Parent College Coach Tip #8: Not All Colleges Are Created Equal

scaleCommunity college. State University. Private liberal arts college. Trade or technical college. Top-tiered business college. Ivy League college. Not all colleges are created equal.

If that’s the case, what makes a good college? Some might think it’s a #1 rated NCAA football team, or a college with an Ivy League designation, or even a school that is highly selective. A good college (as in good fit) meets the following three criteria: academic, social, and financial. The college that meets or excels in all three should be the college your student chooses. Even the best college (based on reputation) isn’t a good college  if the student neglects the opportunities he is given while attending.

In terms of financial fit, does the college fit into your family’s college budget? In terms of academic fit, are your student’s academic aspirations met? In terms of social or emotional fit, does your student see himself attending there—did it just “feel” right? Remember that this is going to be his home for the next four years and he needs to feel comfortable there. This choice is not about bragging rights; it should be first and foremost the college that “fits” your student—not the college with the highest price tag or famous reputation.