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College Talk Blog

College views from Saturn and Pluto

When I hear parents and teens disagreeing about college choices, I like to clarify priorities. Usually, they are on different pages. Sometimes they are on different planets. The difficulty in their discussions is not unlike the Mars and Venus books comparing the discussions that men and women have in which neither fully grasps the point of view of the other.

Parents worry about program quality, safety, job prospects and cost while those things are much lower on the student list of college priorities. Students are often more concerned with location, reputation, campus design, amenities and ambiance and admission competitiveness. Students also have social motives such as not wanting to go to the same college as a sibling or wanting to attend the same college as a friend.

The most peaceful way to discuss college choice is to agree on a list of priorities on which parents and students can agree. 


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