Don’t Go To Princeton to Find a Husband


Responding to Susan Patton’s viral letter urging Princeton ladies to find a husband on campus before graduating, Penn grad Rebecca Greenfield counters, “No, Princeton Is Not the Best Ivy League School for Finding a ‘Worthy’ Husband.”

[W]hy aim for an “intellectual equal” when you can get so much more?

Princeton, one of the smaller Ivies, doesn’t have a business, law, or medical school, which everyone knows are the real gold mines of eligible sugar husbands, for grad students or undergrad ladies. That metric also rules out the Dartmouth, which has no law school and is also very small but, well, if faced with a choice it would still behoove you ladies to pick a future Big Green grad over a Tiger… because at least you’d know your hubbie could do some keg stands with a little dignity.*

That leaves the other six Ivies: Cornell, Brown, Columbia, Penn, Harvard, and Yale. Cornell is basically a public school, so that’s out. Of course all the 18-year-old aspiring iBankers head off to Penn, which makes it an intriguing choice for the gold digger set, but do you really want to marry someone with an inferiority complex? They say Yale’s the “gay Ivy,” and while that title could fit at a number of the Ivies, probably,Will Portman does go there and you don’t want to take your chances and end up married with three kids and a husband who sleeps in the other room, now do you, ladies?

You don’t really want to fight with all those Barnard girls over Columbia’s slim (largely Asian, gay, and Jewish) pickings, so that leaves you with Harvard and Brown. Harvard is very enticing, for all the obvious reasons. Harvard’s grad pool has it all: money, power, fame, heirs, Bush relatives. Then again, that “hipster” Ivy has all the cutest baddest artsy boys, which is all that really matters. So: Brown?

It’s really quite confusing.

FILED UNDER: Education, Gender Issues, Humor, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Argon says:

    Poor Rebecca. She doesn’t seem to realize that doctors and lawyers frequently dump their first wives who sacrifice all and help put their husbands through graduate school, in favor of the babe wives they meet once they get their degrees and become established.

    You want something long-term, marry a scientist.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Argon: I’m pretty sure she’s being ironic.

  3. JKB says:

    Still, given school loan debt levels, the girls would be a lot better off if they found a plumber who liked to read.

  4. rudderpedals says:

    Susan Patton’s apologia to her daughters makes more sense when titled “Why I Think I Divorced Your Father”, as Anne Laurie over at BJ noted this morning that Patton wrote earlier about the father of her children going to an inferior school.

    In Patton’s defense however who among us has not fantasized about what might have been?

  5. Argon says:

    @James Joyner:


  6. @rudderpedals:

    In Patton’s defense however who among us has not fantasized about what might have been?

    And memory insists on pining
    For places it never went,
    As if life would be happier
    Just by being different.

    — Dana Gioia, “Summer Storm”

  7. superdestroyer says:


    If you put your spouse through law school, Med school, or B-School, make sure you get a divorce in a community property state. You get a 50% share of the value of the degree forever. It is a much better deal than alimony.

  8. superdestroyer says:

    People are forgetting that the average Ivy League male is above the age 30 at the time of first divorce. A good example would be someone like Chelsea Clinton who married at 30 to an investment banker who was 33. Also notice that Chelsea Clinton has not had children yet.

    One should be more amazing is that the elite are basically giving up having grandchildren due to the late age of marriage and the delay in childbirth. Who want to be a grandparent at 75 with a 5 y/o grandchild?

  9. Franklin says:

    What’s wrong with a spouse sleeping in another bedroom? At least one can actually *sleep*, then. Oh, wait, now I see, it’s assumed that the only possible reason for that is that the spouse is gay and there’s no more sex.

  10. Tyrell says:

    How about this: “Don’t go to any college if you have a rich husband”

  11. David4705 says:

    This is a big, big country. Let’s assume an 18 year old Princeton woman would be interested in a man her age or up to 6 years older. This year there are about 26 million people in that age bracket in the United States, of which about 13 million are men. Of course, not all of those men are worthy of a Princeton woman’s intelligence. So take whatever slice is worthy. The top 10% is 1.3 million men; the top 1% is 130,000 men. All is not lost, then, for the Princeton gal who graduates without an engagement ring. It’s quite true that there is a large concentration of worthy men corralled for her on the Princeton campus. But all she has to do is study hard and continue on the same career trajectory, and she will again be surrounded by worthy men at her next stop, which is likely to be grad school, law school, or med school. No worries.