In trying to come up with reasonable facts about college, one can easily say that there are very few things that remain “static” about higher education.
Costs seem to rise with each passing semester, interest rates on college loans are forever fluctuating, and the algorithms that schools use in order to create a “perfect” class of students each year change with such rapidity it can make one’s head spin.
Keeping all that in mind, students still ask themselves a major question when going down the college search rabbit hole…
How Do I Choose the Right College?
According to Neill Seltzer, CEO of Noodle Pros, there are three “immutable” (yes, that IS a great SAT word, by the way) facts about college selection that do not change, and have not changed in decades.
It was these three basic facts that Neill discussed during aFacebook Live.
The process of choosing the “right” school can be made a lot simpler if students realize these three things.
(Remember, these are Neill’s facts!)
Immutable Fact About College #1: College Is the Greatest Invention Ever!
Attempting to explain to a high school student what an amazing opportunity attending college is can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task.
But parents try to navigate that murky path in order to inspire and incentivize their kids each and every year during the angst-filled college admissions process.
As Neill explains, “College is a place where you are taught things by people whose lives are dedicated to each one of those subjects, They are schools designed with students in mind in order to create opportunities across the board that allow all students to go out and take risks in a safe and managed way and expand their horizons so that they can grow academically, intellectually, and emotionally. And for those who live at school…why, it’s four years of living amongst friends (both platonic and potentially romantic), and you’re living on your own, without your parents! Who can argue about that not being a huge win?”
The World According to Neill
98% of students report loving the college they attended.
College is something that doesn’t need to be nearly as stressful as it usually is.
Don’t fret about trying to get accepted by a group of people you’ve never met at a place you’ve never visited, and as a high school student, have an almost impossible time even visualizing.
Stay away from “The Beauty Pageant Approach.” Students should not spend inordinate amounts of time perfecting a resume that looks a certain way in order to get accepted by a certain group; that’s the wrong way to approach college admissions.
Immutable Fact About College #2: Students Impact Their College Experience
The quality of the education you get in college depends 100 times more on YOU than it does on the college.
Going to the Ivies does not necessarily mean you are going to get the best education possible…if you don’t set out to do so. Neill agrees that there are some schools that are more “user friendly” than others: some are bigger, some are smaller, some are tucked away from much of civilization, and others are out where all the action is. But, ultimately, it is incumbent upon the student to “get out of bed and go to class” and find all the “cool stuff.” (And this, by the way, is a good lesson about life in general.)
“How many extra-curricular activities are you involved in? What’s your level of engagement? (Level of engagement is key.) Colleges foster engagement—all you have to do is look around. And when you are in that type of environment, being a part of something interesting and exciting should not be too difficult.”
For those students who might seem intimidated by the idea of college, it might help if they just thought of it as a “big high school.” Once a student can be analytical enough to identify what gets their blood pumping–something they do that is so enjoyable it makes them lose track of time (a very important aspect of college selection) and what they don’t like about high school (Teacher? Administration? Politics and cliques?) they will be able to seek out the places that they’ll be excited about and feel comfortable with.
“Forget about what you think you know and start with the things you DO know…you! And let that drive your selection.”
Immutable Fact About College #3: For the Most Part, Anyone Who Wants to Go to College, Can
Statistically speaking, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 highly selective schools that accept fewer than 50% of their applicants.
In addition, there are about a few hundred schools that can be labeled “very selective,” and they accept fewer than 75% of their applicants.
According to Neill, the rest that don’t fall into those two categories are focused on marketing to students to get them to attend.
“They are as hungry for students to attend, as students are to get there.” And, they will even “throw some money at you” to get your “butt in the seat.”
Because occupied seats are what every Admissions Dept. desires.
Students who are committed to going to college will find that there are many colleges out there that will welcome them.
Once you’ve outlined the criteria as an objective (as in Fact #2), check out the schools that have more of what you like.
Chances are, names will pop up that you are familiar with, and there will be many that you’ve never heard of.
Be as selective of the schools as they might be about you.
Keep in mind there is more than one perfect fit, and if you are determined to take that step into the next phase of your life, it is attainable.
Find Generous Schools
Whether you need a school that comes close to meeting 100% of need, or you want to focus on getting as much in merit scholarships as possible, you can identify the best schools for your family.
Check out our College Insights tool today…it’s the only college search tool you will need!
College Insights allows you to search schools where your student is in the top 25th percentile. This helps you identify schools where your student is most likely to get the most free money in either merit scholarships or need-based aid.
Watch the video with Neill Seltzer here:
CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
JOIN ONE OR BOTH OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS: