What Ivy League students are reading that you aren’t

March 16, 2016

 

A story in the Washington Post touches on a question that many students and parents are asking. Or should be asking. What is the point of an Ivy League school?

 

The focus of the article is a comparison of books read at Ivy League colleges to books read at other colleges. The reporter used Open Syllabus Explorer to find which books were most frequently assigned by professors. Many titles showed up on both Ivy League and other colleges. Insofar as there was a difference, it was this: "the Ivy League list is heavily skewed toward political philosophy and thought."

 

Does that skew matter? Is it representative of a deeper difference? Is that difference worth the hefty price tag?

 

The piece does not pretend to have the answers. Nor do I. I do, however, believe that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the college puzzle. And I am quite certain that students who focus on their future courses, professors, and peer group are more likely to find a better fit than those who are just looking at the label. 

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