Opinion: Colleges Are Not Designer Hand Bags

Students should not choose colleges based solely on rankings.

Written by CELENE CHANG / Published October 5, 2012

Recently, U.S. News released a list for the top ranking colleges and universities of 2013. Although it may seem helpful for many students that are applying, these types of list hold little to no value.

I am sure that most people would love to say that they had the opportunity to attend one of the top schools in the nation. This prestige and honor does not only prove to others your capabilities and intellect, but it also gives boasting rights.

I do not agree with choosing a university based on its ranking, which is what most people have the tendency to do when they see these lists.

People say that they want to attend Harvard because it is the best school in the nation, but in actuality they don’t understand what it is that Harvard, Caltech or any other prestigious school are known for. If you choose a school based on its name, rather than your major, then it is just a waste of time.

Schools like Harvard and Yale are known for their law programs. MIT and Caltech are known for their science and engineering programs.

Not only would it be a complete waste of money if you went to Yale to major in, let’s say, foreign languages, but it also doesn’t resonate well. It would be like going to a high-class restaurant, and ordering a burger.

I blame it on these types of lists that cause students to veer toward colleges due to their name, rather than considering if the colleges suits their major.

My advice for those applying would be to first consider what you want to be, and then select the university that offers the best program for it. Here in California, there are plenty of UC’s to choose from.

College is expensive, so I would suggest going to a UC for undergrad, and then applying for a better university for grad school.

Colleges and universities are not brand names to parade on the street, it’s what they have to offer that matters.


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