This thread is in response of some of the â€œis Harvard easyâ€ posts yesterday. I find it so ridiculous that ivy kids always claim that they are so superior to top public school kids. The justification of grade inflation via the argument that if ivy kids went to top publics they would get all Aâ€™s is asinine. I think itâ€™s even far fetched to claim that just because you go to an ivy you would even be in the top 20% at a top public school. Yes, ivy kids are smart and Iâ€™m not attacking their intellectual aptitude. My point is simple; going to an ivy does not translate to success at a top state school.
I have several reasons for support my argument. First and foremost, the institutions run entirely separate academic systems. At ivy schools, and other small private schools for that matter, students are coddled by their professors, teaching assistants and academic advisors. Classes are small and it is defiantly not a sink-or-swim environment. In contrast, top public schools have very large classes and there is very minimal student support. On average my econ classes were in 100+ person auditoriums with class numbers never dipped below the 80-100 person mark. Also, I definitely did not have an academic advisor. It is much easier to be academically successful when one is in significantly smaller classes. Iâ€™m sure there are a great number of kids in the ivy system that would falter in said institutions due to either lack of motivation, the need to be taught in a small environment, additional distractions that are prevalent at state schools and overall increased competition. This is not to say that they are unintelligent but rather in a large public school itâ€™s easy to slip through the cracks. I have plenty of friends that chose to go to UCLA/Berkeley over ivy schools because of either financial reasons or just because they preferred Los Angeles/San Francisco to the east coast. As a whole they do not dominate, itâ€™s a mix, some do well and others do alright. I feel this microcosm would be applicable to the general ivy population. I believe that their situations do not imply that they would not have done well at ivies but rather adds support to my argument that the two systems are completely different and success/failure in one environment does not translate to corresponding results in another.
Additionally, the grading systems at top publics and ivies are very different. My econ classes had a B- curve with about 15% of the students getting As whereas at Harvard 50% of the students receive As. The majority of kids that go to the top publics are intelligent, were very successful in high school and are competing for top jobs and grad school programs. The competition is fierce and there are a finite number of As. It is a poor assumption that ivy kids would dominate under these parameters.
I can continue to write but this is long enough and my point has been made. Yes, ivy kids are intelligent. However, do not assume you are superior, more deserving or would be more successful than top public kids. I for one believe I would have actually been more academically successful at an ivy intuition.