WHERE a student went to college used to REALLY matter. It was as if there was a caste system in America when where you went to college actually had a serious impact on which companies would be interested in employing you. Twenty-first century higher education is much more portable and personal. The ease and frequency of transferring between colleges during undergraduate years, the popularity of interdisciplinary studies programs and out-of-country and online education opportunities, has made education a customizable experience. If I could use only one word to characterize what is happening in American higher education today, my word would be individual. It is now possible for a student to attend college and have a vastly different educational experience from everyone else at his college. WHAT a student does in college is now what REALLY matters. The sky is the limit to what a student can choose to do. Degrees are customizable. Where the student studies and with whom is unlimited. How much a student can accomplish and how much a student can grow is also unlimited.
As students choose where they want to apply for fall 2016, I encourage them to be good consumers and choose a college that will offer them the kind of experiences and options they would like to have. Colleges differ in price, amenities, educational philosophy and opportunities. Taking full advantage of options and charting your own course is the key to student future success for the class of 2020.
Choosing colleges for prestige is so yesterday. Students now choose colleges for what they can learn, how they will learn, where they can go, user-friendliness, safety, cost, opportunities and options. What students are doing is consistent with what corporations are doing. Employers now tend to hire more for what the student can do for them than where they went to college. What the student has learned is much more important than how or where the student learned his skills.