Why You DON’T Need an Ivy League Degree to Succeed


Many of us believed that attaching Harvard University or Stanford University on our resumes would guarantee a high-paying job. But, according to a study done by Alan Krueger, a Princeton University Economist, and Stacy Dale, a Mathematical Policy Researcher, attending an Ivy League school, or any prestigious online colleges, is by no means an easy ticket to a lucrative career.

Before we discuss Krueger and Dale’s latest findings, it’s important to note that the same study was conducted by these two researchers almost ten years ago. Their study caused quite a commotion a few years back when they found that students who were accepted to an elite school but chose to attend a less selective college will still have the same salary prospects. For example, if a student was accepted to Harvard but couldn’t afford the cost of tuition, they would still have the same salary opportunities even if they ended up attending a lesser known and more affordable school.

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Krueger and Dale revisited the same study to further substantiate their past findings and to see how their conclusions hold up today, even with more sources of higher education like online colleges. This time, they’ve found even more surprising results.

It seems that your future salary does not hinge on which school you attended, rather it has more to do with how high you scored on your SAT. According to Krueger and Dale, both rejected and accepted Ivy League applicants who all shared similar SAT scores still enjoyed the same average salary after graduating from their respective colleges or online colleges.

However, despite how the study by Krueger and Dale takes away some of the luster on the importance of having an Ivy League diploma, attending Harvard or Yale still has some benefits, especially for black and Hispanic students and for those who come from low-income families. In an e-mail interview by U.S. News, the researchers said that,“While most students who apply to selective colleges may be able to rely on their families and friends to provide job-networking opportunities, networking opportunities that become available from attending a selective college may be particularly valuable for black and Hispanic students and for students who come from families with a lower level of parental education.”

So, if you’re worried that not having an Ivy League education will lessen your chances of landing a high-paying job in the future, think again. When all the myths concerning expensive and well-known schools are finally dispelled, and whether you earned your degree on campus or online colleges, it all boils down to how hard you work with what you have.