5 Darkest Secrets of Elite US Universities

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.

In Summary

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.

Stirling – Pamela Heath

She’s a Life Coach and Business Consultant for Spiritual and Transformational Practitioners, Creative Artists and Wellness Coaches who have struggled to turn their passion into a profitable business.

She help you create a thriving business aligned with your Life Passion. She teach you how to run your business as a business, and not as a hobby. She specialize in getting you organized for success in your life and your business.

How Do US Colleges & Universities Try to Prevent Covid-19 Cases?

COVID-19 is still here. Sad but true: all the efforts taken to stop the spread of the virus had not quite succeeded. Without a 100% working treatment and no mass vaccination, we still live amid the uncertainty and have to take whatever precautions that are available.

Considering the situation, there’s been a lot of debate about whether the students should return to campuses this fall or if distance learning is still the best choice. Heated discussions are still going on though the fall semester has already begun in the US.

Safety Above All

The main subject is, of course, safety. Some students, as well as the staff, are worried that the premature return to on-campus classes can put them under unnecessary risk. Thus, they insist on continuing with online learning. But there’s still no consensus within either group towards this subject. Besides, there’s the money question, too.

So, most American colleges and universities have made a difficult choice. They reopened the campuses and started to deliver at least some of their classes the traditional way. Of course, this was done not without precautions.

But no matter how the classes are delivered – on-campus or remotely – students are going to face the usual workload. And it may get even more overwhelming, considering the situation.

In such cases, students should be aware that there are legal ways to ease the stress by handling some parts of the tasks to professional services. For example, writepaper.com can provide expert help with essays and other academic papers.

But what can be done with the stress of constantly being afraid to contract the virus and fall ill or pass it on to other people? And is there a reason to be stressed?

Some Statistics

Firstly, let’s examine the figures. According to the data provided by The New York Times, there have been more than 88,000 cases and 60 deaths registered in approximately 1,600 American colleges and universities since the pandemic began (as of September 10).

The deaths happened mostly in spring and among employees, not students. Still, dorm reopenings and renewed on-campus classes provoked recent spikes in numbers.

Colleges and universities realize the gravity of the situation. Authorities try to do whatever they can to prevent new cases of the novel coronavirus in their campuses. The measures include:

  • distance learning;
  • social distancing and wearing face masks;
  • testing;
  • moratoria on large social gatherings;
  • quarantines.

There are also other measures, but these are the most common ones. Let’s look at each of them more closely.

Partially Remote Classes

Most higher education institutions in the US continue to deliver classes online and strongly recommend off-campus housing for all students. Still, small numbers of students are allowed to return to campuses and receive courses in a mixed format.

For example, in the University of South Carolina, which is known to have the second-largest number of reported cases of infection, face-to-face classes are currently limited to fewer than 100 students or less.

The University of Alabama is the current leader by the number of cases registered. There, courses are delivered via Zoom, mostly. Yet, the schedule is planned in such a way that a majority of courses include at least some type of in-person instruction.

Social Distancing

For those who are allowed to return to campuses, social distancing is obligatory. All students must avoid close contact indoors and outdoors. This applies to both the study process and non-formal gatherings.

To make sure this rule is being observed, several measures have been taken. Furniture has been either rearranged or removed, acrylic glass shields have been installed, additional signs indicating the traffic flow have been added.

Mandatory Masks

Wearing of masks is also mandatory at colleges and universities. Generally, guidelines include recommendations to wear masks covering both nose and mouth in all indoor university or college facilities. Masks can be either washable (made of fabric) or disposable (surgical-style). Fabric masks must be washed every day.

Obligatory Testing

Testing in another cornerstone of the safe fall semester. All students arriving on campuses take obligatory tests. For example, Harvard requires students to be tested immediately upon arrival.

Tests should also be taken immediately if a student feels any symptoms of COVID-19 or had been in contact with someone who tested positive. In some universities and colleges, specially developed apps send notifications to students who happen to find themselves in dangerous areas.

Party Restrictions

Parties and other non-formal gatherings are also a problem. And though students still want to party, it’s not an option for them to do that while the pandemic is not over.

All other “non-essential gatherings” like picnics, club meetings, etc. are prohibited both on and off-campus. Those who decide to try their luck and violate the rules will be subject to “escalated consequences.”

Quarantine Measures

Quarantine must still be a word commonly heard on campuses. Quarantining is obligatory for:

  • students newly arriving on campus;
  • students who tested positive for COVID-19;
  • those who have been in close contact with those who tested positive.

Quarantine usually lasts for 10-14 days. During this period, a student stays either in a location off-campus or isolated in their dorm room.

Final Words

Listed above are only some of the measures that American colleges and universities take to prevent new outbreaks of COVID-19. The full list would have been much longer.

So, it’s hard to reproach the administrations for not doing enough. The educational system has to somehow continue functioning. And students should eventually come to terms with the new normal and bear the responsibility of strictly observing all the rules. It’s everything that can be done now, after all.