Myth: Big Name Colleges are Better for Me than Lesser Known Colleges

Flickr user Joe Wolf

Flickr user Joe Wolf

It makes sense to think that famous schools must be better because, well, they’re famous! Legendary Ivy Leagues and household-name universities might seem like the best option for any student, because if they’re famous they must give a great educational experience, right? And they do, of course, but while the likes of Harvard and Julliard are basking in the limelight, smaller, lesser-known schools fall by the wayside.

Whether due to their smaller size or just unknown name, the reputation of a school isn’t just based on how well-known it is. More obscure schools can be like hidden gems, just waiting to be discovered. Maybe you match up with one of these lesser-known treasures. Maybe that’s where you’re supposed to be.

So let’s tackle some of the myths.

Myth #1: Employers are more impressed by famous schools

Employers are interested in skill, not a fancy piece of paper. You will be hired on the merit of your work, relevant skill sets and attributes, attitude, interview, and resume, not just what college you graduated from. They’re trying to run a business, after all, and so will search for the best possible candidate for the job. Graduating from a famous school does not automatically guarantee a job, nor does being the alumni of an unknown school bar you from finding a career you enjoy.

Myth #2: Well-known schools attract better professors

Many professors prefer teaching smaller classes rather than huge lectures, and so have been applying to smaller schools. This is good news for the hidden gem colleges.Teaching in a more close-knit settling allows the professors and students to build a more meaningful relationship that can benefit everyone in the long run. It’s easier to get to know and help a class of 30 than it is for a lecture of 500.  Besides, even if every top-notch professor applied to the most well-known schools, there would not be room for all of them to teach there, and so their skills would be dispersed to other institutes of higher learning.

Myth #3: Lesser-known schools don’t have good resources

College news sometimes feels saturated with the big-budget donations that famous colleges receive, however that doesn’t mean that smaller, lesser-known schools don’t have amazing things to offer as well. There will be opportunities galore at big schools, but the competition will be stiff. At an unknown school, there will be a plethora of opportunities as well for every student.

Myth #4: Unknown schools must have a bad reputation

Unknown does not automatically equate to bad. There are a number of reasons as to why a school might not be a household name–they could be a young university, don’t advertise as heavily as others, are incredibly specialized, or are overshadowed by older famed schools.

Instead of ignoring any schools you don’t recognize, do your research! Look into the unknown and you might just discover the perfect college match for you. This is College Raptor’s specialty! Our match tool highlights the schools that are fit for you, based on a number of your criteria and interests. So go out and explore the lesser known, you might just find a hidden gem.

Allison Wignall

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