What are the best universities in America? Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc? I recently spoke with a seventh grade student in Ankara, Turkey about universities in America and what I heard was impressive.
We were exchanging trivia questions and in response to the question “how many universities are there in America?”, she started counting on her fingers and said: “Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, Yale…” She had a feeling Oxford wasn’t in the US and so taking that one out, she estimated there were at least 5-6 universities in America. This was certainly a humorous situation, but proved to establish one thing: a university’s reputation is powerful.
It is feasible to become interested in schools you have heard of time and time again, but not justifiable to apply only for that reason. It is important for students to apply to university for the right reasons, and reputation alone is not one of them.
The real observation here is that schools with truly global reputations reach not only around the world, they also pass the bounds of time. That someone ten timezones away from California and five years away from enrolling in college already has brand recognition and appreciation for Stanford, speaks volumes to the power of it’s reputation. It is an undeniable consideration when choosing what university to enroll in and a powerful motivator, even to the very young.