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Here's why you should look beyond the Ivy Leagues

Attending an Ivy League can be an impressive highlight on the resume but what if education from other institutions could also provide you with a similar or sometimes even better educational experience?
BY Cherryy Chauhan |   07-09-2018

looking beyond the Ivy Leagues

Over the last decade, the acceptance rates of Ivy League colleges have only decreased with each passing year. Though there are many colleges out there which can give a quality education, we are often stuck to the idea of being accepted into one of these eight eminent northeastern US colleges. While an Ivy League education is likely to give us an impressive head start, to be fair so can other universities. It depends on us to make the most of our experience.

The most important thing we should look for is our learning experience during college.

Sanjay Govil, an Indian-American businessman who pursued an undergraduate degree in technology from Auburn University, and a postgraduate degree in engineering from Syracuse University, has the following to say about how we should select an educational experience:

“Education is more than classroom study. It’s the experience – learning from your fellow students, learning from what’s around you. Every school has a couple of distinct specialized strengths, and they have the top faculty in that area. You have to align your interests with their expertise.”

Dr. Siddharth Saxena, Chairman, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Cambridge University explains why we should not only see how or what a university is like on paper, but also dig deeper into its academic specializations, and historical backdrop.

“There are many universities which are larger than Ivy League schools and some of them are even state universities. And having such advantages, they are much more integrated into societies they are located in.”

He further explains how his decision of looking beyond the Ivy Leagues turned out well for him.

“Right now, I teach at the University of Cambridge. But, I did not start out at Cambridge or Harvard. I started out at sort of a pedestrian university. However, it perfectly suited my economic, academic and financial circumstance at that moment. One should not look at the label but only at the content of what its offering and how much suits their educational aspirations.”

Ivy Leagues, being private research universities, have some of the world’s most exorbitant tuitions fees. Although Ivy Leagues offer generous financial aid to students, selections generally remain tough due to the high number of applications. Thus, many students resolve to fund their education through loans while others simply cannot afford it.

Basilio Monteiro, Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication, and Director of the Graduate Program International Communication at St. John’s University, New York, says there are plenty of universities across the world, which focus on mentoring students for hours in a day, just like any other Ivy League. He further explains the importance of growing beyond a classroom education.

“The quality of education among all the other universities is equally good when compared to Ivy League schools. University life is more than just academics. Learning takes place outside the classroom as well and a student must take that into consideration before taking admission as it’s on them to decide whether they want to dig into books and attain a degree or do they want to flourish as a human being.”

Most definitely, Ivy Leagues are a fantastic place to receive an education, but they are certainly not the only place to do so. There are other factors including personal drive, motivation, and talent that can propel a student’s career to greater heights if nurtured in the appropriate college environment.

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