The Atlantic

The Silly Stereotypes That Elite-College Students Have About Other Campuses

There’s a deeper meaning behind the us-and-them boundaries drawn by attendees of highly selective schools.
Source: Maddie Meyer / Getty

Princeton is academically rigorous, but too exclusive and hierarchical. MIT has brilliant students, but it’s socially unpleasant. The University of Pennsylvania is altogether too career-minded.

These are some of the opinions that researchers heard when they asked 56 Harvard and Stanford students—most of them still in school, some of them recent graduates—which colleges they applied to and how they decided which one to attend.

The researchers, Amy Binder, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego, and Andrea Abel, a graduate student there, published their analysis of the students’ sometimes barbed evaluations—recorded in interviews conducted five years ago—. Binder and Abel’s focus was on

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPsychology
Legal Abortion Isn’t the Problem to Be Solved
The real problem is that families are primed to see a fetal anomaly as a catastrophe in waiting.
The Atlantic7 min readSociety
Everyone Wants to Talk About Reparations. But for How Long?
The issue makes the occasional blip in the national conversation. Yet in communities that have been fighting inequality for generations, it is more like the steady thumping of a drum.
The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
Britain’s Conservatives Agree on Everything but Brexit
The men vying to replace Theresa May as prime minister are divided on Brexit. It’s the only issue anyone in their party seems to care about.