Ivy League College As the owner of a company that coaches students on their college applications to Ivy League and other elite liberal arts schools, I was disconcerted to read a Wall Street Journal study finding that the largest public and private companies, nonprofits and government agencies favor graduates who did not attend Ivy League Colleges.  In fact, Cornell University is the only Ivy League school that ranked in the top 25.  The top picks?  Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Despite this apparent problem for my business, I thought it fair to share the article with my readers.  And thankfully, upon further thought, I realized that it is not a problem at all.  Here’s why:

If you think you will go on to obtain a graduate degree, this report does not apply.  It did not provide any information about how many Ivy League graduates go on to graduate school, or what the rates of employment are for Ivy League graduates with advanced degrees.  And we know from PayScale.com that “the typical Ivy League bachelor’s graduate earns about 27 percent more early in their career, and about 47 percent more by the time he or she is about 40, than the typical bachelor’s graduate from all  U.S. schools.”

How can we reconcile these apparently contradictory pieces of information?

What I make of all this is that if you don’t plan on going to graduate school, it might behoove you to attend a state school or other school on the Wall Street Journal’s list.  If law, medical, business or other graduate school is in your future, Ivy League is still the way to go.  And although I don’t have a report to back it up, I believe many Ivy-bound high school graduates have no intention of calling four years a complete education.

What do you think?  Will this information affect where you or your son or daughter applies to college?

For the full Wall Street Journal article go to Employers Favor State Schools for Hires.

Also see Penn State Tops Recruiter Rankings.

And if Ivy League or top liberal arts schools are still in your or your child’s future, call The Essay Expert at 608-467-0067 or visit our College Essay Services page.


  1. Very interesting Brenda.

    My 13 year old daughter has just announced her intentions to go to an Ivy League college – academically she is extremely capable (straight A’s since 3rd grade including Advanced Math and English), NJHS and all sorts of sport and extra curricular activities. What is heartwarming is that she has taken my recent article “Dream World or Dream Life” https://ow.ly/2NJhE on the importance of setting goals to heart (my daughters are always my test audience).

    Being a single Mum, however I’m not sure how we can make it happen and had thought more of the military academies or affiliates (Merchant Marine, Coast Guard).

    It is so good to read the pros and cons on the subject from a trusted source outside of the media. Thanks for sharing.


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