Anybody who claims that attending a less prestigious college hurts your chances of getting into a prestigious graduate school should check out this list of the 261 undergraduate institutions represented by all students enrolled at Harvard Law School for the 2010-2011 school year.
Yes, all the Ivy League schools are listed, along with Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, Rice, UC Berkeley, West Point, the Naval Academy and other schools that reject almost everyone who applies. I don’t dispute that a lot of graduates from highly selective colleges go on to do great things. It’s not surprising considering that you’ve got to be an exceptionally smart, motivated, hard-working kid to get into one of those schools in the first place.
But the list also shows that exceptionally smart, motivated, hard-working kids can go to places like Adelphi, Arizona State, Beloit, Cal State Northridge, Dickenson, Eastern Kentucky, Florida State, Gonzaga, Hampton, Indiana, Knox, Louisiana State, Mary Washington, Northern Arizona, Oregon State, Pacific Lutheran, Queens College, Rutgers, San Jose State, TCU, University of Delaware, Western Washington University, and dozens of other not-so-name brand schools and still go on to Harvard Law School.
It’s not where you go. It’s what you do while you’re there.