Advantages of Attending High Ranked (& High Tuition) University

First of all sincerest appreciation to you for having started a blog like this where everyone can get their queries addressed.  I would like to know if there is any advantage in paying a high tuition in a highly ranked college when it comes to getting a job in the US as such i understand there are no campus placements.
Also is there any advantage/disadvantage when applying for the spring intakes vs the fall. – Ajeez

High vs Low Ranked University

Advantage of studying in high ranked university can be compared to driving the cars –  Camry vs BMW vs Ferrari.

  • If you drive Camry, you will go unnoticed on the road.
  • While driving BMW, person driving Camry will look upto you.
  • If you drive Ferrari, both drivers of Camry and BMW will look at you.

But all 3 cars will take you to the destination. Now do you see the difference between studying in High vs Low ranked university?

Companies will come to campus to recruit students in Top universities. Even if you apply for a job, your resume will have more value, just for the brand name of the university. You must be willing to pay the price for that.

Related:  Advantages of Studying in Top Universities

Even if you study in low profile (ranked) university, you can find a job and be awesome.

But, how do yo do that?

There are 2 ways to do that.


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  1. I wish to got to U.S to do undergraduation,
    I got admissions from these universities
    1. Arizona state university
    2. SUNY at buffalo
    3. New York University.

    among these NYU is really low ranked (27) and is costly to attend
    arizona has a ranking of around 100 and is quite affordable
    and SUNY at buffalo is very cheap with high scholarship.

    My question is
    1. Does going to the lowest ranked university be good for my future?
    2. Is investing such a huge amount of money worth it? will I be able to repay my loans if I do that?
    3. Or is it advisable for me to go and study in the U.S.A according to current situtation in the U.S.A due near banning of extension of H1-B visa/

    Please tell me which university would be better for me

  2. I have copied below a mail message from a Professor at Boston University. He teaches at several major U.S.universities including Columbia. I had asked him various questions for my son who is applying to aerospace engineering programs. What might be of interest to the HSB readership is his comment on the rankings. He says that employers do not discriminate among the top 30 to 40 colleges, and sometimes a lower ranked university (By “lower rank” I mean 30 or 35 and not 250) may have specializations which are better than some of the top ranked colleges. Eg. A 30th ranked university may have a top rated research department in Aircraft Structures than a 10th ranked university though their overall ranking is lower. So, it is worth doing some leg work on the research conducted in each of the universities on your list.
    From Prof. X
    My undergraduate degree is from Rensselaer (in physics) and I served on the Rensselaer Council for many years, so of course I think your son should apply there. A neighbor’s daughter got her MS in aeronautical engineering there about 10 years ago and now does quality assurance work in aerospace. The program is particularly strong in the “mechanical engineering” side of AE and in materials.

    But I’m a bit nervous about the approach your son is taking. Employers here basically have a consensus on the top 30 or 40 schools and treat graduates from them similarly. At the graduate level, you have to be thinking about going on to doctorate. Is there a particular task in AE that your son is interested in? Software? Structures? Materials? Propulsion? Top-ranked schools tend to be strong in all the fields, but some lesser-ranked schools have strength — and even more strength than top schools — in one or two areas. You really have to look at individual faculty and facilities.

    Your son is competitive at MIT, especially if he wants to do something unusual, and he gets matched with specific professors as a result. I do some work at the New England Complex Systems Institute, an independent group on the MIT campus, and the ultra-bright post docs I work with did not all have perfect or near-perfect GREs. In the case of NECSI they have broader-than-normal interests aside from their own specialties. Boston also has a huge Indian community, if that matters. There are even Indian venture capital groups.

    Location is also important in other ways. All graduate engineering programs in the USA attract students from around the world (only about half the students are USA nationals), but some communities have extra-large Indian cohorts — could be a consideration. Rensselaer is in an urban area (Albany, Schenectady, Troy) that has a population of about 1 million. Beautiful area, cold climate, but 3 hours away from NYC or Boston. My eldest daughter lives in Troy now and loves it. But some people don’t.

    I get to Huntsville Alabama several times a year as a QA consultant myself. That’s where the Army’s Redstone Arsenal is — the folks that designed the Saturn V moon rocket. The university is terrific. Within Huntsville itself, and cities within a day’s drive like Nashville, the social life is great. But go into the deep countryside and there is still racism.

    Climate is a lot better on the West Coast than in Boston!

  3. “Even if you study in low profile (ranked) university, you will find a job. But, you have to create and build a brand for you. Only then you will be able to market yourself to the hiring managers.”

    Can you explain in detail? Please.

  4. “Even if you study in low profile (ranked) university, you will find a job. But, you have to create and build a brand for you”

    Can you explain it in detail, please ’cause i need further clarification.

  5. You gave a wonderful insight to what it means to study in the Ivy league schools. But all fingers are never equal and if wishes were to be horses, I guess beggars would RIDE!

  6. sir,
    this is the second time ,i'm asking the question-
    i have
    7.70 cgpa,electrical department ,nit nagpur
    gre 1380
    toefl -96
    done four good projects in industry as well as in institute and want to pursue ms from us could you please suggest some universities in which i have chances to get admission.

  7. I have graduated in aug 2009 with B.E in E&Tc.I would like to apply for fall 2011 for MS in Information systems or information management.During my engineering i received 2 drops and my GPA is below 3.0.
    I do not want to go to just any schools but a good one,not the top schools but atleast the top 100 or 150.
    I have been contacting a few schools and they say that my toefl score is good (103/120) and that i should contact them after i take GRE.
    Is there anyway i can compensate for my low GPA to get an admission into a good school?(B.E=58%)pune university.
    After i take my GRE in the months on aug 2010 i will look for a job n work untill next year fall.I do not have any work ex since 2009 that i graduated.
    Will i have to show work ex if i apply in fall 2011 ??
    I would really want to get through Northeastern University in Boston

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