Originally Posted by MegMeg
Just want to add, there ARE ways to get a top-notch education at a larger public university. HK's DD, for example, is already hangin' with a research team. But me, as an undergrad? I was shy, grouchy, and unsure what I wanted to study. I would have drowned in anonymity at a large school.

I would have, too. But I managed to get a top-notch education at a small public directional college. Weird, I know-- but when you're that smart at a place like that, the faculty still know what you are, and they nurture it because they don't see it all that often. NO anonymity-- even if you might sometimes prefer that if you're on the underachiever track. blush Not that I'd know anything about that... {ahem}

Look the top notch graduate programs churn out top-notch PhD's at a regular clip-- and fair numbers of them wind up at small schools-- even public ones. No, they aren't FAMOUS... but some of them are still VERY bright, and engaging educators who are excellent mentors, focused on undergraduate education. It can be like a SLAC, if you're at the sweet spot there.

The other thing-- and I think this is why my education worked out the way that it did, honestly-- is something that HAS changed. It's that NOW, college administrators are so worried about "retention" that they have become increasingly willing to compromise academic integrity to get it. That is, loads more hand-holding and fluff assignments, etc. When I was a student, nada. If you didn't EARN a better grade, nobody was going to go out of their way to get you extra help... and you were going to flunk that class. {shrug} Nobody ever imagined the lengths to which modern college faculty are expected to go in making things EASY for students who are struggling.

So yeah-- I'll buy that the cohort argument may well be more applicable now than it was back in the day.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.