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Subject: Re: The Draw of City Living for Young People

An Observer
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Date Posted: 10:37:45 09/13/18 Thu
In reply to: Percy Haughton 's message, "Re: The Draw of City Living for Young People" on 23:21:59 09/12/18 Wed

Percy, when you say that I am "likely wrong," to which of my thesis arguments are you speaking?

Do you think that I am wrong with my broad thesis that plummeting crime rates in American cities over the past three decades have made urban living and urban universities much more popular than they were in the 1980s?

Or do you think that I am wrong with my narrow thesis that Columbia University has grown tremendously in popularity over the past three decades, as reflected in (relative to its peers) more applications, a lower admissions rate and a higher U.S. News ranking *AND* that this state of affairs was driven primarily, if not exclusively, by the increase in young people desiring to live in Manhattan?

There was a whole generation of high school students in the 1990s and 2000s who thought that they would be hanging out with Ross and Joey, maybe hooking up with Rachel or Monica, even though in reality they rarely left the campus in Morningside Heights.

By the way, we could have a very substantive discussion about how much of Harvard's popularity is due to its merits, which are considerable, relative to its name, which is also considerable, if not more so.

There is at least one dimension along which I agree with you: "There is nothing eternal about HYP."

I think that if you polled a group of experts on higher education and asked them to name the most important or most influential American university, a plurality would name Stanford. That is an amazing change which would have been hard to foresee in the 1970s.

In less than half a century, Stanford has gone from one of the several universities in the rung below HYP to surpassing all three. In even less time going forward, the opinion of laymen will catch up to that opinion of experts.

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