The Ivy League curse: An unrealistic dream

Image provided by The Daily Pennsylvanian.

When 12th grade comes, the burden of applying to a university hits you. There’s the search for a place within your budget, the application fees, which vary from 50-100 dollars, and, if you want to go to an elite college, the ridiculous “minimum” requirements to have a chance of acceptance are usually absurd.

The pernicious lies told by private corporations that they will “help” you get into a decent college are outrageous. We are told from a young age that we must attend an Ivy League school or a “good” university. But, aren’t they teaching the same things as other schools to assist us to get qualified for future jobs? What is the true distinction between a regular university and an Ivy League institution? According to PrepScholar “the main reason an Ivy League school might be better than any other top-tier university is due to name recognition.” I agree that it may be advantageous to get your first job, and you gain the benefit of having a strong work qualification. You’ll also be attending a more competitive school with higher expectations, which allows you to aim higher with your goals. But, the issue with that is that it causes too much stress, to the point where you become overwhelmed. And, a toxic environment is another aspect of Ivy League Schools. They create such a competitive environment where people forget to take a step back and breathe.

Another thing to think about is the price. The cost of attending an Ivy League institution costs roughly 50,000 a year, not including the 30,000 dollar fees. The average American household earns around $60,000 per year, which is absurd considering that you wouldn’t be able to afford annual tuition without financial aid even if you saved every penny you earned. A study found that “75% of students at selective colleges come from the top quarter, only 3% from the bottom quarter” of annual household income. Since tuition is so expensive, students who do not receive financial aid are forced to rely on student loans and scholarships, and the downside to that is you cannot declare bankruptcy on student loans, and the interest accumulates, trapping you in a cycle of debt. However, sometimes students do receive financial aid, which helps pay for school. But the problem with this is that it only addresses a few issues. It does not cover books, personal expenses, travel, or transportation, among other things.

Another thing you’ll need is the credentials if you have the financial means to pay for the education. Typically, this entails bidding farewell to spare time. Your new aim is to achieve a 4.3 GPA in every class, including extracurriculars, AP, honors, and IB. Once you have these “minimum” prerequisites, you can apply with a 9% chance of being accepted, which decreases annually.

The fact that education has gone down to this level is senseless. In most other countries it is about educating the people of your country, instead of getting them into debt from student loans. Education should not be so costly, and the pressure to get into an Ivy League school is absurd. The toxicity of these schools, along with the impossible standards to keep up with the work, is too much. These schools teach you roughly the same thing as other universities. The only difference is they make more money.

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