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  •  Liberal arts colleges also tiered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, K S LaVida

    Keep in mind that liberal arts colleges also have tiers and at the top are as hard or harder to get into than the Ivy Leavue schools.

    At the top you have places like Williams, Amherst, William & Mary, Haverford, Wellesley, and others. Then you have a tier of quite solid colleges attended by everyone who got rejected from the first tier. Then you have the next tier which range between "decent" and "places for the wealthy to send their not-very-bright-children".

    By the same token, I think certain "big name" state schools have a reputation out of proportion to the quality of their education, mostly because they have a good football team. Outside of maybe about half a dozen flagship state schools, the degree says only, "I lived in that state." An average liberal arts college might confer a more personalized education, but it will be MUCH more expensive, while the reputation, and student body quality won't be that different, and the professors at the state school will probably have better and more interesting research going on.

    •  Addendum (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, ColoTim

      In most states outside the North East, the big state schools are the best universities around.  A degree from these will open doors in the area, but not necessarily nationwide or worldwide.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:04:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those are Tier 1 small schools (0+ / 0-)

      The liberal arts colleges you named are about as hard as the Ivies to get into, and win the same respect.  Amherst is kind of proud that for its applicants, Harvard is a safety school.

      I'll also second Outside's recommendation for the schools in Pope's CTCL group.  They aren't the Tier 1 famous schools, but they're very good, and mostly very respectable Tier 2s -- unless you want to be a white-shoe i-banker, their degrees are well regarded.

      •  Small doesn't necessarily mean good (0+ / 0-)

        In most cases, a person will get a great education at a flagship state university for not that much money. I wish there were more public SLACs.

        But most SLACs are like most universities-- a few very good ones. Very many extremely expensive ones that don't deliver a quality education. And sometimes even worse tend to prey on first generation college students by promising a "life changing" intellectual experience that leaves them in debt and with poor job prospects, because they are designed for students that are already well-connected and savvy enough to be career focused and find a good job after graduation.

        I tend to think that SLACs are over-rated in the public imagination. Certainly there are many good ones, just like there are many good research universities. But small colleges tend to over-promise: their rate of delivering quality (especially for the money) isn't that much better than larger universities though certainly many students are going to thrive in a small environment where they need more hands-on mentoring whereas they might have gotten lost at even a medium-sized university.

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