"Should we choose the well-known, prestigious college above all others?" is a frequent question from parents of high school juniors and seniors. Parents wonder if their soon-to-be college student will have better employment options at graduation if their college diploma has a highly-recognized, high profile college name on it. They also wonder if spending $60,000 per year will yield more success than spending $20,000 per year. The answer is no in most circumstances.
While the reputation of a college is important, what a student does while in college is even more important in terms of future career success and earnings. Interestingly, price does not seem to enter into the equation of best value for a student. The better questions for parents to consider are:
1) For the major being considered, are there colleges that will give my student an edge when it comes to employment or grad school opportunities?
2) For the current level of academic preparation and maturity of my prospective freshman, which colleges are the best fit for academic success?
3) For the personality, personal needs and environmental preferences of my prospective freshman, which colleges are a really great fit?
4) From a budget standpoint, which colleges offer tuition discounts in the form of merit aid?
Other items to take into consideration are:
accommodation of learning differences and physical needs, whether the college has low-to-no-cost time payment plan, the level of service that the college gives to help students obtain the best employment