Attention high school graduates that were rejected by their first-choice college

A new Gallup survey of 30,000 college graduates of all ages in all 50 states has found that graduation from an elite college provides no discernible advantage over Podunk U.

“It matters very little where you go; it’s how you do it” that counts, said Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education.

Gallup’s data demonstrate that people that feel the happiest and most engaged are the most productive.  Those successful people got to that point by developing meaningful connections with professors or mentors, and made significant investments in long-term academic projects and extracurricular activities.

This new study’s results are well aligned with the existing body of academic research.  For example, economist Stacy Dale published  an insightful paper in 2004 that found that students who were accepted to elite schools, but attended less selective schools, went on to earn just as much money as their elite counterparts.

“Individual traits matter more than where you went,” Ms. Dale said. “It’s a lot more important what you learn later in life than where you got your undergraduate degree.”

Source: WSJ