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Big Ten Conference Universities - Quality and Pride in Action

The Big Ten Conference, which is the oldest athletic conference in the country, is widely respected and generally recognized as one of the nation's leading conferences. What is it about the Big Ten that sets it apart from most other conferences? Well, there are undoubtedly many contributing factors, but in this short article I will discuss a few key qualities of the member institutions that largely account for the stature of the Big Ten.

First of all, the quality of the faculty and students is first-rate. Many of the faculty at Big 10 universities are leaders in their field, having achieved national and international recognition for themselves and for their institutions. Faculty at Big 10 universities are not only held to high standards for teaching, they also are expected to conduct leading edge research in their respective fields, and their writing appears regularly in books and in the most highly-respected and most exclusive scholarly journals.

Of course, some Big Ten universities are more selective in their student admission requirements than others, but on a continuum from least selective to most selective institutions nationwide, Big Ten schools are definitely toward the most selective end. Generally, only students with solid academic credentials and good ACT or SAT scores are admitted. Because of the high quality that Big Ten schools demand of their faculty and students, there tends to be a feeling of accomplishment and a certain level of pride among students and faculty at being associated with an institution that features such high quality students and a first-rate faculty.

The high quality of the academic programs at Big 10 universities is a second factor contributing to the stature of the Big 10 Conference. Given the combination of world-class faculty and high-quality students, it is not surprising that Big 10 universities feature some of the top-rated academic programs in the country. Of course, not every program at every Big Ten university is top notch. Prospective students definitely need to research the particular programs they are interested in and identify the institutions with the best programs. Graduating from one of the top-ranked programs in the country is certain to increase a student's chances of being hired quickly. In fact, some employers actively seek graduates of certain programs at certain Big 10 institutions because they know that these students have received superior training.

Finally, the athletic successes of Big Ten Conference universities also contribute to the respect and recognition the conference has received. Big Ten schools have won their share of national championships in a variety of sports. Furthermore, the Big Ten is generally regarded as one of the power conferences in the two big revenue sports (football and basketball), with several Big Ten teams regularly appearing in the Top 25 rankings, BCS bowl games, and NCAA basketball tournaments.

Along with bringing recognition and respect to the conference, the athletic successes of Big 10 teams also provide a huge source of pride to students, alumni, faculty, staff, and fans of member institutions. The Big 10 boasts some of the most loyal and most committed fans in the country. Since the 1970s-for over 30 consecutive years-the Big 10 Conference has led the nation in college basketball attendance. While the Big 10 Conference ranked second last year in college football attendance, three Big 10 schools led the nation in attendance, each averaging well over 100,000 fans at each home football game. Clearly, those associated with Big 10 universities take great pride in their sports teams, just as they take great pride in their academics.

In today's society, getting a college degree is more important than ever to your future financial success. However, if you want to give yourself a competitive edge in the job market, you need to get a degree from a reputable university. Because Big Ten Conference universities are prestigious and well-respected, earning a degree in a high-quality academic program at one of these universities will most likely make you more attractive to potential employers.

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