Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dartmouth a Good Investment, Says WSJ

The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog has ranked the top institutions in terms of return on one's investment. We landed in the number five slot, two slots behind Harvard but ahead of the rest of the Ivies. All in all, not a bad showing.

It's interesting that the research was conducted by Payscale, a company that placed us #1 on starting and mid-career median salary not too far back. It should be noted that both rankings are based on self-reporters (albeit it quite a few of them) rather than scientific samples.

10 comments:

DartBored said...

Money makes the world go round.

John said...

Isn't this a potentially circular situation? Daniel Golden's The Price of Admission focuses on Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, but I doubt if Dartmouth differs in any essential respect: he estimates that possibly half of the seats in a given entering class are in effect reserved for the children of alumni major donors (or of major donors otherwise unaffiliated). If you can get your kid into HYP or Dartmouth, you can get your kid into Goldman Sachs or equivalent. (Hank Paulson '68, a major Christian Scientist, got his daughter a cushy job at -- where else? the Christian Science Monitor. His son just works at major league baseball, I believe; I'm sure family connections had absolutely nothing to do with it.)

Meanwhile, IvyGate had a post at http://www.ivygateblog.com/2010/06/our-sad-future-unemployed-singleand-blogging-about-it/ on how, if you just flew coach at an Ivy, you're just as likely to be unemployed. Actually, not an unusual theme for them.

Lance Dior said...

How do you define "major donor"? Do you really think there are 500 "major donors" every year who send a kid who couldn't get in on his own?

Maybe you consider $250 a "major" donation.

I don't see how Paulson's kids' jobs, which are not on Wall Street, say anything about parents buying seats in the Ivy League or on Wall Street.

Do you come up with your own anecdotal evidence, or did you read about Paulson's religion in Golden's book? I have not read the book. Is Golden paying you a cut to plug it?

John said...

Wow, Lance, you seem pretty touchy! To answer your last question first, Google is your friend. I note in a more recent post here, President Kim will address the sophomores on habits of mind that lead to success -- have you considered the habit of mind that says "rather than ask someone else, look it up yourself"?

On the bigger question of whether major donor kids are sufficiently numerous to fill half a freshman class, I cited a respectable source, but you turn around and accuse me of getting a cut from the respectable source! Exactly who gives what and whose kids get in is, at least at HYP, highly confidential information, and I cited Golden's estimate. However, I must confess that among my own classmates, I was puzzled that so many had names like Parkurst, Hinman, MacLean, and such . . . "gee," I thought, "isn't that an odd coincidence that their names are, uh, the same as the ones on those buildings. . . ?"

We'll likely never know the real numbers, but I'm suggesting they're more than you'd think, and that's all I meant to do. Where's the problem?

Anonymous said...

About 15% of students are legacies, and about 15% are first generation college students.

John said...

I don't know if the 15% legacies is an official College statistic, but I think there's reason to be skeptical if it is -- the College also says that about 25% of the student body are members of "senior" (i.e., "secret" societies) -- which means the College is saying in effect that every senior is a member. This is manifestly untrue, even if the College had access to the membership lists, which it probably doesn't. This actually goes to the reality that at an Ivy, you can fly first class (as a legacy, as a well-heeled preppie, as a senior/secret society member, for instance) or coach, with those in coach often unaware of how things are for those in first class, and the College more or less conspiring to keep things that way.

Anonymous said...

Google's obviously not your friend, is it?

"Approximately 25% of the senior class members are affiliated with a senior society," says Dartmouth. Link here. Your stats are the ones that are manifestly untrue, and you haven't addressed the 25% legacy figure or what it does to your airline metaphor.

To repeat the questions posed above, how do you define "major donor" to get 500 "major donors" each year, and what do the jobs of Hank Paulson's children have to do with the theory that some people buy their way into the Ivy League, or Wall Street? You must have inserted the link by mistake - it only led to an article on Christian Scientists.

John said...

I was going by something on the College website several years ago, which may have been a typo or may not, but which has probably been changed. However, I think my basic point stands: if the memberships are largely secret, then how can the College know that 25% give or take are members? Does it have a rep counting canes at Commencement?

But let's think a little farther. Tuition and fees are now north of $50K a year, so somewhere around half of all students are on financial aid, since a quarter mill or whatever for college is well beyond families at the lower and more populous end of the middle class.

So who are among the ones paying full fare? The whole game reminds me of what Luigi Barzini said about the fares on Italian railroads: only grandees and foreigners pay full fare. Same goes for college tuition, not just at Dartmouth, but anywhere. So you're challenging me to assert that 500 members, or about half, of a class can be major donors, and I will say that they're likely to be foreigners or grandees, which would probably make them eligible for the major donor category. The numbers don't add up otherwise.

Same goes for secret societies. If you've gotta be a rich kid to get into the more prestigious Greek houses (I think this is understood), then how much more connected to you have to be to get into C&G? If 25% of a senior class is, in effect, eligible to hobnob with the fraternal descendents of Nelson Rockefeller, then what does this say about the makeup of a typical Dartmouth class?

Lance Dior said...

"if the memberships are largely secret, then how can the College know that 25% give or take are members?" All recognized social organizations, including Greeks and secret societies, submit their memberships to the college as a condition of recognition.

"who are among the ones paying full fare?" The wealthiest ones, presumably. Why so curious about other people's incomes?

"500 members, or about half, of a class can be major donors, and I will say that they're likely to be foreigners or grandees, which would probably make them eligible for the major donor category. The numbers don't add up otherwise."

This isn't even worthy of being called circular logic. What "numbers" are you talking about? The arbitrary number of 500 major donors that you picked out above? And are you seriously trying to say that "major donor" (someone who gives a lot of money to Dartmouth) is the same as being "eligible for the major donor category"? Are you kidding me?

"If 25% of a senior class is, in effect, eligible to hobnob with the fraternal descendents of Nelson Rockefeller, then what does this say about the makeup of a typical Dartmouth class?"

It says nothing. A quarter of the seniors would be in secret societies even if all students got financial aid. And you got the proportions wrong: one hundred percent of a senior class is eligible, but according to the college only 25% of them are selected. According to Golden, half of those selected are Christian Scientists --- right? Or do you no longer care about Hank Paulson's religion and the jobs of his kids?

Sheesh. The next time you want to make systematic generalizations about the family wealth of four thousand people at a stretch, start with some of the real, public numbers.

dfadf said...

Y te vi bailar bajo la lluvia
y saltar sobre un charco de estrellas
Obama Is Lying<1>
When was the last time the MSM took a Republican's side in a fight over credibility with a Democratic opponent?Microsoft OfficeOffice 2010Well, it has been a while.Microsoft Office 2010However, conservatives have little to grumble about in the recent Office 2007face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain over McCain's statement thatte vi bailar bajo la lluvia
esperando la luna llena
Volverás a reírte de veras
Microsoft Office 2007troops might have to remain for "100 years" in Iraq "as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed" afterOffice 2010 keyfighting had concluded, Office 2010 downloadMost recently, ABC's Jake Tapper noted that at least on three occasions Obama had personally said that McCain favored cuando creas que estaba perdidovolverás a reírte de veras
continued fighting in Office 2010 ProfessionalIraq for 100 years. Tapper concluded that "Obama has in the past distorted McCain's comments" and "that he is violating his own stated si te quedas conmigoTe vi bailar bajo la lluviaesperando la luna llente vi llorar bajo la lunMicrosoft outlookaspirations...[b]ecause not only has he distorted what McCain said, he is not being honest about having made those distortions."Outlook 2010Tapper is not the only MSM reporter to point this out, Windows 7of course. It is not every day that the RNC sends around e-mail blasts quoting Frank Microsoft outlook 2010Rich ("Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain") and reports from the Chicago Tribune,