Open the Gates to the Ivy League: A Plan B for Getting into the Top Colleges

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Although students and parents have been advised to apply to several "safety" schools, just in case you don't get into your first choices, there is another Plan B alternative: back gateways. According to a book published this week, Open the Gates to the Ivy League , twenty colleges ranked in the top twenty-five by U.

News have back doors for college admissions. Of course, "back doors" is just the phrase commonly used to describe "other alternative" ways, other than traditional ones, to get into a top college.

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What all back gateways have in common is that they take students to an undergraduate degree just like the front entrance does. Why should parents and students consider the back gateway into a top college rather than just opting for a few "safety" schools?

The Value Of An Ivy League Education

Here are the reasons:. Although there is no back door into Princeton, the rest of the Ivy League does have back gateways for admissions.

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The most talked-about Ivy back door is Harvard. Harvard Extension is sometimes referred to as Harvard's back door. For sure, it is Harvard's way to open the gates for those students interested in merit-based admissionsif you are motivated, and you can do the work, then you can get into Harvard Extension and end up with an Ivy League diploma. Harvard, Penn, Columbia, Cornell, and Dartmouth are the top five Ivy League colleges with back doors either half-open or wide open. Yale and Brown also have back doors, but their back doors are barely ajar, and are limited to a very small number of students.

Open the Gates to the Ivy League: A Plan B for Getting into the Top Colleges is the only guide to college admissions that offers an alternative gateway to getting into the nation's top-rated universities.

The book provides all the specifics needed to gain admission via "the back gateway". Pro Ivy League Since the data is inconclusive, let's look elsewhere.

How to Write an Admissions Essay to Get Into Top Schools

On one side of the debate are the people who believe that attending and graduating from an Ivy League school affords benefits that aren't easily gained from their second-tier school counterparts. Those with Ivy League schools on their resumes may get a second look, and if the person interviewing you happens to be a fellow Yale graduate, that would certainly give you some talking points according to Steve Menack, an Ivy League graduate and successful attorney after graduating from Columbia Law School.

He goes on to say that potential clients definitely look at him differently because of his Ivy League education.

According to another popular argument, there are also networking benefits. Those who attend Ivy League schools are constantly in the presence of fellow high-performing students who already have prestigious contacts in large companies and those contacts may open the door to jobs not available to those who attend other schools. Anti Ivy League Jay Mathews, recruiter, Harvard graduate and author of the book Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You believes that Ivy League graduates do better than their second-tier counterparts, but like the one study indicated, it's not so much because of the school.

Only the best, most promising students are getting into Ivy League schools.

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These are students who would be successful wherever they went, and that may account for the Ivy League influence according to Mathews. He goes on to say that although education matters, how a person relates to customers, employees and others in the supply chain is more important than his or her school of choice. Performance is far more important than education. These numbers do not include room and board, student loan interest, and other associated costs.

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Not All Jobs Are Equal It might be true that some careers pay more for top-tier graduates, but for some careers it may not pay off. Take the education field, for example. Most public school educators operate under a union negotiated contract where the rate of pay is tied to experience and the highest degree earned. The person with five years of experience with a master's degree is offered the same salary as the same person who earned his or her degree at an Ivy League school. Hiring managers have very little latitude on the salary offered.

The Bottom Line Regardless of your opinion of the Ivy League debate, don't forget to use good economic sense when deciding on a school for your child or yourself. If you can't afford a luxury car, there's no shame in purchasing an economy car. They will both get you where you need to go. Don't think because a school is more expensive you will get that money back with a higher salary and if you do how long will it take to recoup the cost?

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