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Bragging rights over best fit: Applying to all 8 Ivies

April 6, 2017

A recent article trumpeted three high school seniors who each have been accepted at all eight Ivy League schools.

 

Read the article

 

Makes for a good headline, but applying to all 8 Ivies shows a lack of appreciation for the importance of fit in choosing a college. Cornell has 14,000 undergrads in rural Ithaca NY. Columbia and Penn are urban campuses in the middle of major cities. All have enrollment over 20,000 when you add grad students. Dartmouth and Brown are much smaller undergraduate-focused colleges. Harvard, Yale and Princeton may be mentioned in one breath but they are not the same school. Some Ivies have extensive core curriculum requirements, Brown has none. Each has departments and majors where they particularly shine. The campus feel and student vibe varies greatly from one to the next.

 

There's just no way that a student who has thoughtfully considered what's important to their college experience is going to be equally happy and successful at all eight. Which leads to the conclusion that applying to all the Ivies was more of a crapshoot than a strategy, more for bragging rights than best fit.

 

I'm sure these students are all very talented. US News rankings aside, I hope they each choose the school that suits them best.

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