The Ivy League: Truly Golden Or Not?

The debate that rises every college application and commitment season is whether or not the opportunities the Ivy League schools offer are worth it or not. This article explores the routes in which the rigor and prestige can be greatly beneficial but also how the environment cultivated by them can be negative and that their prominence is not warranted.


The Golden Gates Open Up Opportunities

By Faiza Ahmed and Gregory Marzano

When some think of the Ivy Leagues, they merely see the dollar signs that correlate with the attendance and the stereotypical pretentious and nerdy students. However, some students refuse to realize the weight that these schools hold for future possibilities. Whether it is networking through impressive professors, having better internships available, or merely using the name of the elite school, students can gain a head start over other students. The Ivy League schools’ purpose is controversial, but the guaranteed benefits from them are overwhelming.

Attending an elite school heavily enforces a stronger alumni network that is simply not feasible in other schools; the variation between the quality of connections is apparent. Levels of intelligence are not the only criteria anymore for jobs, but rather who can work the system the best. This is where the ties between business owners and university faculty step in to give students a better push through the workforce door. For instance, all current United States Supreme Court Justices, except Amy Coney Barrett, attended an Ivy League school. In addition, students who attend the University of Pennsylvania are able to feel a sense of security as the school is known for its prestigious business program and sends many of their students to work high-paying jobs at well-known finance companies such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

“...this name recognition can significantly raise a student’s chances in the professional world and provide solace in employment...”

New Hyde Park Memorial senior Ved Trivedi, who is committed to Cornell University for the fall of 2021, shared his thoughts about the Ivy League advantage.

“Attending an Ivy League University would give me the opportunity to create connections with esteemed individuals in their respected fields. Post-undergraduate, I hope to use these connections to continue to work in the field that I am passionate about,” said Trivedi.

The constant competitive atmosphere in the Ivy League schools also pushes students to work hard. Since acceptance rates are under 10% for most of these elite schools, prospective undergraduates are held to the highest esteem. Students are placed into classes filled with other high-achieving peers and the intense class rigor encourages them to develop outstanding work ethics that can also be used later in their lives. Most students admitted into these schools are at the top of their high school class, which promotes fast-paced learning in the classroom and gives like-minded people a sense of camaraderie.

Universities such as Harvard or Yale are well known for their law and medicine programs, which aid graduates in obtaining jobs in the future. An Ivy League on a resume reveals that the applicant had to work extremely hard and achieve the best grades in order to get into the university and graduate from it, so high-ranking companies, firms, or hospitals, to name a few, know that the person has what it takes to succeed in the workplace. As a result, this name recognition can significantly raise a student’s chances in the professional world and provide solace in employment.

The Ivy Leagues are reputable for their large endowments, which allow disadvantaged students to receive the necessary money in order to attend the university. Through these funds, many are satisfied with schools like Princeton or Brown because they have shown that they care about their students. This also allows college students to have access to top-tier facilities and some of the best opportunities.

“...students admitted into these schools are at the top of their high school class, which promotes fast-paced learning in the classroom...”

“The long record of the Ivy League’s success expresses why students continue to come back and apply each college application season,” said senior Rafia Ahmed.

High schoolers striving to attend a prestigious school must know that the journey is difficult and full of competition, but an Ivy League has proven to be an achievable goal with countless advantages down the road.

Source by Saffah Azeem

Seniors every year have trouble deciding between attending an Ivy League school or an affordable public school.


There Are Gates Other Than Golden Ones

By Jessica Jaimon

With acceptance rates on the decline each year, more and more people are willing to do the extreme in order to be admitted to Ivy League schools. Stories made national news about rich families who spent thousands of dollars to create fake athletic profiles in an attempt to gain acceptance into extremely selective schools. Many people want to go to an Ivy League university because of their prestige and honor, but do these schools give students a greater benefit?

“Constant pressure to climb to the top among top students can become overwhelming and stressful...”

The pressure from parents and the intense competition to get into these elite schools can be detrimental to the students’ mental health. Many people are pressured by society to go to college after high school and may feel judged by their parents and peers about which school they end up attending. Many students feel that if they do not get accepted in an extremely competitive school, they have wasted their years in high school.

“I feel like a lot of people over inflate the standing of Ivy League schools and there are just so many other schools that can provide the same academic rigor and experience. If the name is the only thing people are looking for, it is definitely not worth it because so many other schools offer better programs and are just better options,” said senior Nasheed Choudhury.

Even if people do choose to attend an Ivy League school, the effect of competition in clubs and course rigor on students could be harmful to their mental health. Students attending Ivy League schools are held to extremely high standards that some students may struggle to reach. Constant pressure to climb to the top among top students can become overwhelming and stressful. The classes have a lot of reading, challenging problem sets, and lengthy papers, and for many of these students, it is the first time they are academically challenged to that extent.

“When I was younger, my biggest academic goal was to get accepted into a prestigious Ivy League school. But as I got older, I realized how difficult it would be to attend. Even just to apply to an Ivy League, you would need to pay a more than average sum, and in that rare chance you do get accepted, the tuition, dorming, and food would put you in years of debt,” said junior Tiffany Wong.

Ivy League schools also generally have high tuitions. The average undergraduate tuition and fees of Ivy League schools are $56,425 in the academic year 2020-2021. There are many amazing programs at state and public schools that are just as good as those at Ivy League schools that cost a fraction of the price. A popular state school many people from NHP attend is Binghamton University. The tuition and fees are about $28,269 per year at Binghamton University versus $76,258 per year at Cornell University (in state and before aid). Students should not rule out state schools based on the acceptance rate, either. For instance, Binghamton has competitive accelerated programs that high-achieving students can attend that allow them to earn their bachelor's and master’s degree in only five years.

“...students are able to get a quality education from schools other than Ivy League schools for a cheaper price...”

Students who do not come from wealthy backgrounds can be disadvantaged as students who come from more affluent backgrounds may try to cheat their way into these schools. Wealthy families highlighted in Netflix’s documentary “Operation Varsity Blues” spent thousands of dollars to create fake athletic profiles and to unfairly boost their SAT and ACT scores. So many people base their self-worth on whether or not they get into these elite schools, but it is not fair if there are others who are fraudulently admitted into schools.

In conclusion, students are able to get a quality education from colleges other than Ivy League schools for a cheaper price without the harmful effects of highly competitive classes and stressful environments.

Reproduced with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Many students attend Ivy League schools because of their prestige and the opportunities they present.