Are you proud of your alma mater?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Cowboy Brian, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Cowboy Brian

    Cowboy Brian Augmented. Zone Supporter

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    As is the usual with my topics the title is quite self explanatory for the basis of the question.

    I ask this as based on my grades I have had a few alum's from a few schools call me in regards to committing to their schools over the past few days. I didn't really expect this and I haven't been able to truly formulate my opinion about it, I think it's wonderful to see involvement by alumni of a university who reached such heights in their careers but why are they so proud of their alma mater? What motivates someone to give back to a kid who's only similarity is attending the same university? Is it tradition, is it because someone helped them so they feel compelled to help someone so the tradition continues? Or is it truly out of goodwill?

    I'm choosing between a school with the distinction of "public ivy" and two of the most renowned universities in the world. Economically I am leaning towards that public ivy, infact i've paid the deposit - but based on the lack of alumni involvement I have begun to question this decision, is attending a brand name university actually worth $280,000+? Or was my earlier decision to attend a renowned state school right with my debt load a tenth of that at the more renowned, private, school.
  2. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    Proud of my alma mater?

    You mean United Electronics Institute, .. heck yea.

    UEI all day !!
  3. ninja

    ninja Numbnuts

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    $280K for college? If someone is even thinking about spending serious coin like that, it better be for med school.

    I am proud of my alma mater, University of Pittsburgh, when they win football games. Other than that, not so much. Don't really care. Sure, I hope the school does well, but it does not affect me in the slightest. I paid them and got my degree. That is where the relationship basically ended. Pretty much no connection anymore.
  4. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    You mean alum from your highschool are tying to get you to go to the same college they went to?

    I'd tell them to kick rocks, it's nothing more than the school trying to get your money.

    And I say that as someone who is proud of both my highschool and college.
  5. kapolani

    kapolani Well-Known Member

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    Repeat after me: "I do not want to start my life with $280k of debt."

    Unless you have parents that can afford that kind of money, don't do it.

    Unless you are guaranteed a job paying $100k right out of school, don't do it. Heck, even then, don't do it.

    In this economy it wouldn't be the best decision to start 280k in the hole.

    I got out of school with roughly 20k in debt. I picked a good career field. I now have a very comfortable life.

    I work with guys now, and they always lament the fact that they have so much student loans. It's a huge bubble that's getting ready to burst.

    Good luck!
  6. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    North Carolina (Chapel Hill) is pretty awesome :)

    I usually pretty proud of it.

    It's one of the original "Public Ivies (along with Virginia, Michigan, Cal-Berkley, and William & Mary)..and has been so every year for nearly 30 years.

    Great campus, great history, outstanding academics, great athletics, great a short drive to either the mountains or the beach.
    And it is affordable.

    Okay, I'll step down from my soap box.

    Anyway, al ot of what school you choose depends on what career you plan to pursue.
    If you want to be an Engineer and you can get in wherever you want, why not pay less than half and go to Ga Tech instead of the Ivy League Brown...and still be going to the better engineering program.

    If you are getting a "fluff" degree like art or history or social science, you best not be taking ut 250k in debt unless Law School is next in line....or unless you have a rich family.

    If you're going to B school or Law School, you may find that the connections you get at harvard or Yale is worth the cost. 10 years out fo school and very likely that debt will be a distant memory.

    In the end, usually you career path out of school depends ON YOU.
  7. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    I'm proud of my college (Coastal Carolina University). My high school could be shut down by the state department tomorrow and before I would want to laugh, I would ask 'what took you so long?'

    Alumni and college 'status' are usually overrated.

    For instance, I know University of Virginia has a big 'status' as far as academics. But, if I were going to hire two people and one went to Troy State and had better credentials, experience and references than the UVA grad...I'm hiring the Troy State grad and not thinking twice about it.

    Where college status tends to matter more is if you're an Ivy League or elite school like Stanford, Duke or Georgetown. And usually that is for certain specific fields like law.

    What I think matters more is the type of internship opportunities can the school provide you. And does the school provide these internship opportunities or do they just say they can provide them...but in reality you do all of the work?

    I would also look at how good the school is at helping get a graduate into a post-graduate school. For instance, my college didn't have a post-grad school at the time. If you wanted to go to post-grad, you had to go to U. of South Carolina which generally tries to shut out anybody that didn't go to USC out of their post-grad schools. To me, that was a problem when I was thinking about getting my Masters and realized that it was too much nonsense to go thru just to *hopefully* get accepted.

  8. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    That's actually a great and affordable career path.
  9. cowboyeric8

    cowboyeric8 Chicks dig crutches

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    Sure some schools and certainly some programs will look better on your resume. But the bottom line is the degree at the end of your time will be what matters most, not the college you got it from. And the name of the school may help in certain instances where the boss is from the same school, but even then if he is hiring you simply because you went to that school then he wouldn't be someone I would want to work for anyway.

    Save your money, go to an affordable school, because before you know it you will be struggling with the rest of us, and starting in debt is not the way to start your life.

    As for my university, which is Angelo State University. I'm proud I went there. It was a great experience and had great professors and programs. It was also cheap, but the school didn't reflect that, so cheap in only the money portion, great school overall.
  10. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    My undergrad was at East Carolina. My buddies from there are just as proud of going there as my North Carolina classmates. And they are all employed with good careers.

    But there is no doubt...none...that your average salary and average career earning are higher if you go to to a better school.
    Those are just statistical facts.

    The average graduate of Stanford will outearn the average grad from Santa Clara. Same with UT vs UNT. Those are just facts.

    But anything is possible on an indivdiual level.
  11. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy The Teen

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    Me and you both man. I haven't started college yet and I think the better option is to owe as less as possible for college. It kills me not to go the school I want to go to but the cost was insane.
  12. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    It has worked out great for me somehow.

    Got my foot in the door working on hardware. Expanded that into hardware and software support.

    Added some programming along the way.

    Then some sys admin work with SynerCom on Unix, and Linux.

    Have been the GIS Database Admin on our proprietary Smallworld database for 15 yrs at a large east coast utility company.

    They pay me way more than my 2 yr degree is worth. :D
  13. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Anyone today should strongly consider what they are going to get out of a college education. If you are going to spend a lot of money by yourself then I'd want to get a degree that will get me a career that is upwardly mobile and will help pay for my investment. A degree in history is a very worthwhile education but you aren't going to qualify out of the box for an engineer position.

    If you want to go to medical, vet, law, dental, pharmacy school then you just need to make pretty good grades (or great for vet school) and take the prerequisites. If you can get into pharmacy out of HS then great although I have no idea if you can still do that. If I had to do it all over again I would go engineering which can get you anywhere you want to go. You can still go to one of the schools I mentioned if your grades are good enough or you can go engineering, business, marketing, or management esp in engineering. You can also get a PhD in engineering.

    If you want to do academics I'd not set my sights less than a major university and a PhD. Just be sure you want that as it's hard to change that and until you get tenure you have to be aahhh...diplomatic.

    I'd also think about geology. If you can learn to find natural resources then you can make enough money to warrant the expense of the education. I'm sure there are other fields of endeavor which get you where you want to be.

    If you have the right mentality and such you may want to consider a military career. I don't know your situation but if you know someone and meet the criteria you can go to some place like Annapolis yada. If not the Citadel is a great place and I think you can get assistance to get thru. I think there are one or two more places like the Citadel with great service ties that don't require admission to a service school which can be difficult. I had an offer to play there long ago and was going until I saw a square meal which turned me off. That was a mistake I still regret. The above is not for everyone but if you do well the military will educate you further including law degrees, masters, and the like. It costs you time in the service but there are plenty of benefits with that mostly network esp if you go to a service school. Those are free rides financially but with substantial commitment to service time. If your eyes and health are good then you can be an aviator.

    There is nothing wrong with getting a trade. The demand for blue collar workers is great right now with plenty of jobs out there that pay good money. I've always wanted to be a machinist.
  14. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with you on Stanford. I don't have anybody that I've hired that went to Texas, so I don't know.

    I do know that I've hired people at UVA and others from schools like Kennesaw State as well as others from schools such as UGA, Georgia Tech, U. Central Florida, U. of South Florida, U. of Miami, Northeastern, Tennessee and Charleston Southern (there are a few more that I can't remember).

    Since I'm privy to their salaries I have never seen anything that has shown me a difference. The big reason is that it is much easier to get into college and graduate these days. So, the schools tend to mesh together as to what type of graduate they are producing. And I have a budget to adhere to and with today's economy, they are all applying for the same job.

    The only thing I will say is that I had some excellent success hiring and supervising Ga. Tech grads. The others have been hit and miss, so I generally favored the Ga. Tech grads because of my past experience. But in no way, shape or form did the school actually get them the job. They got the job because they had experience I was looking for and good, quality references.

  15. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    I drove down and caught the Pirates v Navy the year before last. I had a good time.
  16. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    It's all on an individual level.

    That's why I said "average".

    My undergrad was geology at a school (ECU) that had a decent geoscience program but was not known for it's academics. I got good grades and very luckily (way harder out of a lessor known shcool) got hired by a major energy company. Every few years they'd have a layoff and I would see peers from Princeton, UCLA, Texas, Vanderbilt, etc all get fired. But I was someohow still standing.

    I later left and went to grad school (and for a different degree) at a more prestigious school. The best at ECU was as good as the best at UNC...but the average student at UNC was way ahead of the average party hound at ECU.
    Same would be the case at Texas. You can't even get in there unless you're top 8%...and sually it require more than that. It does not mean there are some great students (and sometime better employees) at some remote smaller school, but it does mean on average there is no comparison.

    The ones you are seeing are the very best from those smaller schools. It's not the same. In fact, asometimes the top end of the smaller shcool is better because you they don't with that occassional entitlement bs. But they are by far the exception.

    Anyway, you can loook up average salaries from various schools and the contrast is stark...especially lifelong earnings.
    At a specific job in a specific company, that would not be the case.
  17. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Benched

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    That 280k price tag you see is not what the vast majority of students actually pay. You need to research that a bit more there kid. People see "cost of tuition" and freak -- failing to realize that the actual cost to you is generally substantially lower. Really there are only a small proportion of people who pay that full price tag -- generally they either are too rich to care or mediocre students who are so enthralled with the name of the school that they take out loans to pay full freight (schools call those folks "suckers")

    But also you need to recognize the costs of not attending -- if your big $$ campus routinely produces graduates that average 50k a year more in salary then even paying the full price would be an outstanding investment in the long haul
  18. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Benched

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    I'll add this -- I've attended and worked at both. The high priced privates provide a substantially better education on the whole. It may not matter to you that you get top notch education in every course -- particularly if say, you want a specific degree that your public is very good at. The real difference is that the privates are strong in every area whereas the publics are generally strong in some places and weaker in others. Student/faculty experience is far better at privates though - one million percent less bureaucracy

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the Educational System, both public and Higher Ed should be ashamed of themselves. It has all turned into a business IMO. I understand business and I have no problem with people wanting to make a buck but not at the expense of kids. That, to me, is what it comes down to. It's ridiculous to think that anybody can start life in the whole the way kids are being conned into thinking they must in today's society.

    I feel dirty at the thought of it.

    Off my soap box now.
  20. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I used to be but they merged with another school with a lower rep and ruined their rep in the process.

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