The A-List college obsession

The Operation Varsity Blues scandal showed what some parents were willing to do to get their children into marquee-name colleges (“Panic Mode,” Time, Apr. 12).  But their actions were so unnecessary.

The truth is that what students major in is far more important in landing a well-paying and satisfying job than where they spend four years hitting the books.  I submit that majoring in computer science at, say, the University of Mississippi is more productive in that sense than majoring in gender studies from Harvard University. My views on this were published by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal on Apr. 9th (“Regional Colleges Can Compete by Emphasizing Choosing the Right Major”).

So what the desperation comes down to is really about buying a brand.  That may satisfy some students and parents in the short run, but in the long run it won’t matter much.

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