historylover820 May 14, 2022 Share May 14, 2022 TV Tropes has a trope about prestigious colleges and how easy it seems to get into those: Ivy League for Everyone. The description of the trope follows:Despite being considered among the most selective colleges in the United States, with admission rates from 6% to 16%, Ivy League schools show up frequently in fiction. In teen dramas, a main character (or two) will always get accepted into an Ivy League school. Expect this to become a key part of high school senior year stress, whether the character is trying to get into a certain Ivy League school, or deciding between an Ivy League college far away from home and a local college that keeps the show in the same setting. In a particularly extreme version of this trope, there will be an "Ivy League or nothing!" mentality implying that if a character doesn't get into an Ivy League school, then their only other option is going to community college and hopefully learning how to tell when their pimp is cutting their crack with baking soda. If they get in, don't expect the characters to actually discuss their coursework or major, the name is enough to convince the audience that it's prestigious and important and that's all that matters. In the case that we're past the high school setting, this information will commonly show up in a character's educational background. Usually this will be done as a shorthand to show that a character is either smart, ambitious, or filthy rich. The rule about not discussing coursework also holds at this stage, so expect characters to somehow get stellar grades even when they're never actually seen studying at any point. This has been popularized in part by Author Appeal—if a writer went to the Ivy Leagues, they might enjoy name-dropping the institution to show off how cool they are. Beyond that, it's just plain convenient - saying that a character came from or is going to a prestigious university is a quick way to show the audience they're well-educated, hardworking or intelligent, and beyond that more prestigious colleges simply have national or even international name recognition less prestigious schools won't. A few institutions that aren't actually in the Ivy League but have strong reputations in certain contexts also count for this trope. Engineering hopefuls always go to MIT or Caltech. Elite students on the West Coast go to Stanford. Juilliard is this for the performing arts. Before the Ivies went co-ed, the Seven Sisters schools were this for women. In Japanese stories, the college of choice is typically Tokyo University, or "Todai". "To show a character is either smart, ambitious, or filthy rich." and it shows the audience the character is "well-educated, hardworking or intelligent." Tyrell is none of those things, no matter how entitled or intelligent he thinks he is. Yeah, I agree with izabella above. I have my bachelors degree from a small state university (Emporia State University. Ever heard of it? I doubt it, unless you're from Kansas), and I have my masters degree from Oklahoma State University (which I bet most of you have heard of, but it's hardly this kind of prestigious institution). And while, in my experience, employers around here are impressed to learn that I've got a masters degree, because I've proven that I have the intelligence and the determination to see things through, if I'm competing against an Ivy Leaguer, it's game over. Ivy Leaguers have access to renowned professors and job opportunities I never had. Granted, I didn't have nearly the student loans most Ivy Leaguers get, even with an advanced degree, because I went to state institutions. (I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel with my student loans!) But there is an unfair disadvantage here. Luckily, I'm not looking for a new job at this time, and there's not an overwhelming job market here in Kansas City for Ivy Leaguers. Even in spite of the description above, I just don't understand why every single character in shows and movies dreams of the Ivy League. It never even occurred to me in high school to apply for the Ivy League. Oh, I mused about it "What if I applied?" but the registration fee was a lot more than I was making being a part-time grocery checker, and I never even submitted an application to any of them. Plus, what chance would a small-town Kansas farm girl have at Yale? I would have been eaten alive! So I stuck with my "safety schools" (didn't even have one that wasn't a "safety school.") And, I'm pleased with my education. 5 Link to comment
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