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Old 08-28-2003, 08:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Name Brand Education in the United States

Why do Americans put such a high importance on the "where" one has been educated? This is something that I've never understood. I noticed that the new "rankings" of US colleges just recently marred, er, "hit," the magazine rack at my local bookstore.

In the Old World, I can see why. In England, for example, a former MP once remarked that about 90% of his colleagues were from Oxbridge. Similarly, a majority of judges, journalists, academics, etc. -- somewhat influential positions -- were staffed by Oxbridge alumni. The cachet of an Oxbridge degree apparently makes an enormous difference. Of course, one may discuss the influence of England's class-stricken (as I call it) history, the ideal of meritocracy, and so on.

However, consider the United States. There are over 2000 colleges in the United States. Of these, less than 50 can be considered "truly selective" -- as in, the applicants are typically above average (not in the Wobegone sense, of course), and they accept less than 50% of applicants. Furthermore, a study by Alan Krueger and Stacy Berg Dale done a few years ago claimed that, given similar academic profiles, where a given student went made no difference in income. Actually, they found that, given similar qualifications, the student who went to a "non-name" university made slightly more than the one who went to a "name" university.

The Atlantic Monthly writes that the wealthiest men in America are "a dropout from Harvard, a dropout from the University of Illinois, a dropout from Washington State University, and a graduate of the University of Nebraska." Interesting.

The beauty of America is its aggressive tossing aside of "name credentialism," as I call it. Bush went to Harvard and Yale. So what? He's still not considered intelligent. Americans want to see what you can do, not who says you can do it. It's this wonderful ignorance of "trophy collecting," that makes America great. Sure, it may impress the Europhiles and the elitists that you're Ivy League, but the rest of America doesn't care. It apparently doesn't make a difference on your income, after all.

The sheer number of colleges and universities in America, and the corresponding opening of higher education to the populace, is amazing. A European observer in the late 1800s once sighed, "There are two universities in England, four in France, and 37 in Ohio." (I roughly paraphrase). Americans are the most highly (and expensively!) educated in the world -- a quarter of Americans have degrees. It appears, at least to me, that the big dividing line is not "where," but "if." And the sheer availability of it means that more specifically, it's not "if you can," but "if you are willing to." Only in America!

So then, why? Why the big fuss over name brand education?

-- Alvin
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the alumni.

i'm sure that a rich alumni would rather a graduate of the same school rather than a different one.
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The theory is that you get a better education at the Ivy League schools and the big name schools. Well....they use the same text books as the little no-name schools, so that's the same. The difference is perhaps in the professors that are teaching at those schools. But again, a famous name isn't going to get you anything that you couldn't get anywhere else. Seems to me that those Ivy league and big name schools are riding on the reputations that they had 100 years ago.

The bottom line is, if you are at school to party and get shitfaced everyday/night, then it doesn't matter where you go as long as there is a beer/liquor depot close by for easy refueling.
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, our education system is outdated anyways, and after seeing all these rich guys who are college drop outs, Americans are finally realizing that you don't have to go to college to earn money. The only problem is that the majority of Americans see it happen, but they don't know how to do the same thing, because they aren't taught about the fundamental principles of money in their schooling. I'm not saying that these rich guys had schools that taught them how to make money, but they figured out for themselves how to make money. Read Robert T. Kiyosaki's "If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to School?" "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and "Prophecy" to get a greater idea of what I'm talking about.
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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They don't use the same textbooks, first of all.

Schools with money, or research oriented insitutions, have resources to do things other schools can't--they have better libraries, better incentives (like waived tuition for some), newer technology, and bigger and nicer buildings.

Professors are able to spend personal time with the graduate students, work on their books (and teach from them), and help the grad students work on their publications.

But the real key is we know who you know by the school you go to. Particular groups of people meet and send their children to similar schools. The best minds tend to congregate in clusters and the students benefit from some of the most intelligent people in their chosen field by going to a tier one university.
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Kansas State University isnt considered that "big" and "great" of a school when compaired to Ivy League, however, we compete with them all the time in robotics, solar cars, and other projects; We do the same, if not better than most of the big name schools.

In '97 we had a robot compete against brown, MIT, and all the other big names, and we got first place.

Maybe i'm wrong, maybe KSU is a "big name" school, but i have not seen it any any of the "top university" lists that seem to go around.

Everything is overrated.
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by omnigod
Kansas State University isnt considered that "big" and "great" of a school when compaired to Ivy League, however, we compete with them all the time in robotics, solar cars, and other projects; We do the same, if not better than most of the big name schools.

In '97 we had a robot compete against brown, MIT, and all the other big names, and we got first place.

Maybe i'm wrong, maybe KSU is a "big name" school, but i have not seen it any any of the "top university" lists that seem to go around.

Everything is overrated.
I didn't know Brown was particularly known for its robotics program. Normally students look for the ranking of a school in their particular field of interest--not just where it sits overall.

For example, 2002 marked your second year of being third in meat and poultry. This article explains exactly why that might be a benefit to those seeking a profession in the meat and poultry field. If I were to go into that field I would have probably applied to your school rather than UCI.

http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/news/sty/20...tate111902.htm

"Second consecutive year: K-State Ranked Among Top 3 By Meat & Poultry Magazine

MANHATTAN, Kan. ? Kansas State University is one of the country?s top 3 universities serving the meat and poultry industry for the second consecutive year, according to Meat & Poultry magazine.

"Recognition is great any time, however it is especially impressive by an external entity," said Jack Riley, head of K-State?s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. "Meat & Poultry is a highly respected publication within the circles of the industry. They established an independent ranking after consulting and interacting with industry."

Texas A&M University and Iowa State University were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the magazine?s November, 2002 issue. It recognizes the country?s top 10 programs the Meat & Poultry staff believes offers educational and value-added incentives.

Riley said K-State?s 23,000-square-foot K-State meat science complex is an advantage for the university. The facility provides equipment needed to harvest, chill, process, cure, smoke, package, display, cook and present food safety teaching. Hands-on learning laboratories include a meat lab, three processing labs, a sensory lab, meat chemistry lab, analytical lab, meat microbiology lab and post-processing lab.

According to the report, K-State aided "in the success of its faculty and their ability to graduate knowledge-rich students (with) facilities that allow for demonstration of all phases of meat processing. The school is also known for its interaction with other universities and research professionals, ranging from livestock scientists to food microbiologists."


K-State faculty members collaborate on research projects conducted with such companies as Tyson Foods, Farmland Foods, Pioneer Foods, Stork, Townsend Engineering and numerous Kansas-based meat and poultry processors.

"The report relied on our strong focus concerning food safety with the quality, value and integrity of meat and poultry being produced," Riley said.

K-State Extension programs employ more than 300 research scientists, 180 faculty specialists and 270 county and area specialists.

Riley said the recognition by Meat & Poultry magazine helps increase students? stature in the job market. Currently, there are more than 650 undergraduate students and 120 graduate students enrolled in K-State?s animal sciences department.

"Students can take the sense of pride instilled from the honor," he added. "K-State?s program is highly respected from entities that may have jobs available when students graduate."

Last edited by smooth; 08-28-2003 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ha ha ha, i didnt even know about their meat and poultry! I just knew that they had good engineering, agriculture, and music programs!
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Old 08-28-2003, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by omnigod
Ha ha ha, i didnt even know about their meat and poultry! I just knew that they had good engineering, agriculture, and music programs!
and football....
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Old 08-28-2003, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's incredibly awesome... I can major in "Meat and Poultry..."


You learn a new thing everyday
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