MIAMI (CBS4) – Can the name of a University solidify the reputation of its students and guarantee their financial future after graduation, or will it just leave students stewing in deep debt?
Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton come with a distinct prestige of being at the forefront of collegiate careers where rank is taken in high regard by those who live and die for an education they could potentially receive from a particular school.
Diego Rosette, a student at the brink of graduation from Belen Jesuit Prepatory, said he is looking forward to Columbia and what it brings.
Rosette chose a school with one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country, like many of its other Ivy League counterparts. Just over 7% of applicants being accepted to Columbia, 5.9% to Harvard and 6.8% to Yale next year.
Miami-Dade College enrollment Director Dr. Rene Garcia said that lower acceptance rates and selectivity may translate into a financially successful future for students.
“Sometimes I’m not sure it’s the best return on investments because to be perfectly honest, the vast majority of people in the US who have a college degree did not go to Stanford, and didn’t go to UF, yet they have great professional and personal accomplishments,” said Dr. Garcia.
While weighing ones options, it’s important to keep in mind that although state schools usually mean cheaper tuition, they could also mean bigger class sizes which could make graduating in a shorter time period more difficult. Private universities usually mean smaller classrooms that cater to a more personalized college experience.
“At UM, 75% or more of our classes have 26 or less students, and 50% have 16 or fewer,” said Ed Gillis, the Dean of Enrollment at the University of Miami. “So if you look at the type of experience a student will have in a classroom, that’s very different than you would find in a public university.”
For students hoping to continue their ventures into graduate educations, the prestige from particular undergrad schools could help distinguish them from the rest of the applicants which is what Diego is hoping Columbia will do for him.
“That Columbia degree, if I take advantage of it, will help me with the next step of getting into the better law schools in the United States,” said Rosette. “Because of that advantage and reputation that comes with it I’m not too worried about the work force, what comes after Columbia, what comes after college.”
College counselors say the best thing you can do to improve your chances of being one of the lucky few to gain prestigious acceptance is to go the extra mile and take the hardest possible classes you can while in high school.
If you decide the best possible option for you is like that of many other Americans who have recently decided to spend 9% less on college in 2010 than the previous year, according to Sallie Mae, then that’s okay too; remember it’s all relative to what will be best for you.