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College Talk Blog

Which to choose?

Many rising college freshmen and their parents are making their final choices from college acceptance offers for fall 2014 this week. Their choices are based on cost, living conditions at prospective colleges and opportunities available at each college.

Some parents also worry about prestige issues. They worry that if their rising college freshman attends a less prestigious college, they will have fewer opportunities later. My response to that dilemma is that students should choose the college that best meets their needs. Prestige for a rising freshman should not be an issue. The main issue is whether a college will provide a solid education and is a good match for the rising freshman in question and the family budget.

More important issues than prestige are academic program quality, campus safety, cost and services offered. Sometimes school counselors at private schools weigh in on the decision to encourage families to choose more prestigious colleges. Although that decision may look good for the private school, it is not always the best decision for the student and his family.

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