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So, I have a question about the following passage:

It matters where you go to college, plain and simple. Graduates of the most-select colleges often earn more than graduates of less-select public universities, who are employed at higher rates than those of community colleges, who get more calls from potential employers than graduates of online universities. A world where "44.8% of billionaires, 55.9% of [Forbes's most] powerful women, and 85.2% of [Forbes's most] powerful men" attended elite schools is not a place where college doesn't matter.


This excerpt is from 'It Doesn't Matter Where You Go to College': Inpirational, but Wrong, which was written by Derek Thompson on April 2nd, 2015 for The Atlantic. (Also @ archive.is/waybackmachine)


Does the last sentence ("A world where … doesn't matter.") mean It doesn't matter to get into an elite school or It's really a problem if you have not get in elite schools?

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  • It's malformed. For one, the singular verb is has no subject. (All the preceding nouns are plural.) Where does this come from? – deadrat Nov 8 '16 at 2:03
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    A world where XXX is not a place where college doesn't matter. The world is the place. And (according to the author) college does matter in that place (though I'd question his assumptions). – Hot Licks Nov 8 '16 at 3:19
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The author is saying that a high proportion of rich and powerful people went to elite colleges, which shows that where you went to college does matter.

  • This is exactly what the passage is trying to convey. But, as @HotLicks said above, I'd question the assumption. The assumption being that the prime objective of going to college is to become rich and/or powerful. – Terry Wendt Nov 8 '16 at 10:17
  • @TerryWendt Even if the prime objective is to become rich and/or powerful (which it is for some) I would suggest that attending an elite college and becoming rich and powerful can both be results of growing up in an environment of privilege, wealth and useful social contacts. An analysis of the relative performance of people from less privileged backgrounds but with similar levels of ability who went to elite and non-elite colleges would be interesting. – BoldBen Nov 8 '16 at 12:07
  • @BoldBen I was trying to keep it in the context of the OPs question. If the desire of the student is to become rich and/or powerful, then the statement - in the context it was made - would be true. And it's what the author meant. If your goal was something else, like becoming an excellent Engineer, you may want to chose a school that excels at developing excellent Engineers. BTW, some of those schools would still be considered 'Elite' schools... – Terry Wendt Nov 8 '16 at 12:28

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