Question: I’m a high school junior, and I’d love to pursue a career in astronomy, but I definitely can’t afford to go to an ivy league school or anything, most likely I’ll attend a fairly selective state school. Does not going to a prestigious school put me at a significant disadvantage in this field? — Kara
Answer: No. Ultimately the quality of one’s undergraduate education is a result of how much a student puts into that education. Scientists come from just about every university in the US and the world. I have worked with undergraduate students from many different universities, from very large research universities to very small liberal arts colleges. The quality of these students as young scientists was indistinguishable. I would not be concerned about the fact that you might not attend what many might consider to be a prestigious university.