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College: Nature vs. Nurture

A recent study by economists, Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger, showed that college graduates from Ivy League colleges and college graduates who were denied admissions to an Ivy League college have the same earning potential.

Even applying to a school, even if you get rejected, says a lot about you. 

–Dale Krueger, NY Times, 2/21/2011

Ms. Dale and Mr. Krueger tip conventional thinking upside down–that the more reputable the college, the greater the career and lifetime earning opportunities.  Students and parents choosing colleges based on reputation would be wise to think through the value of that reputation.

How much does the college shape the individual and how much does the individual already have potential and uses the college to vault themselves forward?