Dexter shows himself to be "newer and stronger" than his richer counterparts at the traditional and famous university that he goes to in the East. Note how he is described in terms of his actions compared to the sons of rich families with whom he has studied:
All about him rich men's sons were peddling bonds precariously, or investing patrimonies precariously, or plodding through the two dozen volumes of the "George Washington Commercial Course," but Dexter borrowed a thousand dollars on his college degree and his confident mouth, and bought a partnership in a laundry.
It is clear that Dexter's determination to achieve his "Winter Dreams" results in sensible, down-to-earth, practical action to make his dreams a reality rather than the ways that the richer boys with whom he studied behaved. We are shown that Dexter becomes immensely successful in a very short time, having worked incredibly hard and finding his niche market.