As a result of the cut-throat culture of Irvine, students are no strangers to stress, with anxiety levels soaring through the roof: a big portion of which is caused by the ever-looming presence of college applications.

Although many students place an acceptance letter to an Ivy League School on par with a ticket to success, attending one of these eight coveted schools is not as glamorous as it may seem.

One of the biggest factors for students when deciding which college to attend is the cost. Though students may be accepted into these prestigious colleges, the loans they need far exceed those necessary for a public school. Student loans have carried such a detrimental impact on the average worker that 41% have postponed retirement plans, 40% put off purchasing a car, 29% put off buying a house and 15% even put off marriage plans, according to the American Institute of CPAs.

Ivy League colleges are notorious for their prices, averaging $51,486 in the year 2017-2018: almost twice the cost of out-of-state public four-year universities and five times the cost of in-state public four-year universities. With the excessive cost of Ivy Leagues, the statistics aforementioned bear greater weight, raising the risk of an unguaranteed solid standing in the future.

In addition, the extreme lack of diversity can cause a bland and unified atmosphere. According to the Harvard Crimson, over 36% of students in the 2022 class were part of a legacy, with one or more family members previously attending Harvard, painting the picture of a homogenous group of students as alumni lack representation for minority groups.

College provides the opportunity for students who come from smaller, less multicultural backgrounds to be exposed to the world and its diversity properly. However, even with Affirmative Action, the New York Times reveals that minorities are underrepresented at Ivy Leagues. From one unified atmosphere to the other, it is possible to miss out on an important perspective that comes with attending a more diversified college.

Though the name carries great prestige, which is beneficial toward opening future prospects and increasing job opportunities, the Ivy League only makes up a small percentage of the colleges found around the world. To limit oneself to only an elite few with an unguaranteed factor of satisfaction is essentially setting oneself up for failure. Bragging rights do not outweigh an unhappy atmosphere and empty wallet.

Overall, when considering colleges, it is important to broaden your mindset past simply the Ivy League. There are other options out there, and keeping an open mind to alternative opportunities for education may be what suits you best.