October 24th, 2007 by Bob Bly
Couples we know here in Bergen county NJ are absolutely frantic about getting their kids into a “good school,” i.e., an Ivy League college.
I’m not, because I’m convinced that where you graduate from college and the grades you get don’t play much of a role in determining your success in life.
“One tragic misconception is that you have to go to a prestigious, big-name academic institution to really get ahead,” writes Thomas Sowell in his New York Post column today.
He notes that the academic prestige of places like Harvard is based mostly on the research achievements, not the teaching skills, of the faculty.
Worse, unless you go on to postgraduate study, these big names may not be teaching you anything at all, since lower-levle courses are usually left to be taught by junior faculty members or even grad students.
So if the college you go to isn’t that important, what is the key to helping your child to be successful in life?
I am convinced it is largely one thing: encouraging your children to discover their true calling — the one thing that totally engages their interest and passion.
If you can do that, their natural curiosity, intelligence, and drive will take them the rest of the way.
Sowell concludes: “Getting into Prestige U. isn’t the life-or-death thing that some students or their parents think it is.”
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