Is Attending An Elite College Right For You?

Should you attend an elite college?

Flickr user Dieter Weinelt

The thought of attending an elite college can sound very appealing but the truth is, this may not be the right decision for everyone. Attending an elite college has its fair share of advantages and a few disadvantages as well. Getting to know both sides of the picture will help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Attending an Elite College

  • Elite colleges have impressive reputations. Having a degree from a prestigious college can open doors and impress future employers.
  • Your peers will be just as hard-working and competitive, motivating you to push yourself harder at every step.
  • You will have access to a wealth of amazing resources
  • You will have easier access to the college’s alumni, which is likely to include prominent leaders and entrepreneurs—many of them return to their schools regularly to hold master classes, give speeches, or provide opportunities.
  • School-sponsored scholarships and financial aid opportunities can greatly reduce what you have to pay.

Cons of Attending an Elite College

  • Hefty tuition fees. Unless you are extremely wealthy or the school offers you a substantial scholarship or financial package, you need to give this some serious thought.
  • The competition is fierce—which can be a good and bad thing.
  • Reputation alone won’t get you very far. Some students bank on the reputation of the school when it comes to getting jobs after graduation, but if you don’t have skills or experiences to back it up, employers won’t give you special treatment over non-elite graduates.

Elite and Ivy colleges aren’t for everyone, and even ambitious, high-achieving students should weigh the pros and cons before committing. It is a big decision, to be sure, and there are many factors to consider.

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