Starting to search for the RIGHT college or university can feel like such a daunting task. And with over 5,300 colleges and universities in the U.S. alone, where do you and your student begin?
Well, first remember, even if you are the one financing college, this is their future experience. So, honor the desires you’re hearing from your student and you’ll have much more influence in the process.
Nothing can be more frustrating than going through all of the work of SAT/ACT tests, applications, college visits, and moving across the country only to later find the college they’ve chosen is not a good fit and your student is miserable.
Here are some primary considerations to narrow the search toward the best fit and arrive at the RIGHT college:
Establish WHY You’re Going to College:
This may sound obvious, but the fact is the college experience has become so second-nature for so many, parents and students often treat it as a mandatory next step. Therefore, there’s little to no time spent questioning it’s purpose. And when there’s no purpose, there’s no road map, and upon arriving on campus things can go awry very quickly. If your student can’t answer this question, college is not the next step. They can take a gap year, work, volunteer, start a business etc. Now, of course, they don’t have to have it all figured out before they go off to college. The answer to the question, “Why am I going to college?” can be quite simple, but it’s imperative to establish before we can move forward in finding the RIGHT college and have success when they arrive. For example, if the answer to this question is, “I’m going to college to discover my purpose and change the world,” vs. “I’m going to college because I later want to go to medical school,” then we will have VERY different searches on our hands.