least pretentious ivy

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Hi Everyone!

I'm a recruited athlete considering offers of admission from all of the Ivies. However, there seems to be a general consensus that there is an air of elitism at these top institutions. This may be an unfair stereotype, but as someone from a working-class background it is troubling, nonetheless. In your opinion, which of the Ivies has the most diverse and laid-back student body (without sacrificing an extensive alumni network in S&T)? I appreciate your input.

Comments (54)

Sep 13, 2007

Laid-back: Dartmouth and Brown with the former having a stronger Wall Street Network

Sep 13, 2007

honestly.

Sep 13, 2007

I can't speak for cornell or brown, but Dartmouth is definitely not elitist, and much less uppity that H,Y,P, Penn, and Columbia. If you are worried about elitism, I would definitely say go with dartmouth.

Sep 13, 2007

Heh, Princeton my ass - the Southern money goes to Princeton, the New England money goes to Harvard. If you're a recruited athlete I'd suggest figuring out which one has the best team in your sport(s), or, alternately, with which team you fit in the best. Take it from someone who rowed varsity crew, if you're spending every day practicing you better damn well be able to make friends with 'em.

The idea that you should be choosing schools based on which is "least uppity" is ridiculous - that's presuming that there's no way for you to differentiate yourself from some image and forge your own personality.

Sep 13, 2007

What sport do you play? I am a varsity athlete at harvard and my teammates aren't pretentious. And the rest of the student body is so diverse that you should be able to find whatever crowd that you want to hang with. Of course there are some pretentious people but you really don't have to be bothered with them. You should go to the school with the best team or the team you feel most comfortable with.

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Sep 14, 2007

Alright, back again after some technical difficulties!

Dj:

What sport do you play? I am a varsity athlete at harvard and my teammates aren't pretentious. And the rest of the student body is so diverse that you should be able to find whatever crowd that you want to hang with. Of course there are some pretentious people but you really don't have to be bothered with them. You should go to the school with the best team or the team you feel most comfortable with.

I'm being recruited for varsity men's swimming. The two top swimming programs seem to be Harvard and Princeton, which are coincidentally the two top ranked Ivies. They are also the ones that seem to be getting the most votes for the "tight-ass" award. Oh well, I'm sure there are plenty of poor minorities I can slum it with while I'm there.

But moving on, Princeton has got the whole finance certificate thing over Harvard and is closer to NYC. Concerns over pretension and comfort aside, which of the two would you guys pick: Harvard or Princeton for S&T? Actually, lets throw in Cornell AEM for good measure.

Sep 14, 2007

I think Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia are slightly more pretentious than the other 5, but honestly there's all types of people at all the ivies.

Sep 14, 2007

Princeton is probably the worst.

Least pretentious in order:

Dartmouth
Brown
Cornell
Columbia
Yale/Penn (tied)
Harvard
Princeton

Sep 14, 2007

Just go to Harvard. Seriously.
Don't worry about abstract crap like "eliteness" of the student body.

Sep 14, 2007

Cornell AEM is good too and has terrific recruiting (Im in Math in A&S but have taken several upper finance courses there). But if I were you I would still pick Harvard for bragging rights if nothing else.

With these schools it doesn't matter which you choose.

Sep 18, 2007
deadjackal:

Cornell AEM is good too and has terrific recruiting (Im in Math in A&S but have taken several upper finance courses there). But if I were you I would still pick Harvard for bragging rights if nothing else.

With these schools it doesn't matter which you choose.

yes, but he's asking about how pretentious these schools are. I go to cornell, and I'm surprised how oblivious you are to how pretentious our bourgeois, middle-class, JAPpy student body really is.

Sep 14, 2007

princeton is amazing for s&t because they offer so many quantitative programs, in addition to the traditional econ major.

math program - best in country
engineering - best in ivy league
ORFE - one of a kind, the single most recruited major on the street

Sep 26, 2007
dvd56x:

princeton is amazing for s&t because they offer so many quantitative programs, in addition to the traditional econ major.

math program - best in country
engineering - best in ivy league
ORFE - one of a kind, the single most recruited major on the street

Princeton math is not the best in country there is a school in Boston that would beg to differ.

Why is everyone stuck on Dartmouth, it is an ivy safety.

Swimming is not a sport.

No ivey has good looking schools and at least Boston is full of bitches. I went to MIT and just like H, Y, P, Columbia, etc all there are are usgly non-americans, especially asains.

Dec 27, 2007

After perpetual sign-in problems over the past few months, my account seems to have sorted itself out. I'll take this opportunity to thank you all (minus tbroker) for your valuable insight. So, here it is: Thank you all very much.

I had the opportunity to visit Harvard and dispell some of the more popular myths about the staff and students. Long story short, I accepted their offer of admisson for this coming fall.

This leads me to my next question: How do Harvard students fare when it comes to recruiting (SA or FT) for Toronto banks/boutiques? I know some of you may think that Bay Street is small potatoes but hey, it's my hometown, there's a very low relative cost of living (compared to NYC, London, etc.), and you can't beat free healthcare :) Any insight (especially from you Canadian monkeys) would be greatly appreciated.

tbroker:

Swimming is not a sport.

I don't mean to accuse you of being ill-informed tbroker, but if you will put your barefaced ignorance aside and turn your attention to the 5th entry in the second column you will find that swimming is indeed a sport:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports#Water_...

Sep 14, 2007

Dartmouth has the best alumni network and with its small student body, it's definitley best for recruiting. A sweet alum who's a md will be much better for you than whatever certificate or major

Sep 16, 2007

you really cant go wrong either way, if you work hard and have a good gpa you will be able to get jobs in s&t from any of the ivies

as princeton and harvard have the best two swimming programs and are the best two schools in the nation, these two are no brainers

decide on where you felt the best fit and think you'd enjoy your college years the most.

Sep 17, 2007

WHEN THEY COULD GO TO ANY OTHER IVY IS AN IDIOT.

May 10, 2010
Will1220:

WHEN THEY COULD GO TO ANY OTHER IVY IS AN IDIOT.

If I were studying engineering, Cornell would win hands down. They've got one of the five best engineering programs in the country and the second-best engineering program in the Northeast (Sorry CMU, you're too far west.) That said, if you're studying engineering, you won't have much time for swimming.

Sep 18, 2007

I'd choose Cornell AEM over Brown any day.

Sep 19, 2007

i know a bunch of kids from cornell, they seem pretty chill...easiest ivy to get into, but they work the hardest or so they claim. Got some princeton friends too....much more into themselves.

Sep 19, 2007

where did you go to school jimbo?

Sep 21, 2007

if the choice is between harvard and princeton, then i'd choose harvard, hands down. ever heard of eating clubs? vast majority of parties at princeton are hosted by eating clubs and you have to be a member or know someone in order to get in. when i was there visiting a friend of mine, we went to a wine cocktail party where everyone dressed up in expensive suits and dresses...on a friday night. i don't know, the general feel of the school seems very pretentious and upper-class, even my friend who goes there says so.

also, whoever says Princeton has the best math program in the country doesn't know their shit. sure, it's great, but u'd have a hard time proving it's better than harvard. and in terms of recruiting, harvard wins hands down. i was on a credit suisse program this summer and there was twice as many harvard interns as princeton interns...u do the math. i'm not sure if you're interested in consulting, but if you are, the biggest consulting firms all recruit heavily at harvard. BCG and Bains take most of their incoming associates from Harvard. Princeton wasn't even mentioned in the top 5 schools they recruit from.

anywyas, congrats on the awesome acceptances and good luck w/ ur studies.

Sep 25, 2007

Thanks Everyone,

I appreciate your insight and assistance. I've narrowed it down to Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton. Can anyone who attends these schools share their view of the place (pros & cons, campus life, general atmosphere, workload, grading, etc). I'm not looking for something out of BusinessWeek (I'm well aware of where each school ranks) --just your honest opinion of these schools, no matter how brief it may be. I would hate to accept an offer only to find that I want to put a bullet in my brain by the time Thanksgiving rolls around :)

Sep 25, 2007
BigCat:

Thanks Everyone,

I appreciate your insight and assistance. I've narrowed it down to Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton. Can anyone who attends these schools share their view of the place (pros & cons, campus life, general atmosphere, workload, grading, etc).

like i said above, I go to Cornell. there is a social scene, and it's not super impressive, but it could be much worse. campus life is pretty active - ridiculous number of clubs and extracurriculars and so on. workload really depends on your major, but AEM is supposed to be a joke in terms of difficulty and grading. econ is a bit harder i'm sure.

the weather SUCKS big time. dont tell yourself you can handle it if you're really not sure, because it will wear you down.

overall, though, its a solid school to start at (tons of alumni to network with, tons of firms recruiting on campus) and there's really something for everyone here (whether you're an athlete, or a preppy kid, hippy, nerd, etc). shoot me a message if you have more questions.

Sep 25, 2007

Be a real man and attend Yale. Everybody knows Yallies run the nation. Anyway, that doesn't answer your question, so here's my view:
1. Columbia
+: NYC, solid rep
-: not really known for anything special, ugly girls

  1. Cornell
    +: solid rep, strong in math and sciences, can pretty much find any course
    -: location; reputation for grade deflation; guys there are generally better looking than girls, hence the slim pickens
  2. Harvard
    +: everything
    -: lack of finance course work, zero hotties
  3. Princeton
    +: everything
    -: cant think of any

Pick Princeton

Sep 25, 2007

note: just because Princeton has the eating clubs and (supposedly) the popped collars, etc doesn't mean that they are necessarily more pretentious. boarding school kids from rich/powerful families can be perfectly normal and nice. you should visit the actual campus.

Sep 26, 2007

Take it from someone who has been through this and worked in the biz for a few years.

Go to Harvard. The cache will last the rest of your life, there are something like 60 other schools in boston if you get tired of the social scene at H. You won't go wrong there.

Jimbo

Sep 26, 2007

you went to holy cross, so i'm not really sure how your 'insight' is relevant.

Sep 26, 2007

you went to holy cross, so i'm not really sure how your 'insight' is relevant.

Why do you keep toting around this 'persona' when everyone on the board knows you're just a pathological liar? (see IB forum- Dartmouth Undergrad)

But your dream is to go to MIT/Harvard for a phd right? So maybe you do know ALL about the programs from your extensive research...

Sep 26, 2007

"all there are are usgly non-americans, especially asains."

Yes, the admissions standards are already much higher for asians but it looks like they need to be increased further because there are too many of these ugly foreigners on campus. After all MIT and the ivy league are social parlors for white male discussion, not institutions of academic research open to the most capable.

fuck you.

Oct 2, 2007

i went to wharton/penn, so i am biased, but look at any banks analyst class, s&t or corp fin, and penn will always have the most people. it also happens to be one of the most social and diverse schools. all of the 'elite' and highly ranked school will have plenty of rich people, but penn is big enough and diverse enough to get around that. i was just a middle class kid from texas and i loved it.

Oct 3, 2007

wharton is great, don't get me wrong...but i still like Harvard better. If you decide this whole finance thing isn't for you, you're better served going to the big H.

Dec 29, 2007

I go to Harvard. Is is definitely the most pretentious with the most money - I know several billionaires. It is also the best for getting into anything.

Dec 31, 2007

A lot of blab has been posted here...

I too, was recruited for men's swimming to an Ivy.

Here is how I recommend you go about choosing a school:

If you indeed have offers from all of these schools, I'm fairly certain you attended recruiting trips to each one of these schools. On these trips, you should have got some sense of the team, the coach, the practices, and the culture of the team and the school overall. I would base your decision off these trips. The fact is, when you're on a varsity sport that practices nearly (school)year round, you're going to spend most of your time hanging out with the team (practicing, partying, maybe living, classes, etc.)

If you can't stand your teammates, you're not going to have a fun time at school. If you love your teammates, you'll quickly find a niche within the school, regardless of which one you choose. IMO, all of the Ivies are fairly diverse and all of them have some degree of pretentiousness when compared to other schools in the nation (whether or not people are open about it). All of them will be target schools for recruiting, some more heavily than others (Penn/Wharton comes to mind).

EDIT: moot post, just saw you've already chose Harvard. Good luck. They're tops for swimming and academics/recruiting.

Dec 31, 2007

From my experience, when your looking at elitism in colleges, as an athlete you will be spared somewhat because you'll exist in an environment where you're pretty much surrounded by other athletes(who are not necessarily from blue-blood backgrounds; because of scholarships). The elitism will stem more from athletic ability.

That being said I have a fairly decent cluster of friends who went to Brown and their families are pretty much all working class people, and they are minorities. And they loved it at Brown.

You may also want to see how big of a role sports plays at each respective school. Some schools revolve around their sports teams(ie. Duke, VaTech, Michigan) while others couldnt care less(NYU, Columbia).

Unless you're looking at becoming a professional athlete, I would try to maximize the benefit of your athletic ability and hard work up to now, by going to the best school you can possibly go to.

May 8, 2010

I have a difficult time seeing Harvard as too uppity, I think it must have something to do with all of the Indians, Asians and awful-looking girls. This is beside the point, but the stuffiest place I've ever set foot has to be Yale Law. The faculty were nearly comical and I had a hard time keeping a straight face.

May 8, 2010

wow, seems like the only thing more unfortunate than being poor is being poor and asian

May 9, 2010

I went to Cornell.

Had a great time. Ithica sucks though, but I was able to play in sports leagues throughout school

May 9, 2010

Cornell was fun, but the weather is depressing as hell. Leaves fall in September and don't come back until after Spring semester ends.

May 10, 2010
Crease:

Cornell was fun, but the weather is depressing as hell. Leaves fall in September and don't come back until after Spring semester ends.

But I hear there's great cliff-diving!

May 9, 2010

Just go to Harvard, and don't dick up your GPA....done

May 10, 2010

If you went to Princeton, you could probably hang out with J-Woww, Pauly D, and The Situation.

Sep 5, 2010

Princeton is probably the stuffiest ivy. Very preppy, upper-crust social scene. They also have the most attractive girls amongst the ivies.

Brown is the most laid-back; it attracts a lot of artsy liberal types.

Sep 7, 2010

You can easily go to a non-ivy target and not deal with the elitists that are all over each of the campuses. Fact is, you will find it on any ivy campus. If you're that worried about it, check out Georgetown, Notre Dame, UMich,

Sep 7, 2010
yanks88:

You can easily go to a non-ivy target and not deal with the elitists that are all over each of the campuses. Fact is, you will find it on any ivy campus. If you're that worried about it, check out Georgetown, Notre Dame, UMich,

Pretentiousness is not limited to ivies. As a matter of fact, georgetown and notre dame produce some of the most pretentious people i have ever met. Michigan is good though, a few of my best friends went there. And most michigan alums i've met have been cool.

Sep 7, 2010

Notre Dame produces some of the most obnoxious football fans, but the NDers who head east tend to be pretty down to earth- certainly relatve to your typical New Yorker and probably even by Midwestern standards.

My experience is that most of the alumni I've met are easy to get along with and make great friends when they're not talking about football (usually when your alma mater is beating them- then you have to be nice and just stay quiet about it). I'm sure this will provoke responses from the ND football fan crowd about the last time you guys beat Illinois. :D

Sep 7, 2010

Every "good" school produces pretentious people. Im just saying that the odds are a lot better if going to ND or UMich, or G'town. I personally would go there over the Ivies. A lot better balance, and still a target.

Sep 7, 2010
yanks88:

Every "good" school produces pretentious people. Im just saying that the odds are a lot better if going to ND or UMich, or G'town. I personally would go there over the Ivies. A lot better balance, and still a target.

depends on which ivy. turning down cornell or brown for michigan ross is completely understandable, but turning down HYP for one of those schools is pretty stupid.

Sep 7, 2010

I dunno. My experience was very different than jjc's.

Michigan is an amazing business school, and for someone who's lucky enough to be able to pay in-state tuition for it, I don't think there's a good reason to pick HYP over it unless your family is filthy rich or you're getting a lot of financial aid/scholarships. Same story with Berkeley, UT, and maybe UVA (throw in Illinois if you're really gung-ho about accounting.) .

They're all great schools and HYP might be better, but going to HYP is a heavily leveraged bet on your future. If things don't work out- and I've met a lot of people who things didn't work out for, you're $100K in debt with no means of paying it back. Debt that you can't even BK on if you wind up in financial trouble. And if you can get into Princeton, you've got what it takes to get into banking or trading from Michigan with six figures less debt. The sensible, conservative choice for a middle-class kid is to take advantage of all those taxes your parents have been paying for the past 18 years and go to a (strong) state school if you don't qualify for grants and don't have millions of dollars in the bank.

Sep 7, 2010
IlliniProgrammer:

I dunno. My experience was very different than jjc's.

Michigan is an amazing business school, and for someone who's lucky enough to be able to pay in-state tuition for it, I don't think there's a good reason to pick HYP over it unless your family is filthy rich or you're getting a lot of financial aid/scholarships. Same story with Berkeley, UT, and maybe UVA (throw in Illinois if you're really gung-ho about accounting.) .

They're all great schools and HYP might be better, but going to HYP is a heavily leveraged bet on your future. If things don't work out- and I've met a lot of people who things didn't work out for, you're $100K in debt with no means of paying it back. Debt that you can't even BK on if you wind up in financial trouble. And if you can get into Princeton, you've got what it takes to get into banking or trading from Michigan with six figures less debt. The sensible, conservative choice for a middle-class kid is to take advantage of all those taxes your parents have been paying for the past 18 years and go to a (strong) state school if you don't qualify for grants and don't have millions of dollars in the bank.

I'm not going to debate this point again, but in my opinion, HYPS and MIT (for engineering) are in a different league. For me personally, the benefits of going to HYP would have easily outweighed the financial costs. But that's a personal judgment call. It just comes down to what you prefer and what you're looking to get out of your college experience.

Nov 16, 2010

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Nov 12, 2010
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Nov 12, 2010