State vs Ivy

I myself went to a state school. A first-tier school, nonetheless, but still a state school. 

Being in the Northeast, we are blessed with most of the Ivyleague schools. In RI, we were lucky enough to have Brown University, the most liberal and hippie of all the Ivys. It’s generally maintained that the kids that matriculate there are smarter, wealthier, and more hip(ster). It’s something you have to deal with on a daily basis, since Brown is only 30 miles from URI, and Brownies interact with URIers much more than say, Yaleies do with Huskies. If you travel to Thayer Street in Providence and strike up a conversation with a server or a shopkeeper, and you say you are from RI and go to URI, you’re greeted with a sad, “Oh, you weren’t smart enough” smile. You kind of get used to the insults on your intelligence after a while, despite the fact that no, you’re not necessarily dumber than a Brownie. Maybe you wanted the better engineering or pharmacy program, or maybe you were like me and got a full scholarship. But alas, it’s not enough to sway the minds of the general public, that if you got into an Ivy, you must be a genius.

After dealing with the URI/Brown debacle throughout my college career, I now find myself working at Yale. It’s a more urban school than Brown, and a bit more traditional, as far as the Ivyleague goes. Although you don’t get the same “Yale vs. UConn” (mostly because UConn is such a top tier public institution with a kickass athletic program, and the Yale Bulldogs are just short of SUCK), there’s still a distinction, that the state kids weren’t good enough for Yale. And so you chose Southern CT State, or UConn, or even somewhere else over Yale. You have your reasons, and it doesn’t mean you’re dumb or dumber. But again, Yale has this pedestal reputation as an institution where the best and brightest in the country go to develop their minds.

I, for one, disagree. State schools are the better deal, especially if you’re going for your masters or PhD somewhere else. And, despite all these beliefs in the Ivy league being so smart, I maintain that Ivy kids are just as dumb, if not dumber, than state kids. Do you want to know why?

We had a tremendous ice/rain storm today. I did not see one Yaleie in boots, and only a handful had umbrellas.



  1. Why would they?  Most of them get driven everywhere by their chauffeurs, paid for by their multi-millionaire parents.  It’s the image perpetuated by them to make themselves feel superior.

  2. I guess I have a lot of mixed feelings about the whole school thing.  First of all, I’m rather appalled at the whole profiling thing that tends to go on by people who’ve no experience with higher education and who don’t understand the role that the undergraduate education plays in the real world.  It’s clearly evident that people don’t understand that the university you graduate from has almost no correlation to your future success, unless you happen to be placed in a particular program where you have the opportunity to network with leaders in the industry.  Having said that, there are a number of programs that offers some very lucrative connections.  However, is it really worth the tuition?  And speaking of tuition, I’m constantly amazed that people will turn down cheaper state schools in favor of a more expensive Ivy.  The savings can be >100k over the course of 4 years.  As for the intelligence of students, it’s true that the elite schools can attract a group of students who posted higher SATs and did better in high school.  But the fact of the matter is only a subset of those actually bother to do anything with their education or their lives.  Many just benefited from extensive tutoring and a wealthy upbringing.  I totally lost my train of thought.  I totally turned down an Ivy grad school for an equally expensive non-ivy.  But I had my reasons.  LOL, oh the irony. 

  3. if i had a chance if i would choice an ivy over a state school anyday, and by ivy i mean the ivy of the ivy schools – columbia, yale, princeton, etc.well my two reasons are 1) people i met at rutgers, most of them anyway, honestly do not know what they are doing and are completely dumb and lazy when it comes to school. =_= but to each their own, thats what makes the world go around. back to my point, i think i woulda met more smarter and more serious people if i went to an ivy. i was really not smart enough to get into an ivy so…lol2) i cant speak for other state schools, but rutgers, the state university of new jersey, is pretty cheap. we have limits on everything, for example the number of pages i can print every semester. and i just dont like that. i would assume that an ivy school would be better in that aspect cause the alumni definitely donate more money.

  4. @rxglasshalffull – I think the issues you have at Rutgers are mainly a public school issue.  LOL.  In private schools you have almost no limitations on stuff because they feel they can just charge you more if you use more materials and resources.  So there’s a flip-side to it I guess.

  5. I went to a state school too–University of California, Berkeley. I definitely agree that just because you do not go to an ivy league school doesn’t mean you’re not as intelligent as an ivy league kid. Stanford kids can be just as dumb as Cal people, and vice versa…there are dumb people everywhere. Its just up to the person whether they want to be hardworking and driven.I used to think that ivy league schools were naturally more expensive (all though college in general is expensive these days), but then I read about Harvard’s huge endowment and how they’re giving tuition breaks to kids whose families make under 200K or something, while financial aid for state schools is declining. Very interesting.

  6. @davidmiya – I’d say that it’s not entirely true, that in private schools you have no limitations. You can just buy your way out of everything. When it comes to grad schools, I think it’s different than undergrad. A friend of mine got into Columbia and Georgetown, and went with Gtown because it had a better program. Another friend got into MIT and Wharton, and chose Wharton. It all depends on what you want.@rxglasshalffull – Some state schools are like that, but you get kids from all walks. Some of my friends were like me and incredibly studious, and some were Jersey Shore kids. Just because an Ivy costs more, or is “harder to get into” (which I don’t necessarily believe), it doesn’t mean the students are more serious. You just find better alcohol at parties, and cocaine instead of pot.  Ivys have big endowments, but really, the big money maker is athletics. Look at UConn. Plus, UConn benefits from tax dollars from the casinos, and Yale doesn’t. URI had a printing debit card, where you had to pay for what you printed from certain places. But if you had your own printer, print away. @whotakethmycoke – You know what’s even better? Walking to my car tonight, it wasn’t raining, and you wouldn’t BELIEVE how many umbrellas I saw 😛@aznsam999 – Prestige has a positive effect only if you use it as such. Lots of kids go there because daddy or mommy went there, and they just can. Those are the kids that have to go to school @cal_islander – One thing I’ve learned about the endowments at schools is that they’re not necessarily liquid. They’re invested in stock and bonds, but also in art, research, patents, and so forth. And with the market the way it is, those endowments aren’t worth nearly as much as they used to be. 

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