Ivy League universities are something many people dream of. They are advertised as the best place to get an amazing higher education, meet important people, and just spend the best time of life. These institutions underline their academic importance and promise incredible job opportunities after.
And the fact that it is so hard to get in makes these universities even more desirable. They feel like an elite club, and when a person gets an admission letter, it feels almost like “I’ve made it”. But what is actually behind this promise? Are elite US universities so much better for a student? And what secrets lie behind closed doors? Here are the darkest secrets of elite US universities you need to know before entering.
1. The admission process is not in your favor
These universities like to show that their admission process is transparent and open to anybody, but it is not the case. Although the process itself is extremely hard with all the essays to write, which can be handled perfectly by essay writing service like EssayWriterService, it is not in favor of smart students. Every institution has its agenda and policy regarding admission, and one should check them carefully before applying.
For example, the class of 2021 at Harvard consists of 29% of legacy students. And this situation is the same for other Ivy League schools. So if you have Harvard ancestors, you are three times more likely to enter. But if you don’t, there is a little room for you. Imagine the undergraduate class where 30% are legacy students; then there are athletes, underrepresented students, a couple of international ones, and only after that – there is a place for someone who doesn’t fit in these categories. And you have to compete with the best achievers in the country, who also want to enter. Although they don’t want to admit it – Ivy League schools are an elite club that is extremely hard to get in.
2. It is extremely hard to study there
No one will tell you how hard it actually is. It is the culture of overachieving, being always busy, never sleeping, and extreme competitiveness. There are event terms for this – Stanford Duck Syndrome or Penn Face. They both mean approximately the same – making an illusion that everything is fine and good while being miserable on the inside. Duck syndrome is named this way because the duck looks like it’s effortlessly gliding on the water surface. But underneath, it is working with its feet relentlessly.
There is an unhealthy culture of being stressed, busy, and tired in these schools. And it is clear why – you’ve probably been the smartest student in your home town, but now you are surrounded by the best mind in the country. It is incredibly competitive and might be hard on one’s mental health, especially if you are preparing for SAT and ACT tests, which may be very demanding. Many students hire essay writer or look for a website to buy essay just to deal with the curriculum. While this is just a part of the problem, the other part is not admitting the need for help.
3. They do not guarantee the quality of education
One of the darkest secrets is that no one checks the educational process in these institutions. They are only focusing on the result – how the students perform, but not how they are taught. They are interested in research and attract the best staff members in this field. But an excellent researcher doesn’t mean an excellent lecturer or professor. Being knowledgeable and being able to teach are very different skills. Basically, your Bachelor’s degree has the value of an elite club badge. It works to open some doors, but it doesn’t guarantee you the best education.
4. The job opportunities might be not what you expect
One of the main benefits of elite institutions is that a Master’s degree obtained there will provide you with amazing job opportunities. And yes, it is true, but it might not be what you expect. Some of the students find well-paid jobs even before they graduate. Mostly, it is because of networking and the fact that graduates are more likely to hire students from the same school. But at the same time, it might not be the job you’ve wanted. Well-paid doesn’t mean that you’ll like it. For example, if you want to be an investment banker, management consultant, entrepreneur, or work in Silicon Valley – yes, it is a great idea. But if you want to learn Cinematography, Art, or Literature – there is little an elite university can do for you in terms of employment.
What it actually means is that Ivy League schools give opportunities to get the job that many people wouldn’t want to get in the first place. When it comes to other positions, they are no better than other schools. After all, if you want to be an actor, you go to Julliard, not Princeton.
5. They do little to care about students’ well-being
This secret is one of the darkest, and it comes as a result of all mentioned above. Students in elite universities struggle with mental health. There are many reasons why, but the toxic culture of overachieving and being the best is the part of it. Also, schools do little about it.
It is not a secret that the suicide rates among college students have increased by 25% over the last two decades. And MIT and Harvard have the highest rates in the country. The suicide rate at MIT is higher than the nationwide average. You can even find the door to the roof easily because it often features the sign “There is help” now.
The stress and pressure to succeed in elite schools are much higher, which results in such terrible statistics. Students feel like everyone is doing better, everyone is more talented, and they should have been happy, but they are not. This is a huge issue that should be addressed properly by the universities.
Elite universities are advertised as perfect places to start a bright future. However, it sometimes takes less than a semester to realize that it is not the case. Most likely, you will find there a very competitive environment with cult-like-minded and privileged people who often care more about a mark or exam results than anything else. Obviously, this can be quite challenging, considering the enormous tuition fees and possible student debt.