Does it matter where you go to college?

October 15, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Does it matter where you go to college?

It’s a commonly held belief that if you get your degree from a more prestigious school, you’ll be able to enjoy greater levels of success and find better employment opportunities. If you are in the process of applying to colleges and find yourself wondering, “Does it matter where you go to college?” you may be surprised to learn that the answer to this question is contingent on a wide variety of factors.

You might be wondering whether earning a degree through an online institution is equivalent to or more valuable than attending a traditional college or university, or does a diploma from an Ivy League school carry more weight than one from a more conventional state school?

Although the statistics indicate that the most highly compensated workers do in fact attend the most prestigious schools, the research ultimately reveals that a student’s work ethic and perseverance are the most accurate predictors of their own futures.

For instance, fewer than ten percent of applicants to the eight most prestigious Ivy League schools in the United States were extended admissions offers. This demonstrates how difficult it is to get into these schools, making it obvious that individuals can still pursue meaningful and passionate careers even if they are unable to attend the aforementioned educational establishments.

Group of students walking in front of a building.

Although the reputation of the school from which you graduate may have some bearing on your future, it is not the be-all and end-all criterion for determining your level of success and the opportunities available to you.

So, does it really matter where you go to college? Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument by analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of attending a prestigious university, as well as the key differences between attending a traditional college and an online university.

Why does it matter where you go to college? – Advantages of attending top-rated universities

When compared to traditional educational institutions, prestigious universities such as those in the Ivy League, which include Yale, Harvard, and Stanford, to name a few, have a number of distinct advantages.

These are the common perceptions as to why it matters where you go to college. Here are the advantages of attending top-rated universities:

Name Recognition

When a recruiter or hiring manager goes through the application process and sees these names on your resume, it immediately serves as a marker of prestige and recognition. This fact may be used by some employers as a way to simplify the selection and filtering process because it indicates that a candidate has met specific competitive criteria if they were able to gain admission to a prestigious institution and make it through the gates.

Many top companies, particularly in the fields of business, law, and finance, have what are known as “feeder schools,” which are pools of candidates for employment that have graduated from prestigious universities.

Networking Opportunities

There is a natural increase in the number of opportunities to network at top-tier educational institutions. This is due to the fact that many graduates go on to found successful businesses and remain connected to their alma maters by making financial contributions.

In addition, well-known educational institutions are more likely to entice well-known speakers and lecturers, providing their students with the opportunity to interact with prominent figures.

Group of students lounging in the campus.

Why does it matter where you go to college? – Disadvantages of attending top-rated universities

These are some drawbacks that state why it doesn’t matters where you go to college:

Standard of Education

Even though the most prestigious schools have more stringent requirements for getting into their programs, which might make it seem like they provide a higher-quality education, this is not necessarily always the case. Because large institutions tend to place a greater emphasis on research and have larger class sizes, the more personal and individualized learning environment may not be available to all different kinds of students.

Individualized Approaches to Learning

It is not the case that every student will find success at every university. Some students prefer to be guided through their education, while others thrive when given the opportunity to discover on their own. While some students perform better in intimate settings such as discussion groups or small classes, others favor having the option to view lectures online.

Two students studying in a desk.

It is possible that a prestigious educational establishment will not be the best fit for you, but this will depend on how you learn best. Before applying to a university or enrolling there, you can always do research on the teaching style and class size on the university’s website to find out more information.


It should come as no surprise that the most prestigious schools also command the highest tuition rates. In spite of the availability of grants and scholarships, the cost of attending the school is a significant factor that must be considered when selecting a school to enroll in.

Why does it matter where you go to college? – Comparing Traditional Colleges with Online Colleges

In the same way that attending large lecture halls filled with hundreds of students might not be the best option for every single student, the conventional educational system as a whole might not be the best option for every student.

Because of advances in technology, online universities are rapidly proliferating and continually expanding their student bodies. When compared to traditional universities, online universities have both advantages and disadvantages; however, whether or not these are more important to a student is entirely dependent on their point of view and personal preference.

Advantages of Attending College Online


When all of your classes and reading materials are available online, the decision of when to study is entirely up to you. The nature of online schools makes it possible for students to have greater flexibility, which is not possible at traditional institutions because classes are typically scheduled at specific times and in specific locations.


Online universities typically charge a fraction of the price that traditional educational institutions do because there are fewer overhead costs associated with them. The fees associated with earning your degree include course assessment fees and a one-time application fee; however, students have the option of applying for financial assistance in the form of scholarships to help cover the costs associated with earning their degree.


The student body of online schools is naturally diverse and comprises people from all over the world as a direct result of the fact that students can attend these schools from any location in the world.

Students standing while holding their school materials.

Lower entry barriers

Standardized testing is almost always required in order to apply to traditional colleges and universities. It is typically required that applicants maintain a minimum grade point average, and scores must meet a certain threshold in order to be considered. On the other hand, online universities may have less stringent requirements to meet in order to enroll. Students from any location in the world are welcome to submit an application.


Because online schools do not have physical locations, you are free to study from anywhere in the world, including while you are traveling. Online degree programs do not require students to physically attend classes, pay for the cost of living, or pay for transportation, unlike traditional universities that require students to pay for these things.

Credit Trasferability

It is important that you not throw away any of the time that you have already spent studying. The vast majority of online schools are going to be more willing to accept transferred credits from students who attended other schools.


Learning strategies used in online programs are unique and put an emphasis on meeting the requirements of the individual student. Because every student has their own unique preferences regarding how they wish to learn, the programs’ adaptability allows them to be molded to meet the specific requirements of each individual student.

Moreso, class sizes are kept manageable and instruction is based on a peer-to-peer pedagogical model. This encourages students to engage in high levels of interaction with one another and to assist one another in their educational pursuits.

Disadvantages of Attending College Online

No Classroom

Some students require the structure and routine of a traditional classroom in order to maintain their concentration and achieve their full academic potential. Online schools might not be the best option for students who would benefit from having traditional classroom instruction.


Students are responsible for maintaining their own sense of order while attending online schools. You are responsible for your own timetable, as you are in charge of determining when you will learn new things.

The viability of the course

It is not possible to earn every kind of degree via the internet. For instance, attending school for a profession that requires hands-on training, such as culinary school or medical school, will not be the most beneficial option if done online.

Why does it matter where you go to college? – Comparing Schools in the United States and Schools in other countries

You might be wondering what the difference is between obtaining your education in the United States of America or somewhere else in the world, regardless of whether or not you are a citizen of the United States. Studying in the United States, which is a world power in its own right, comes with a number of benefits and potential drawbacks.

Advantages of Attending Universities in the US


The United States of America, being such a large country, is home to an incredible number of different colleges and universities. There are more than 2,600 four-year colleges and universities in the United States that have earned accreditation, as reported by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Students now have a wide variety of options to choose from when applying to different schools because of this.

Diverse Student Body

Students seeking higher education degrees from around the world frequently choose to attend schools located in the United States. The majority of international students who choose to attend schools in the United States come from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, according to the data collected over the past several years. This number has been slightly decreasing over the past few years.

World Power

Because the United States is a world power, degrees from American universities carry a lot of weight. Not only does it demonstrate to potential employers that you have a strong command of the English language, but it also demonstrates that you are capable of successfully completing challenging academic work.

Job Opportunities

If you have a degree from an American university or college, you have a better chance of landing a good job in the United States or in one of the other countries in which American companies do business. This is due to the fact that the United States is a leader in so many different fields, including the technological one.


Your choice of school will put you in a position to communicate with potential employers and co-workers early on in your career, as well as other students who might become potential partners in the future. Building your professional network allows you to create more opportunities for your future.

Disadvantages of Attending Universities in the US


In spite of their international renown, American universities are frequently among the most expensive in the world.


The educational requirements will be different depending on the kind of school that one attends, be it a state school, a public school, or a private school. Before making a decision, you should make sure that the level of education being offered meets your expectations and that you are able to speak with previous students to get answers to any questions that you might have.


If you are an international student interested in attending an American university with a traditional campus, you should be aware that doing so may require you to relocate far from your current home and social circle. If you go the route of online learning, on the other hand, you are free to study in any location you choose.

For employers, does it matter where you go to college?

When it comes down to getting your degree, chances are that you are doing so for reasons other than your own personal satisfaction. Most likely, you are doing so in the hopes of landing a good job in the industry that you would like to work in. Therefore, the question that needs to be asked is, “Do employers care where I go to college?”

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted interviews with employers to determine which qualities (other than GPA) they seek most on students’ resumes. The results of these interviews were compiled into a report.

Instead of the name of their college or the prestige of it, the top ten most important characteristics are as follows:

  1. Problem-Solving Skills
  2. Ability to work with the team
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Leadership
  5. Solid Work Ethic
  6. Attention to Detail
  7. Initiative
  8. Flexibility/Adaptability
  9. Technical Skills
  10. Interpersonal Skills
  11. Computer Skills

So, does it matter where you go to college?

Well, an important study concluded that where graduates went to college—public or private, small or large, very selective or not selective—barely matters at all in comparison to the experiences they had while they were in college in terms of their current well-being and their work lives. Instead, the report discovered that the experiences that students have while attending college are what contribute to them becoming better people and employees after graduation.

Employee engagement, or the willingness to go above and beyond in one’s commitment to one’s company’s success, was one of the primary foci of the research that was carried out. This factor plays an important part in maintaining employment, which is something that is important in the long run.

Two students talking while in hallway.

It’s possible that the reputation of the school doesn’t carry as much weight as you might have thought it did. It does not matter if you attended a modest private college or a vast state university; the most important thing for your job search after graduation is that you possess the necessary skills.

There are always going to be outliers, such as a hiring manager who has her heart set on hiring someone from her alma mater or another hiring manager who believes their company would benefit from hiring Ivy League graduates.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Are you sure you want to be employed by someone with such a limited worldview anyway? Consider it a blessing in disguise to have escaped certain doom if a hiring manager insists on recruiting candidates from just a few institutions of higher learning.

The only thing you can do when applying for jobs and being interviewed for them is to prepare yourself and be authentic. What will make a difference is the combination of your experience and your skills.

Does it matter where you go to college? – Final Thoughts

It is not the institution from which you earn your degree but rather the other factors that contribute significantly more to your overall success. The level of concern, concentration, motivation, and aspiration displayed by students is of the utmost significance.

In addition, not everyone has the luxury of choosing where they want to go to school. This may be due to factors such as their test scores, their financial ability, their test-taking abilities, and other similar factors.

In the end, it will prove to be beneficial to earn your degree, irrespective of the institution from which you earn it. It is also a good idea to make sure that the educational establishment of your choice is accredited and that the teaching method is compatible with the way that you prefer to acquire new information.

Regardless of where and what type of colleges and universities, AdmissionSight has become an industry leader in helping students gain admission to selective institutions worldwide over the past decade. We have one of the best admissions records in the business, with 75% of our students gaining acceptance to different institutions. You can contact us right now to schedule your first consultation.


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