Every college counts

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Princeton University

By Shane Ramsay

In six months’ time, many seniors will be heading off to college. However, the stereotyping of universities greatly influences the decisions of those applying for higher education.

Recently, one of our own seniors, Grant R., was accepted to Harvard University for the fall semester. Harvard is often considered one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation, with an acceptance rate of less than six percent.

Grant R. said, “[At Harvard] I would be surrounded by literally the smartest, most talented people in the world. The internships available and the connections you can make are unparalleled by any other institution.”

However, the “best” may not be what is best for you. The tuition for Harvard is almost $60,00 annually. This is a staggering amount and one that may not be suitable for most high school students.

Guidance secretary April Powell said that, of the 84% of seniors that went on to college last year, most went to state schools. “Nobody wants a ton of debt and loans on their shoulders when they leave school for good. A cheaper college does not necessarily mean a worse college.”

Although there are plenty of obvious advantages to going to a school like Harvard, there are some great reasons to go to a smaller, local school. Because Snow Hill is such a small town, it creates a very tight knit relationship among those who have lived here for generations. Many students do not want to go far in order to get higher education. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage, as there are some well respected universities in our area.

Sydney H. made a commitment to attending Salisbury University next fall. “I knew I did not want to go somewhere far for college, and Salisbury has a great teaching program, which is what I want to do.”

Even for a very gifted student, a smaller, local college is not necessarily a waste of talent. For example, that gifted student would become just another person in the crowd at an Ivy League-caliber school. However, at a smaller university, that student would shine and stand out among the crowd. Professors would be more likely to take notice, possibly providing internships, research opportunities, and potential jobs after graduation.

When it is all said and done, the only name that matters on your diploma is not the one of the institution you attended, but simply your own name.