MacArthur Data Shows Geniuses Come From All College Campuses

By Caralee J. Adams — May 29, 2015 1 min read
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Geniuses can be found at public universities, historically black colleges, women’s colleges, community colleges, and even off campus.

New data out from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, shows most recipients of the foundation’s “genius” fellowships came from private, elite schools, yet many attended less-competitive colleges and some attended no college at all.

The foundation gives recipients $625,000 in quarterly installments over five years in recognition of their artistic, intellectual, and professional work. There have been 918 fellows since 1981 and they represent 315 different colleges and universities, according to an analysis released this week.

While 14 percent of fellows attended private liberal arts colleges and 34 percent were from private research universities, the foundation reports that 23 percent were graduates of public universities, and 11 percent had no undergraduate degree. Six went to community colleges, 44 were graduates from women’s colleges, and 15 from historically black institutions.

Harvard produced the most genius fellows (72), followed by Princeton with 28.

The report echoes the message from school counselors and Frank Bruni’s recent book, Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be, about the importance of fit over brand-name recognition when choosing a college.

The next 20 to 30 MacArthur fellows will be announced in the fall.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.