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College Talk Blog

College Choice

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.

College for Students Who Learn Differently

Students who face learning challenges increase their chances of success in college if they make available support services to support learning a factor in their college decision process. 

Colleges differ on the amount and type of services provided. Reading college websites, parents and students notice that some focus on supporting students with the goal of student success in college while others devote more web space to
what they must do by law. 

There are two types of colleges to consider.

Which college will be your valentine?

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Which college is the one that's true?

Today's high school student is the most complex prospective college freshman colleges have ever pursued. The students and their parents are more financially savvy and they have their eyes on the prize of a professional position after graduation.

Colleges pursue students by sending them invitations to college visits and honors programs that are sort of like valentines. They pursue students based on standardized test scores and other available data.

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.