Carleton Responds to Wall Street Journal Story on 'Feeder Schools'

September 30, 2003
By Sarah Maxwell

At Carleton, our emphasis is not on sending students specifically to elite graduate schools. Carleton is a top-notch liberal arts college first and foremost, not a pre-professional school. Our hope is that any Carleton graduate who goes on to graduate school finds the program that is the best fit for him or her.

The Wall Street Journal story took a fairly limited view, looking only at one year’s entering class for 15 specifically selected graduate programs—five law schools, five medical schools and five MBA programs. Carleton alumni do have a tradition of graduating from these 15 schools—since 1950, 168 have attended law school, 28 medical school, and 85 MBA programs at those particular schools. The five medical schools selected for study by the Wall Street Journal include less than five percent of the medical schools in the U.S. Although the schools focused on in this story are certainly excellent ones, focusing exclusively on these 15 omits many others that are equally excellent.

More importantly, about 75 percent of our students go on to graduate school within five years of their Carleton graduation, and about 20 percent of Carleton graduates enroll in law, medical and MBA programs at places like Stanford, Northwestern and New York University. Nineteen members of the class of 2003 went immediately to medical, law or business school, and many other members of that class went into a variety of programs at schools across the country. We expect that approximately 90 members of this graduating class will enroll in professional degree programs eventually.

So, in a nutshell, why wasn’t Carleton on the Wall Street Journal list? Though high numbers of our graduates enroll in law, medical and MBA programs, they did not enroll this year in the 15 programs the Wall Street Journal examined.