The US hosts most of the highest-ranking universities in the world. It is also home to the Ivy League, which enables graduates to work in elite fields and land in progressive career pathways.

Studying in an Ivy League school is a popular collegiate dream for any student. Composed of eight universities (Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University), the Ivy League offers a prestigious, reputable, and top-notch education.

For a lot of international students, having the name of an Ivy League school on a social media bio or making your mom boast around by getting you into such a school, can never be more satisfying. Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, and even non-Ivy League ones such as Stanford, are considered as the peak of US universities.

The overall acceptance rate in all Ivy League schools is no greater than 10% and only averaging 7%, and much lower for international students. However, admissions for international students are still possible.

College admission processes in these universities may be daunting and confusing for domestic students. For international students, they may be asked for more requirements under differing time frames. It is much more difficult for international students as they compete against American elite students and other countries’ finest students.

So is it worth taking? A degree in one of these universities does not assure you a comfortable life after graduation. It does not promise you a successful career in Wall Street or New York. It definitely takes more than that to land your dream job.

We have listed below some things to ponder before applying to an Ivy League school:

Do other universities have degrees in specialization than that of Ivy League schools?

Dreaming of being an astronaut or a genius in another field? Or maybe you want to set up your own company or be a business giant?

Ivy League universities have these degrees in their campuses, but other schools have specialization in these specific programs. If you want a hassle-free and more convenient way in setting the first step to your dream, other specialized and technical schools in the US may be best for you.

For example, you may want to study aerospace engineering at a specialization school such as the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, rather than studying in an Ivy League’s general engineering course. You may also opt for New York University’s Stern Business School instead of enrolling in a general economics program in an Ivy League school.

After all, you will be hired because you have the skills to do the job, not merely because you graduated from an Ivy League school.

Do other schools have substantial alumni networks like the Ivy League?

Although Ivy League institutions indeed have great alumni networks, they are not the only universities with large connections. Other American schools such as the Pennsylvania State University are very well connected to their alumni. This is a factor because it might help you to get into a dream job.

Are Ivy League schools closer to your dream companies?

When deciding on a study destination, research your dream company’s location, where it is based. These employers often look for graduates within the city of main operation and headquarters. Other universities may be much closer to these companies and would be beneficial for you in the future.

A great example would be Microsoft, which is based in Seattle. It mostly recruits employees at the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and Washington State University. A dream job in politics may require you to study in Washington DC, while Texas or Michigan might be best for those interested in the manufacturing field.

Assessing these factors might be useful for you before considering a competitive application process in Ivy League schools. Take note that you may encounter consequences for this, but there are also rewards for students who plan first before taking the first step.

Indeed, dreams should be fought for and dreams can have their alternatives. After all, prestige is not the most important thing for a college student.

Preparing for college is never easy. What more if you plan to attend an Ivy League school? To learn more about this and other education systems in the US, you may check out our other articles here at MSM Unify.

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