Top colleges make little difference to future income

Discussion in 'Economics' started by turkeyneck, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. March 9 (Bloomberg) -- The notion that education pays and that better education pays better is taken for granted by almost everyone. For college professors like me, this is a very convenient idea, providing a high and growing demand for our services.

    Unfortunately, the facts seem to disagree. A recent study by economists Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger showed that going to more selective colleges and universities makes little difference to future income once one accounts for the underlying ability of the student. Their work confirms other studies that find no financial benefit to attending top-tier schools.
  2. piezoe


    This "study" gives examples of what can happen, but says little about what happens on average, which are by far the more relevant numbers when appraising the value of higher education for purely financial gain. This is the same cherry picking approach used by mutual fund hucksters. And who would know better how to pull this off than an economist?
  3. It really depends on what you are studying. For the bullshit liberal arts crap it doesnt make a difference, for science(comp sci, ee, etc..) it doesnt make much difference either unless you want to have an academic career in the universities then it matters.

    For mba, it's the only thing that matters for people without connected parents - get into one of the top 5 schools to have a shot at wallstreet front office. Otherwise you will just be picking up the table scraps doing "business analyst" and operations work.
  4. This is a terrible example for the 2 teachers. Very Few teachers get their masters at full-time pricey coeelge. Most would get it from a diploma mill part-time after getting their get their job. The extra paper qualifications gets them higher pay even if they learn nothing. They can even get even more pay if they choose Sp Ed or counseling.
  5. 1) Where did she go to school? :confused:
    2) He went to Cornell(NY) and Harvard. :eek:
  6. Although I went to a very good college I did not go to a top college.

    I did however have professors from such top universities. According to them what makes a top college top is just "connections"

    The educational material remains the same. Sometimes not top colleges need to make up by increasing their educational standards.

    A good college gets you a degree which is nothing else than the opportunity to succeed.

    A top college gets you a degree plus a head start worth a decade of work experience.
  7. heech


    If you read the actual study (linked in the above article)... their primary result is that *if* you control for the students' high school GPA and SAT, then going to an elite college added nothing (statistically speaking).

    In other words, if you had a 4.0 GPA in high school, and scored a 1500 on the SATs (back when 1600 was the max)... then going to BU rather than Harvard doesn't (statistically) hurt your future earnings potential.

    Alternatively, if you had crappy grades in high school, then attending Harvard won't improve your future earnings potential.

    So, if you had great grades in high school but just chose to attend a state school for the lower cost... don't worry about it, you'll do okay.
  8. Crispy


    Hard work and good study habits regardless of the name on the paper rewards, huh?

    Groundbreaking..truly groundbreaking! lol....
  9. hiptogo


    good colleges / private highschools are both great in my opinion
    esp if you are social and network actively. these "connections" could definitely help in a tight spot or open more doors for you.

    as for the actual academics...hmmm maybe not as relevant.
    after college, its ur personal drive and passion that gets you to
    places. ready to drip some blood & sweat.

    dats what i think.
  10. jem


    what a bunch of baloney.

    I went to average college in the 80s on a tennis scholarship and I went to a better law school. But, it would have been far better to go to a top ivy.

    Jobs which are concerned about the firm resume. Such as banking jobs and law firm jobs...

    they usually have room for some average school guy with a special circumstance... but it is a heck of a lot easier to get those jobs IVY or Standford on the resume.

    Clerkships, teaching posts, top govt posts... same. Its a hell of lot easier to appt a guy with a great school.

    Board of Directors... same

    Connections.... look at how Harvard business took over wall street... there are so many from harvard bus they account for 90% of the crooks who make the news.
    #10     Mar 10, 2011