Ivy League schools are the brass rings when it comes to college experiences. The amount of applicants the schools receive each year is staggering, but they keep their student populations fairly low. That’s part of what makes them so competitive. But is it worth all the hoopla? Will an Ivy League education put you so far ahead of the pack that it’s worth going nuts during high school to try and get in? Unfortunately, there’s no black and white answer to that. While Ivy Leagues do offer some distinct advantages, they certainly aren’t the only game in town when it comes to education, post-graduate opportunities or prestige.

Networking

Ivy League schools offer unique and amazing networking opportunities both before and after graduation. They often boast incredibly distinguished alumni, and gaining admittance to such an exclusive club could have an amazing effect on your future. That said, just because you attend a school in the Ivy League doesn’t mean you’ll automatically receive these benefits. You’ll have to chase down opportunities and force yourself to meet people. Once you’re in the door, the real work begins.

Phenomenal Education

It should go without saying that by attending an Ivy League college you’ll receive what is undoubtedly an amazing education. There’s a reason these schools are hard to get into — everyone wants the kind of college education they will afford you. In addition to lauded professors, they often attract stars in particular fields to serve as guest lecturers. The opportunities to learn at an Ivy League are many and varied.

There are Phenomenal Educations Elsewhere

That said, Ivy League colleges haven’t cornered the market on good educations. There are thousands of other schools that may not be as prestigious (Sarah Lawrence College, for example), but are still places where you will receive a top-notch education. There are even public schools like Penn State that are considered in the same class as Harvard, Yale and the other members of the Ivy League. While some people are so Ivy-minded that they refuse to believe anything compares, you shouldn’t think that. It simply isn’t true.

School is What You Make of It

Your degree will be of great assistance in getting your first job, but after that, your actual performance will matter much, much more than where you went to school. Regardless of how prestigious the school might be, what you actually do with your education will have a far more lasting impact on your work life. Have you noticed that successful people only matriculate from Ivy League Universities? Yeah, we had not noticed that, either. UAB offers a bachelors in accounting online that will carry you pretty far on its own. The point is, while an Ivy League school certainly isn’t a bad thing, it’s not the end of the world if you didn’t get in.