Daniel Lemire's blog

, 2 min read

It may not matter all that much where you go to college

2 thoughts on “It may not matter all that much where you go to college”

  1. Uccai Siravas says:

    My experience is that for regular beaurocratic jobs anyone is fine. For innovative work, you really have to go the top 10 of the top universities.

  2. I guess it depends on the definition of “elite,” but neglecting that for the moment, I think quality of educational opportunity is a pretty flat curve in the physical sciences and engineering at the undergraduate level for something like the top 100 schools. And it may be the case that students at the elite schools aren’t as hungry as those “a step down” and so they don’t make as much use of these opportunities as they might.

    There’s also something to be said about what one might call “added value”: “non-elite” schools quite possibly are making a greater impact in their students’ lives — there’s a greater increment of learning taking place. One shouldn’t discount the positive impact on someone’s life of that sort of experience. Or the negative impact of having good grades always come easy (or getting a free pass due to family connections, for the Harvard and Yale crowd). Paul has already written that the difference between success and failure in startups is essentially not giving up in the face of adversity.

    We should also keep in mind that the numbers of people he’s writing about isn’t that great, and that they are self-selected (how many mediocre students try to get money from him?).