…if your goal is to leverage the degree into a high-paying corporate job, then the “brand name” truly matters. The idea of putting yourself into debt can be intimidating, especially if you’re not from a wealthy family. But the extra expense of a prestigious school will usually pay off
…Alumni network. Most high-powered executives simply won’t make time for an ambitious young professional—unless he or she is a student at his alma mater.
…Peer network. The best schools usually attract motivated, ambitious students—so if you attend one, in 10 or 15 years your peer network is likely to be orders of magnitude better than it would otherwise be.
…Recruiters. Finding excellent job candidates can be hard—therefore, many top firms take the short cut of recruiting from a limited number of high-calibre schools, which have essentially done the screening for them.
…Turbocharging your resume. There are certain powerful signals of professional accomplishment. If you become a Rhodes Scholar or attend Harvard or an IIM, that’s a permanent fact that most people will remember—and it will influence their perception of you. For the rest of your life, you’ll be marked as exceptional, because a high-quality brand has embraced you as one of its own. That alone is often worth the price of admission.
a Los Angeles area charter school where students are receiving a lesson in the politics of rich and poor straight out of a third world country.
As Magiera recounts on her blog BellaNoise, her son’s junior high decided to add to the school’s traditional spring dance. Tickets to the event would be $15 — for the mere peons, that is. For the more well-to-do — or simply socially desperate — the school decided to charge an extra $5 for admission to a “VIP Lounge,” where, among other things, students would receive special access to a dessert bar and a swag bag. Magiera was horrified, and forbid her son from buying his way into special privileges…
winners of the lucky sperm and egg club raffle get to buy their way into the VIP Lounge while those with less in the way of funds get an early lesson in how they will likely spend their lives on the wrong side of the red velvet line, courtesy of their own school. And no, this is not just an ”only in LA” story. Such situations are becoming increasingly common…
The school gives kids eligible for free school lunches extra spins in the school lottery used to determine admissions, which means there is likely a decent population of children in attendance who lack the $5 to separate themselves from the mass of their fellow students.
New West principal Sharon Weir did not respond to emails or telephone calls seeking comment. So instead I turned to Madeline Levine, the author of the soon to be published Teach Your Children Well, for clarification. ”Frankly, this VIP idea reflects badly on kids, but even worse on the adults,” she told me. ”No one gains from making some kids more ‘special’ than others, especially when special is based on having a few extra bucks.”