As high school seniors spent April sorting through their college acceptance letters and deciding where to attend school, they may now be lamenting the fact they were rejected by their top choice college or university. However, a recent article in The Daily Beast finds people who don't attend their top choice school are regularly happier than those who do.
Top choice schools are often schools with name recognition and severe admission standards (e.g. Harvard or Berkeley), not necessarily schools that are a good fit for the applicant. The Daily Beast article finds students typically rank prestigious schools as top choice schools, even if the student knows very little about the school. This blogger is guilty of this: my top choice school was Princeton University for no real reason other than the fact it was Princeton.
Upon closer inspection, 2nd choice schools may offer a better fit in terms of the academic rigor, social life, campus setting and location. Therefore, students who attend their 2nd choice school are often happier with this choice.
However, what does attending a 2nd choice school mean for your pay down the road? In other words, is there a trade-off between happiness and future salaries when attending a lower choice school?
Are you curious whether you are paid what you're worth given the school you chose? Find out with PayScale's detailed salary calculator.