Skip to comments.Vanity - College Choice of a Previously-Homeschooled Student - Opinions Solicited
Posted on 04/06/2012 6:23:00 AM PDT by sitetest
I don't engage in vanities very often, but I thought this one might be interesting to some folks, and I wouldn't mind a little (courteous) input.
Some of you may remember that we homeschooled our two sons through eighth grade and then sent 'em off to a local Catholic high school. The older guy, who is registered here as swotsonofsitetest, graduates in June and will be off to college in the fall.
We're now coming to the end of the college application and admission process and it's decision time. I'm interested in folks opinions about that decision.
After eight years of homeschooling, he did very well in high school, received very high scores on the SAT and his SAT subject tests, may or may not be valedictorian this year, and has pretty good (although somewhat run-of-the-mill and not-terribly-exciting, it turns out) extracurriculars. Thus, he applied to some top schools and met with some success.
He applied to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Washington Univ in St. Louis, Univ of Virginia, Notre Dame and the Univ of Maryland, College Park. He plans to double-major in civil engineering (where the school has civil engineering, otherwise mechanical engineering) and classics.
He is quite the classicist, more of a language guy than a math and science guy, but that's only a relative measure. He's very, very good at math and science, just off the charts in language stuff.
After months of application process, filling out FAFSAs, Common Apps, IDOCs, etc., it comes down to: Waitlisted at Washington Univ in St. Louis; rejected outright at Yale and Princeton; accepted to UVA; Notre Dame; Univ of MD; Hopkins and Harvard.
Although UVA is a nice school, it doesn't quite light his fire. We don't expect much by way of financial aid (we live next door in Maryland, and UVA is kinda tight with aid to out-of-state residents). He visited Notre Dame and prefers not to go to a pseudo-Catholic school.
So, it's down to Maryland, Hopkins and Harvard.
Hopkins had been his favorite through the process. Great engineering school, great classics program, great campus feel for him (lots of nerdy kids having a blast studying their hearts out). He met one of the classics professors there and they quickly hit it off.
Maryland had been his "safe school." I hesitate to call it that, because Maryland is not the school it was when I was young (party school that took most folks with a pulse and respiration). Today, the median CR + M SAT of incoming freshmen is over 1300, much higher for their Honors College and school of engineering (to both of which he was accepted). So, I will say it is his safe school in a whisper.
Maryland has a great school of engineering. Their classics program is pretty good, but nowhere near what it is at Hopkins and Harvard.
Harvard, too, was a bit of a dark horse, for reasons with which many posters here would be familiar. But they have a decent engineering school and one of the top classics programs in the country. Plus, it's Harvard. As well, the folks just exude a happy, pleasant, non-bureaucratic competence. And have made him feel welcome and wanted. Which is something Hopkins has not done. However, they only have mechanical engineering, not civil.
Anyway, the money aspect is worth mentioning here. Hopkins is coming in with a decent financial aid package, but it leaves $22K to me to pay per year. Ouch. The loans that my son would need to take out are very modest - a total of $5K over four years. This all includes a modest amount of work study during the school year for my son.
Harvard came up with a substantially-better package - $16K per year to me. Which is nearly affordable, LOL. It includes no loans (unless I want to borrow what I'd owe them) and modest work study.
Maryland is offering a full merit scholarship including full tuition, room and board, books, and a small stipend for educational endeavors such as research, travel, conferences, etc.
So, what do you think? His original first choice with great engineering and classics for $22K per year with modest loans? Harvard (can't beat the brand name with a stick) with good, but not great engineering, phenomenal classics for $16K per year with no loans? Or Maryland, with great engineering, decent classics and, did I mention, absolutely FREE?
If he's as smart as he appears to be, he'll go through there and emerge unscathed.
My children--I am very proud to say--are ALL conservative Republicans--and so are their mates. My--highly intelligent--son recently said: "I wouldn't even date someone who is not conservative."
NC State, too. Outstanding civil engineering program.
Wow, great post. Lots of good stuff in both directions. We're all thinking a lot of the same stuff here.
Maryland is now a pretty selective school to get into. And the Honors College, which comprises roughly a quarter of incoming freshmen, is even tougher - average CR + M SAT (out of 1600) - 1410. And the engineering school is a separate admission and tough to get into.
If he goes to Maryland (or Hopkins), he'll stay a fifth year, even if I have to pay for it, and cop his engineering masters. If he continues beyond that, I'd probably advise for an MBA, to assist in the climb up to senior management. He'd like the corner office, some day.
If he makes very great gobs of money someday, he'll go back and get a Ph.D. in classics. ;-)
Wooing - You're right. And Hopkins ain't doin’ it. Maryland and Harvard are turning on the afterburners. The thing is, Harvard's been great with very polite folks on the phone, personal phone calls, personal letters, etc., but Maryland has been really, really good presenting actual programs that would make a difference to him, academically and career-wise.
Harvard cachet, etc. All true.
Yes, there's a younger son, too, who will be off to college in two more years. He's just as darned smart as his older brother, but more math-science than languages. He's actually probably a better fit for Harvard, as he's interested in theoretical physics or math, not engineering.
I think I'll be handle the cost of his education, too, especially as while they're both in school, the financial aid for each will be more generous (assuming the older doesn't go to Maryland, which creates a separate circumstance).
Glass ceilings - Yes. My son, not wishing to be an investment banker, has no thoughts of making upper seven-figure or low eight-figure incomes as an engineer. But he has an uncle who became president of an established Atlanta-based civil engineering firm, and who made well into six figures during his career. And that would do nicely.
Happy Easter to you, too!
I just finished reading your post. Maryland, no contest. A free ride scholarship will have a tremendous long-term effect on you and your son. The diploma will buy him a foot in the door, but his real selling point will be how he performs in his job for the first few years. If he keeps his grades high and works hard in internships and post-grad jobs, then he’ll be fine.
I would agree somewhat, but mostly because the pool is smaller. That’s the route I took (see above), mostly for the same reasons that everyone here has advocated Maryland.
Not sure that’s the best approach.
Thank you for your post.
However, Maryland's classics program is, at best, a bit mediocre. My son, at 17, is already mostly beyond the undergrad level in the field. At Hopkins, the professor to whom he spoke wished to start him off with masters’ level courses that would apply to both a bachelors and masters. There are areas of competence my son has in this discipline for which there are very few professors in the United States to teach.
We do plan to try to meet with the classics faculty at Maryland to get a more up-close look at things.
But it is as an engineer that he plans to make a living, not an academic classicist. So, some compromise may be required.
As for graduate school, if he goes to Maryland (or Hopkins) the plan is to take advantage of their five-year BS/MS in engineering program. Most folks get the fifth year free through research appointments at Maryland.
I don't honestly know if he'd get into Stanford or MIT. Harvard was a crapshoot. He was, after all, rejected at both Princeton (better engineering school) and Yale.
Decide what your educational goal is and use colleges to achieve your goal not theirs.
Financially, I'd register as a full time student at the cheapest and pick and choose classes at the others during summer or a semester or two at another.
My son got business classes from one, music from another and music-business from a third. He's now a professional musician, but has backup education to supplement and support his chosen professional.
Congrats on raising such great kids..
My son did the Latin camp at Christendom one summer. He had a complete blast. But it's not a trip that he might make more than once a year. It's about three hours from us, each way.
Being a graduate of CUA, I just don't think I'd support him going there under any circumstances whatsoever.
Buy him a sword
I'd suggest to sweeten the pot for his decision, if he chooses Maryland, tell him you'll invest for him, for the next 4 years, the money you'd have spent at Harvard or Hopkins, and he can help manage the investment
Nice cushion to start his graduate/PhD studies or other professional beginning
Demand for civil is building as more folks are retiring from the field than are entering. As well, he just doesn't want to do electrical. I'll settle if he gets an MS in civil.
And if he goes to Harvard, he'll have to do mechanical.
“If he relishes smiting the heathen, he'll love the campus at Hopkins”
LOL! Yes, but they seem to be pleasant heathens.
“I'd suggest to sweeten the pot for his decision, if he chooses Maryland, tell him you'll invest for him,...”
I'm not entirely sure my vote is for Maryland. In fact, I'm not sure at all. Harvard is (barely) affordable. And it IS Harvard.
Ninety-eight percent of incoming freshmen at Harvard graduate from Harvard. They all have meal-tickets for life. They have entry not only into their own fields, but into other fields along the way. As many have noted here, these are the folks who become the senior managers, the folks who run things.
The invitation to Harvard is an invitation to become part of the Ruling Elite.
It should not be put aside lightly.
Consider military service before college.
Go to MD. If there is a way to go to a satellite campus for the first couple of years and live at home, do it.
Since you the parent are paying for most of it, you decide.
It doesn’t matter what the young person thinks at all since they aren’t paying for it. Most kids change their majors once they get to university. Many kids take 5 years to finish college. Both my sons did.
Both my sons (now in their late 40’s) went to Penn State satellite campuses and then on the main campus after their first couple of years. One changed his major from computer science to geography. That one works for EPA (I know, I know) in mapping and is a PE and PLS. The other is a researcher at Penn State with a Ph. D and PE.
He’s 4-F, as is his brother.
“If there is a way to go to a satellite campus for the first couple of years and live at home, do it.”
Why? If he goes to Maryland, he gets tuition, room and board (and books) free. And even if he didn't, he could drive to the College Park campus from my house in about 35 minutes. In rush hour.
My son will likely take five years, too, but only because he'll likely do the five-year BS/MS program.
As far as I can tell, there are Catholic churches near Maryland and Harvard, too. ;-)
UVA is a great school, but came up fourth on the list. The net price calculator suggests that they will offer a package costing me something on the order of $25K - $27K per year. Ouch!!
I could do it, I guess, but I'd have to work till 80 to pay off the loans, LOL.
This is the REAL trick. I’m an EE from Cal Poly. My metric would be first - what are the average hiring rate for grads in his major RIGHT NOW! How many of them are going without offers! Prestigious schools don’t matter that much in engineering AFTER the first job either.
My son is going out of state to the University of Oklahoma because of a National Merit Scholarship (OU has some of the best promotion to get those folks..) In any case, it is costing us about $8K/year so far.
So - your cost PLUS how he feels about the campus PLUS job prospects are the real metric. I know at least one Civil engineer who graduated near the top of her class last year and doesn’t have a job in her field. Engineering jobs are disappearing in this country right now. Engineering is being out-sourced just like manufacturing.
Go to harvard. Shopping week alone makes it worth it. This ability to take any class you want(none are ever full) and to design your own course of study with your advisor will give him a leg up on other students. Also the fact that he can take any course offered at MIT negates the fact that they dont offer the exact courses you want.
My first thought as well. Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of a CINO school or parish more than to find out the new youth minister or teacher is from Steubenville.
“My metric would be first - what are the average hiring rate for grads in his major RIGHT NOW!”
That's a great question. 97% of Maryland engineering grads either get offers in their fields upon graduation (most of the folks we've met had several firm offers before graduation) or go directly to their masters’ level work. My son met an attractive young graduating civil engineering major in February at one of their events, and she had several attractive offers in hand from which to choose.
Congratulations on your sons great achievements. Many on FR amaze me in that they rail against government, but have no problem sending their kids to government schools like University of MD. It is an obnoxious thought to me that we trust the government to not be self-promoting with their propaganda. And then the additional fact that you are asking your neighbor to support your expenses for education with his or her government coerced taxes. I know, I know, you paid all your life and you are finally going to get something for it. Education pays for its self, you will pay more taxes because of your education than it cost. Good for you, keep telling yourself that. Using that logic the government should be in healthcare and they should be providing health club memberships; why not? Plus it gives you a government run football team to root for. See how your same logic holds up when you apply it to other parts of government and liberty.
That is GOOD information - what can Harvard say? Admittedly Harvard is one of the best known schools in the country - but really not for Engineering! They have this neighbor down the road called MIT that sort of gets in the way ;-)
I’ve met a few Harvard grads in my 30 years - but mostly they were from the Computer Science department which was decent 30 years ago - and apparently is still attracting decent folks (Bill Gates and whats-his-name from facebook..) though Harvard DOES seem to have a problem with it’s best and brightest actually bothering to graduate (Couldn’t resist saying that....)
They really don’t have a rep on the West Cost in Silicon Valley for EE or ME. Just food for thought. Again though, the prestige of the University really doesn’t matter that much in an Engineering career. Your resume is how get judged AFTER that first job.
I didn't create the system. However, I must live within it.
I'm against government-run health care, but if I'm forced by law into it, I'll try to obtain the best health care for my family through the system.
That said, those who see no difference between being forced into government-run health care, and availing oneself of state-sponsored higher education (where there are many thriving and competing private choices) are overly reductionist in their thinking.
You are more up to date than I on the opportunities available for engineers. My husband bought his own business (electronics) 17 years ago which we are still running, and the kids have been out of college for nearly 20 years, so we are a little “out of touch” now.
My husband graduated from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering — honor student — back when UC was top of the game in Engineering and everything else. (UC Berkeley tied with Harvard at that time as top school in the country. His first 2 years of college were spent at Northwestern. Berkeley at $55 per semester was a better education than Northwestern at $1300 per quarter.) In those days (early 1960s) Mechanical Engineering was more comprehensive than I think it is now. He studied electrical, nuclear, & electronic, disciplines, as well as mechanical. Many of those subjects are now seperate degrees. He has used all of that knowledge over the years.
He had an excellent education that has served him in good stead every place he worked, and he still uses it every day. Of course the real basis of his education was what he learned from his late father (a GE Engineer) who also ran his own machine shop in his basement in Detroit during WWII making airplane parts for the US Army in his off hours. Over the years my husband has worked with engineers who did not know which end of a hammer to hold. Seriously! So look for a school that offers some practical applications in their programs. His first assignment at Northwestern was to make a mold and cast a hammer head. That hammer is in my bottom desk drawer at the office where I use to hang pictures, etc. around our plant.
Our nephew graduated in Civil Engineering 8 years ago and found that the only job he could get was joining the AF and serving in Iraq building FOBs. He loved it and got a MS out of it, thanks to the USAF, but his marriage did not survive the separations.
I did a 10-second salary survey, using indeed.com, searching for civil engineer in new york, ny. Within 25 miles, here are the number of job postings in these salary ranges:
* $60,000+ (265)
* $80,000+ (153)
* $100,000+ (57)
* $120,000+ (28)
* $140,000+ (8)
Obviously most of the jobs offer less than 100k per year salary.
Working as an engineer is where, IMHO, one does wonderful good for society and one’s employer and is paid the least of any career given the difficulty of the subject matter.
Engineering is difficult work for those with mediocre intelligence, it is a career for the very intelligent like your son.
The real money to be made for those of such intelligence is in business. The engineer who does best in life, IMHO, is the one who also learns business as well, especially finance and sales/marketing.
The Harvard brand; those folks, in terms of engineering, are useless compared to real ‘work’ types. Most folks in engineering did not go to Ivy League schools; management ranks of the most impressive companies are filled with non-IL’s. I was just looking up an old acquaintance who graduated from GA Tech (the best bang for one’s buck in engineering, IMHO) - he’s well-placed within the space program. No Harvard necessary.
When I think of the Harvard people I’ve heard speaking publicly on issues in the past 5 years - there was not one of them that was not a pompous windbag who’s talk, if I had the time, could be sentence by sentence refuted. Seems to me like Harvard is mostly about worshiping ourselves instead of learning. An Ivy League education seems to put one permanently out-of-touch with common sense, IMHO.
Harvard, Stanford and MIT are the biggies for tech venture capital firms. That’s the only place where, IMHO, the brand buys you quite a bit, and what it buys you is a ticket to the VC dance. Startups slapped together by VC, however, are what they are (a pump and dump destined for IPO). Some folks like that scene, others not so much.
IMHO, it’s far more important to have real work ability and drive than to have a brandname degree.
At the end of the day, it’s the ability to actually do things and make things that gives real, lasting staying power in one’s earning potential. It’s the mind-numbing, complex, difficult work that people really want to hand off to someone else. And if someone has the ability to tackle that stuff easily they’ll always have work if they want it.
IMHO, the first 5-10 years of one’s post-college career is where the real learning is done - and this time is what really sets the stage for big things down the road. After an intense, broad, experience during that time, if one has really focused on learning about reality, one can get into some rewarding and exciting opportunities in jobs with increasing responsibility for outcomes. In my field, most programmers coming out of college today don’t “get” programming; they know the language du jure and don’t know the fundamentals of how to work.
Too many colleges focus on too much politics and things social, and not enough on work. This is why very often great entrepreneurs quit before it’s over.
One can always further one’s education in classics, the arts, math - anything for that matter - throughout life.
For what it’s worth, my 2 cents.
Harvard is a bit of a different beast. And that's sort of the unspoken (or not-fully-expressed) premise of the thread:
You go to Maryland to be an engineer.
You go to Harvard to join the Club. The club that, for one thing, runs a lot of the corporations that happen to employ engineers. And runs a lot of what other stuff there is to be run in this world.
As others have pointed out, at Maryland, you can get a great engineering education and entry into the field. After that, as you say, it's up to the individual to build the résumé. I'd imagine that by the third job, or certainly by the fourth, or 10 years out, where you went to school will count for little.
But as others have pointed out, at Harvard, you will make connections that will assure you of work, and you will have a greater chance of entry to the most senior levels of corporate management and governance. Especially if you decide to hop over to a different field of endeavor.
Interesting choices for my son.
Congratulations! Those are excellent schools from which to receive admission offers. Kudos to your son and your family. Be mindful that what he has in mind today for his major/career path is likely to change in the next 2 years. A whole new world is opening for him.
Very few schools will alter their initial financial aid offer, so expect Hopkins to stay where it is. That leaves you out $22K/year. Throw in his minor loans to pay off, add tuition/cost increases, it’s more like $100K+ over the four years of undergrad. Unless he were to remain enamored by Hopkins, I’d pass on it in a NY minute, given the alternatives.
It is hard to beat Harvard for prestige on a resume, and that may well be worth $16K/year to you and to your son over the course of his career. Actually, it would be a bargain. While Harvard is more on the liberal side (name a ‘prestige’ University that isn’t!), they have conservative faculty, students and alumni. They’re out there.
The $ aspect makes MD look mighty attractive. IIRC, USN&WR did a lengthy article some years ago about MD’s honors program, featuring a student who’d turned down Princeton to attend. In fairness, that was before the Ivies adopted the policy of eliminating student loans, so that could have been a factor for that student. After 4 years, you and your son would be way ahead financially.
You have obviously put a lot of time, energy and love into your son and his education. The rewards are now before him and you. Do let us know his final decision.
If Maryland will give you a free education, take it. The Free education outweighs any other consideration for an engineering program.
There are only about 2% of jobs that require a degree from a specific school. Engineering is not one of those fields. I would also submit that Maryland is superior to Harvard in the engineering department.
YES!!!! And it applies to virtually every field of study.
You have no choice but to send him to Harvard.
If your son is at all an amicable, gregarious character, send him to Harvard. The future will be now, the future “real world” will start the first week of freshman year.
As compared to Maryland where his future starts after 3.5 years of partying on campus and then finally reality sets in his senior year as he starts job hunting.
That 65k will be nothing as soon as Ben Bernanke and the Fed Reserve unleashes inflation sometime 2014ish, Grabbing loans at low interest rates now, in a pre-high inflationary period is a no-brainer.
UMaryland, even the honors college, does not have a long standing Alumni network??, it was a party school as you remember it, all the way up to when I applied there in the late-90s.
If your son can work the floor gladhanding at Harvard it’ll pay for itself in under five years.
Don’t think of Harvard as a 100k debt as much as it’s incremental cost over Hopkins, which puts it as a 28k additional expense.
Your son will walk out of Maryland with substantially less life experience compared to the student life in Boston, substantially lower “Rolodex” access, substantially less understanding of how the machinations of this country’s ruling cadres actually work on a daily basis.
I didn’t attend Brown U for the same reservations of “being behind enemy lines”... and the first five years out of Uni were definitely tougher than it should have been.
You should contact each school’s Career Services department. They can give you statistics on the salaries of recent graduates broken down by academic major.
“I was just looking up an old acquaintance who graduated from GA Tech (the best bang for ones buck in engineering, IMHO)...”
Georgia Tech is a fantastic school... for engineering.
In terms of pay scales, beginning civil engineers are among the lowest-paid of the engineering specialties. But, it's what my son wants to do.
As for Ivy League folks - I've met a few. Some good, some bad. I wouldn't try to lump them all in one category or other.
Is your son quiet or social? After a few years, that database is valuable.
Hopkins - Yeah, we know. We went to the financial aid folks yesterday. Nothin’ doin’. I'm gonna try the same at Harvard next week. I betcha the brush-off I receive will be classier. LOL.
I don't know that my son will change majors. He's a pretty flexible guy on most things, but usually, once he makes up his mind, that's it.
But that's a big advantage to Harvard, as it's really great, and has a peerless reputation in a wide variety of fields, even though Maryland is superior, head-to-head, in engineering.
Maryland's Honors College really is an outstanding opportunity. It's much more than just a designation and getting to live in a special dorm.
Thank you for the complimentary words. I will post the final decision to this thread and try to ping those who seem interested.
That's the though anyways.
If considering the causality of 33% of the budget and hence 33% of the taxpayer's contributions to the State of Maryland is overly reductionist, then you are correct that I am overly reductionist.
We homeschool; I have graduate degrees from Harvard and Stanford; I am wary of “elite schools” generally.
NEVERTHELESS, if Harvard is offering money in a reasonable amount and your son has a strong worldview, the choice is Harvard. No question.
Here are some reasons not to worry about the relative merits of engineering programs: 1. Between 18 and 20 students often change their minds about majors. 2. the rankings of engineering and other programs mainly have to do with the strengths of the graduate programs. At the undergraduate level, students are getting a lot of math, science, and engineering basics. Given students of equal ability, the top 50 engineering programs are providing roughly equivalent engineering content to undergraduates. Worry about rankings of engineering schools for graduate school. 3. Harvard has very strong math and pure science programs. This matters for engineering because courses from these departments are a significant part of the undergraduate engineering curriculum. 4. There is increasing collaoration in programs and courses between Harvard and MIT in science and engineering. 5. More important than the ranking of a program is the intellectual “speed of the track”. Harvard students are on average much more capable intellectually than those attending Maryland (you can’t be serious about that one) or Hopkins.
Harvard also has a fine program in Classics.
Finally, rightly or wrongly, the name “Harvard” opens doors all over the world and across the US. The brand matters. Maryland adds no value in that respect, and Hopkins offers vastly less than Harvard.
Frankly, as much as I dislike elite schools, I fail to see how this can even remotely be seen as a close call.
Harvard and MIT have an exchange program. Any Harvard student can take any class s/he wants at MIT. Sitetests’s son can go to MIT for his engineering classes (assuming he stays in engineering).
And another thing....for those that have eyes to see and ears to hear, the next 20 years are going to see massive financial and social disruption. Any financial savings from going to Maryland will pale in value in comparison to the benefits your son will receive from the social and intellectual capital he will gain at Harvard. That social and intellectual capital will allow him to do well even when others are struggling.
I can’t believe I am helping the Harvard Admissions Office....
Colleges try to sell on ‘intangibles’ like a ‘roledex factor’.
Us ‘little people’ think that Harvard grads somehow ‘stick together’; somehow if I’m a Harvard alum and I really need something, I can just pick up the phone and one of my Harvard chums will open doors for me simply because we went to the same school.
Jamie Dimon is the only Harvard alum amongst the top 10 Fortune 500 CEO’s. Mike Duke, of Walmart, is a GA Tech alum. Rex W. Tillerson is CEO of Exxon-Mobil; he has a BS in Civil Engineering from U of Texas-Austin. What rolodex do the other 9 CEO’s use ? How did they get “let in” to the CEO “club” ? Did not their non-Harvard degree sentence them to a life of being “on the outside looking in” ?
“Of the 500 CEOs in question, 174 have M.B.A.s and 59 have law degrees. Nearly 200 of the CEOs have no graduate-level degree. Nineteen of the 500 CEOs attained no college degree, and many were college dropouts turned visionaries in the technology sector, like Oracle Corp.’s top executive and now billionaire Lawrence J. Ellison. A few retail executives also worked their way to the corner office by way of humble beginnings on the sales floor, like James A. Skinner of McDonald’s, who started as a restaurant manager, and Brian J. Dunn of Best Buy Co., who was once a store associate. “
Harvard markets to the wealthy; they accept the super-intelligent of the non-wealthy where those students have it in their mind to ‘join the club of the rich and powerful’, or have it in their mind that Harvard is the pinnacle of intellectual training. Ergo, most Harvard grads are bought into the idea of elitism. This, coupled with the prestige of the degree, produces a set of alumni with a propensity for success in terms of money or influence, which continues the brand mindset in the minds of all us poor outsiders.
Of course, the numbers don’t bare out the proposition that Harvard graduates in particular ‘run the world’ any more than other colleges, as evidenced by the sheer number of leaders in the world and the number who actually graduated from Harvard.
The list of Harvard alums recently or currently in Congress sports Pat Toomey, but then goes on to a thoroughly unimpressive group, right down to William J. Jefferson, Alan Grayson, Barney Frank and Charles Schumer. Seems like Harvard’s true leadership is in spawning corrupt politicians bereft of morality.
The scariest proposition about Harvard is truly it’s tendency, certainly born of it’s tendency towards arrogance and elitism, to train future leaders who are intellectually immersed in totalitarian quack viewpoints and agendas. Very often young intellectuals throughout the centuries misconstrue the writings of earlier intellectuals and they themselves provide an intellectual basis for all sorts of evils. I can’t help but think of Malthusianism and all of it’s derivitaves; theories that are obviously oversimplified and flawed have been contorted into the viewpoints of many of today’s influential and powerful people whereby they seem determined to wipe out humanity for it’s own good through governmental control, forced population control and a basic alignment with communalism. Michael Bloomberg springs to mind; a graduate of both Johns Hopkins and Harvard. While he privately enjoys what the NY Times refers to as “positively baronial” tastes in his homes, he publicly asserts that the American public should submit to relinquishing all of their personal firearms and be forced to abstain from salt.
IMHO, if I study the classics under a tutor who is actually seeking to change my worldview while “teaching” me, I’d really not rather have their running mouth interrupting my reading. Though the elitist schools would have us think that they have a monopoly on learning, I’ve finally come to realize that they do not - for one who seeks to learn, there are countless books and teachers they can avail themselves of. And their other old ploy, their promise of joining an elite club guaranteeing income and influence, is likewise an empty promise made to future “useful graduates”.
“he publicly asserts that the American public should submit to relinquishing all of their personal firearms and be forced to abstain from salt.”
And the peter?
Remember that Harvard feminized their science courses after Larry Summers made those remarks about women not being as good at math and science as men.
Other than that, I would recommend that your son make another visit o the schools and speak to the Dept heads.
Make sure that he would be happy being an engineer, although some companies are one highering engineers for operational positions, particularly in the oil industry.
As to smiting the heathens, hey, he is going off to college and there will be plenty to smite no matter where he goes but when you smite Ivy League "master of the universe" heathens, you know you can smite any. Some that he would encounter at Harvard may well become the Harvard equivalent of John (did you know he served in Vietnam?) Kerry (regrettably a Yalie and every bit as despicable there as in later life). Of your choices, your son would likely not regret choosing Harvard. If your income were modest, Yale would be practically free but IIRC all the Ivies have "need-blind" admissions and university scholarships to match. If he is a warrior, he is needed there to be involved with those already here. Also, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and likely the rest of the Ivies to a lesser extent are in the centuries long process of graduating what Tom Wolfe called: "masters of the universe." The advantages of Ivy League rolodexes are not easily matched.
I would describe Notre Shame as anti-Catholic rather than pseudo-Catholic. Google The Land 'o Lakes Conference of 1967. It has not improved since. Rather the contrary.
I can think of only two disadvantages of Harvard. First, the weather in Cambridge is not pleasant in the worst of winter. Then again, if weather were the determinant, Florida and California have many schools describable as "Beach Blanket University." I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that weather will not be a major consideration in your son's choice.
Second, if your son were a seriously talented variety football player type, my household would prefer that he not attend Harvard and possibly win the annual contest with Yale known as The Game. But, that's just us. Yale's mascot is an English Bulldog named Handsome Dan (the 47th or whatever number). You would not willingly allow your son to break the puppy's heart, would you?
In the totality of circumstances and in your son's cornucopia of outstanding choices available, you may reasonably be forgiven for sending him to Hahvard and to believe that Harvahd should be allowed player personnel who make the Cantabs quite competitive which they all too often tend to be in games against Old Eli.
Wow! The state of Maryland spends 33% of its budget on higher (post-secondary) education??
Then see my previous post.
“My point is that most young men will benefit from doing other things before going to college.”
If my son works with half the effort and half the focus for the next four or five years with which he's worked the last 12, I don't believe that will be true for him.
Yes, he is quite social.
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