I came across this article “Does It Matter Where You Go to College?”
Years ago, I thought such a question was an answer to a straw man (a made up person who holds a position that no one really does). While the vast majority of sensible people would not make such an argument, I have come across adults who preach such nonsense. It would not bother me if it such thinking did not influence young people.
The real stance, if unpacked fully, is reasonable: the person you are, the character that you develop, your work ethic, the career you choose etc. will ultimately be more important than the ranking of the college you attend. Of course! Who would argue differently? The lazy, alcoholic, wannabe musician from Harvard will not be more successful than the hardworking, clean living accountant from UCONN. But, that’s what the adult says. Instead, they say – in front of young people – “it doesn’t matter where you go.”
In our SAT-ACT classes in Old Saybrook and Madison, I always discuss the issues that matter in relation to college choice outside of post-college success: where you live, the people you meet, the education and experiences you get due to specific colleges. It really does matter whether you attend a school in New York city versus Charlotte, North Carolina. Your life will be dramatically different during those 4 years and likely beyond simply by your choice of geography. The type of people that you meet at different colleges also matters dramatically. Sure, Central Connecticut v. Southern Connecticut won’t lead to much of a difference and perhaps Fairfield and Sacred Heart will similarly be not drastically different in terms of student population. But, students at NYU are very different than students at Colby (Maine) That will make a huge difference in the 4 years of college and likely thereafter.
The aforementioned article provides research on the post college success factor. I do not like that the question focuses on earnings but that is the one objective criteria that can be compared. Yes, as expected, as a general statement, where you go to college matters greatly for future economic earnings.