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The Price of your Future

Seniors have decided that they would rather attend more affordable schools than the prestigious Ivy Leagues

“What schools are you thinking of applying to?” is the question that every high school senior in the country seems to be asked weekly as the deadline slowly approaches. Hundreds of seniors are biting the bullet and crunching the clock to attempt a launch past Cuesta automatic acceptance next fall. And the question isn’t easy: they are tasked with finding schools that are the right fit for them that are also affordable, and this can be a difficult balance for many teens. Plus there’s the question of which colleges will accept them. 

It’s a time filled with unknowns, the mystery of the future, and the classic American coming of age season of departing high school.

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I think they have the status for a reason because I think they do have the best [professors] and best schooling.

— Rickerd

The prestige and honor of the eight Ivy League schools can draw unassuming students in before they know their full price tag. Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University are the Ivy Leagues and arguably the best schools in the country with their average acceptance rate of 5%, rankings in the US NEWS top 20, and their average yearly cost of $80,000. But what makes them so special? Is the title of being an Ivy League school all they have, or can they back up their prestige?A survey of the senior class revealed they have clear opinions about the topic.

Senior Dakota Rickerd believes their prestige allows them to be the best universities in the country. Rickerd is planning on applying to ten schools around the country, and two of them being Harvard and either Princeton or Yale.

His main goal is to show that GPA is not the only thing colleges consider when looking at applicants, and that extracurriculars really do matter. 

Many other students at Paso, however, don’t agree with Rickerd. The majority believe that Ivy Leagues are not worth the money for what they offer with 80% of students surveyed opting not to apply to them, that they require an unbalanced amount of work for chances that someone will get in, that they can attend schools just as good for half the price. 

Senior Campbell Sinton is applying to approximately 10 schools, with her top choice being UC Davis because of their top-notch medical program. The Ivy’s were not important to Sinton

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I think it’d be cool to say I went to an [Ivy], but I’m sure there’s other schools that have programs that are just as good.

— Sinton

Paso High college and career counselor Jessica Shatwell believes that the decision is different for every student and their family. There are a number of factors that each family needs to consider, like the fact that they are all the way across the country, and decide if it is worth it for them.

“There are great schools for everyone, and they don’t need to be Ivy League schools to provide an excellent education,” Shatwell said.

Another concern many students have is the atmosphere at these schools. Ivy Leagues stereotypically have a exclusive “feelings” towards students who may not be as wealthy as others. Many of these schools have experienced scandals that involve wealthy legacy families trying to buy their child a spot in the school because the child was not able to get in on their own. 

Not only do I think it’s not worth it but I also feel like there’s too many students at those schools [that] have an elitist/classist attitude towards higher education,” Gandhi Anastacio-Olivo said

The general consensus of the Paso High population is that students would rather apply to and attend schools that are more affordable with just as good of programs as the eight Ivy Leagues. Most students report that Ivy Leagues have never drawn their attention away from other schools that offer just as much.

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Georgia Domenghini
Georgia Domenghini, Pop Culture Editor
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