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Does the tier rating of colleges really matter?
I see that MIT which is certainly a better school overall than the top 3 schools, rated in the US Consumer Reports, (though it specializes in science and mathematics) is rated lower than Harvard. Harvard is an excellent school, but it is not the best school in the US either. I notice many tier 2, 3, and even 4 schools producing more well rounded and competent students than many tier 1 as well. Higher education is important and expensive no matter where you go, however, most college programs are strangely quite similar for some expensive tier 1 schools to be boasting such higher level of rigor in their academics.

I do understand that in upper tier Universities, there are some cheap ones (Colombia College comes to mind as an example; where I am doing some non-matriculated coursework) and that you may acquire more contacts for a career at Harvard (I did some Harvard Extension coursework as well) than at say a Walden University, (where I currently attend also, but as a matriculated student) but I really do not see an advantage in academic rigor or better teaching/knowledge from professors.

WU has an excellent library, blogs, magazine, and job placement system as well, so I really do not see any shame in being tier 4.

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Asked by Academic Sunday Sep 6th 2009 in Standards & Testing
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While many people take into consideration the tier level or the name of a school in their decision of its quality, that does not mean as a student in one of these "higher rated" schools that you will receive a better education.

I think that most people would say that college is what you make it. Just because you go to a state college or lower tier college, does not mean you won't receive a stellar education.

So, while the tier rating/name can matter to some people, don't let it dictate your choice.

Better than going to a top tier school is finding a school/program that will offer you the specific education opportunities that you need for accomplishing your future professional and personal goals.

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