Important notes for the lists in this section
When the MC25 is mentioned, it refers to the 25 colleges most coveted on a large scale nationally that are mentioned in Part 2 of the presentation. They are: Amherst, Brown, CalTech, Columbia, Cornell, Darmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Princeton, Rice, Stanford, Swarthmore, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Washington University in St. Louis, Williams and Yale. Yes, I realize people obsess over other schools, but in my opinion these are the few most obsessed over at a national level.
You will likely note that students from these 25 schools appear in higher percentages on most of these lists than would be predicted if we looked solely at the percentage of the total college graduate population they represent. They should! These colleges get first pick of the most ambitious, hard-working, smart high school students in the country, so we should expect they’d fill the most desirable professional positions at a higher rate.
Consider this analogy: What if the Washington Nationals were given the top 40 picks in the Major League Baseball draft every year? (Note: Yes, they are my favorite team. If you’d like to imagine this fantasy differently, please feel free.) And then another team got the next 40, and so on until all 30 teams had chosen the approximately 1200 players in each year’s draft. The expectation would be that the Nationals would win pretty much every World Series, have most of the Cy Young Award winners, MVPs, Gold Glove winners, etc. And the team that went last every year would never receive this kind of recognition. Right?
It is, of course, vastly more complicated with college admissions, especially since most ballplayers have had four more years to mature, but it’s similar enough to be comparable. With a very large percentage of the country’s most capable, ambitious, hard-working high school students attending MC25 colleges, we should expect that a large percentage of jobs that require capable, ambitious, hard-working individuals will be filled by graduates of these institutions. (I wish there were a way to quantify this, but it doesn’t seem likely that it’s possible.)
So when looking at who’s working in very desirable professional positions, what we should focus on is the very large percentage that are not from the MC25 on every one of these lists. The logical conclusion: ambitious, hard-working, smart professionals who didn’t end up attending an MC25 school for whatever reason (by choice or through not being selected for admission) will still have excellent career opportunities.