October 15, 2010

Jay Mathews on Ivy Envy

Jay Mathews argues that the "elite" colleges don't provide a better education. His column New film shows folly of Ivy envy starts with:

This time of year, with high school seniors slogging through one college application after another, and parents jittery about their children’s futures, I often write columns explaining why it doesn’t matter where they go to school.

The invariable reaction from many readers, and some of my friends, is that I went to Harvard, so what do I know about their problem?

It is true that I am a Harvard grad . I wrote a book titled “Harvard Schmarvard” that argues that the Ivy League, and other top-ranked colleges, add no discernible value to the lives of their graduates. They are good at attracting students with character strengths, such as persistence and humor, that lead to success. But applicants with such qualities who decide instead to attend places like Boise State do as well in life as those who attend colleges older than the country.

He claims that the recent movie "The Social Network" proves his point. Read the rest of the column for how his justifies his claim.

We've never seriously consider sending our children to the "elite" colleges. Janine and I don't care about the social standing that comes from having a child at Harvard. And the cost is way too much.

It is nice to read columns like Jay's which reassure us our children won't be missing out.

(Hat tip: Instpundit)


Jean said...

My Russian TA had gone to Harvard. He said it was the most overrated school in the country. I figured he knew what he was talking about.

I've never wanted to put my kids through the ordeal that is trying to get into an Ivy League. (But I wouldn't mind if they miraculously got into Berkeley...go Bears!)

Henry Cate said...

One of my brothers went to Berkeley a couple decades ago. I believe it still provides a high quality education. My worry is the environment is pretty hostile to conservative values and religion.