What was this research paper about academia?
December 26, 2017 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Fairly recently I saw somewhere that there had been research to indicate that the initial competence of a student starting out was a much better indicator of later success than the prestige of the graduate school attended. I am finding this to be very difficult to google. Can you point me to it or similar research?
posted by cmoj to Education (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think the gist of what you're looking for is covered in this great quora summary answer, which includes several references to original research on undergraduate education. In short, Princeton students do well later in life because they had the chops to get into Princeton, less than from what they got at Princeton.

I'd bet that your searches are getting waylaid by the focus on graduate education, which is so much more particular to individual fields. An MBA from a top-ten biz school will open many doors that a more generic MBA will not, so brand name matters in that field. In medicine, though, things are more egalitarian - you are an MD at the end, no matter what. I'm generalizing, but - at the graduate level, field is an important variable.
posted by Dashy at 4:40 PM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Side note: The Cooley Law School in Lansing MI (a terrible school), used to create a study showing that they were the best or among the best in the country. Essentially they compared their LSAT numbers to their Bar passage rates. e.g. their students might have been on the 25th percentile on LSAT scores, but they were on the 40th for Bar passage. Harvard Law on the other hand took 99th percentile students and made them 99th percentile lawyers (all numbers fake).
Selfservingness notwithstanding, it always seemed like a good way to tease out the effect of the school itself.
posted by Octaviuz at 8:22 AM on December 27, 2017

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