Famous colleges

Parents can do their kids a favor if, from an early age, they hear them say “famous college” instead of “good college.”

Because there’s very little data that shows that colleges with big football programs or lots of Nobel prize winners are actually good at doing what a college should do for an undergraduate.

If you want to spend the time and the money and the debt to go to a famous college, that’s your choice.

But don’t be confused into believing that a famous one is a good one.

And in this back-to-school moment, it’s smart to not only consider a gap year filled with intention as a way to engage with the world, but to think about what we’re actually buying when we buy a degree from a famous college.

Education and learning continue to diverge. In-person, real-time learning is too expensive, too scarce and rarely as effective as it could be, and we’re discovering that a commitment to life-long learning is more important than a four-year sabbatical that costs too much and delivers too little. And good colleges are in a position to do something about this, while the ones that are merely famous will fight hard to maintain their status quo.

Scarcity isn’t always needed to create value.

The pandemic has created a significant shift in perception, and the repercussions are going to be felt by colleges for years to come–many of them are going to be refactored, restructured or disappear.


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