“The Disadvantages of an Elite Education”

I’ve noticed that people who go to a name brand university, and even those who who go to a lower tier college but take a more demanding course of study, like, say, engineering, tend to be dismissive of other people’s opinions and reasoning.

Here is an excellent piece (written in 2008) which explains that phenomenom, and more:

My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy League or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were beneath me. We were “the best and the brightest,” as these places love to say, and everyone else was, well, something else: less good, less bright.

Of course, people who think they know everything are particularly annoying to those of us that actually do.

(Read more at The American Scholar.)


  1. Two sides of this coin. One: I remember writing an op-ed for the New York Times in the 1990s and quoting research by Jim Wood, of the UTEP psychology department. My editor said, “This school is too obscure to be quoting anyone from.” My hackles went up and I insisted on quoting Wood since he was the only person in the country doing the research relevant to my piece. They used his material.
    Two: I remember a total asshole, the head of the Dallas (and national) anti-abortion movement of the 1990s, famous for putting glue in clinic locks and creating general clinic and political mayhem to keep women from exercising their Roe v. Wade rights. He noisily mocked me in front of his working class acolytes for being “one of those graduates of Vassar or Smith or Columbia” who wouldn’t know anything about life in the real world among real people. Fortunately my degrees are from Temple and UTEP so I could laugh at him. I realized, though, that he was spouting some cheap, populist bullshit in his own self service.

  2. Rich, I have a mechanical engineering degree from UTEP and I still value your opinion. Otherwise I wouldn’t be reading El Chuqueño.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *