Applying to college is a stressful time for both parents and children.  Concerns over admissions requirements, test scores, essays, and total costs can make anyone dizzy.  It’s four years and the price tag is high, so how do you help your child choose the best school?   Many wonder, should my child aim for an elite school, or would it be better to choose a less prestigious college or university?

The pluses in regard to attending an elite school is the prestigious university’s name on your child’s CV, a strong alumni network, modern facilities, and a top-notch education.   The obvious downside, of course, is the higher price tag — but there may be other cons as well.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book David and Goliath, advocates students to veer away from elite schools and instead attend universities where they are likely to truly and notably excel.   He believes that the chances of shining at a smaller school is a more likely scenario than at an elite school.  That’s because the less competitive environment might enable your child to enjoy the learning process more instead of being obsessed about the grades, and thereby develop into a confident student.   A lower tuition cost also means that your child’s student loans will be less after graduation.

When evaluating which school will be best for your child, have them compare their own personality against the current student body.  Is it a good match?  Will your child fit in and feel like they belong?  Will they have the confidence to give their very best?

Do You Need Help with College Financial Planning?

Through my relationship with POM College Consulting, I can now offer you services for the entire college planning process.   This includes helping high school students produce winning applications at the right schools, helping parents organize their finances, provide invaluable support for the FAFSA application process, and helping parents appeal for more financial aid support. Please set up a time in my calendar so we can ensure that you get all the vital information you need to make the right decisions to achieve your family’s educational goals.