Here in the US, we have gone from needing to get a college degree to be successful to needing to go to an elite college to be successful. Sadly, this is misinformation that many students (and parents) blindly follow. Below are 4 reasons why it is more important that you simply go to college than it is where you go to college.

Employers Don’t Care

When you first graduate college and are looking for your first ‘real’ job, it does help to have a prestigious college on your resume. But once you have some work experience, where you went to college becomes less and less important. In fact, many times all that is required is that you have a bachelor’s degree.

Therefore, don’t fall for the trap that you will only get good jobs if you go to a good college. Your work ethic is what matters most, not the college.

Lifetime Earnings

Studies show that those who go to college out-earn those that do not go to college. When it comes to going to a prestigious college versus a typical college, the results are less dramatic. In fact, the difference is only seen at the start of one’s career. Once a person gets a few years of experience under their belt, this gap in pay is virtually eliminated.

Why is this? Again, it comes down to how hard you are willing to work. No college teaches this, it is something that is within each and every one of us.

Networking Is Overrated

Another common misconception is that certain colleges allow one to network more (and better) and therefore they are more likely to land a good paying job. As with the point above, this can make a difference in the beginning, but over the life of your career, networking with other industry professionals carries much more weight than networking with old classmates and alumni from college.

Debt Is Limiting

If you go to an elite college, odds are you are going to be getting yourself into some student loan debt. While some debt may be needed to get your degree, the key is to keep it reasonable in amount. If you end up like many recent grads and take out too much in student loans, your life is going to be much, much harder.

This is because debt limits you ñ not only in affording a place to live, but also with regards to saving for retirement or even taking a dream job that might not pay as well.

Final Thoughts

While there is some advantage to going to an elite college, mainly in the early years of your career, that advantage wears away when you gain work experience. At the end of the day, you have to sit down and figure out if the added costs of going to an elite college are going to make a difference to you in the long run.

For most people and professions, the answer is no. You would be better off picking a good college and developing a solid work ethic because this is going to be the greater determinate to your success than where you went to college.