This year, more than 2 million Americans will apply to college. The college admissions landscape has gotten more competitive as the number of applications rose by 30% between 2019-2020 to the current cycle according to a recent data release by the Common Application.
Parents spend almost half a billion dollars each year on education consultants, and that’s not counting the cost of test prep or flights and hotels for campus visits. These collegiate sweepstakes leave a trail of frazzled parents and emotionally wrecked teens already burdened with rising anxiety, which raises a big question: Does it really matter whether you attend an elite college?
It’s time to explore why the student experience and their actions during college matter more than the name on the diploma. With over 4,000 colleges nationwide, each offering something unique, it’s time to assure your teen that there is a college for everyone, provided they widen their perspective.
The Myth of Prestige:
It’s time to shatter the myth that attending an Ivy League or highly prestigious college is the only path to success. Studies have consistently shown that success is not exclusively tied to the name of the institution. Instead, factors such as passion, dedication, and the choices students make during their college years play a more significant role in determining their future success.
The Importance of Student Experience:
What happens during the college years is often more crucial than the college’s reputation. Encourage your teen to focus on the experiences they will gain, both academically and personally. Participating in clubs, internships, and extracurricular activities can contribute significantly to their growth and skill development.
Encourage your teen to broaden their perspective when considering colleges. Sometimes, a lesser-known college may provide an environment that fosters personal and academic growth better than a more prestigious institution. It’s essential for them to explore various options and not limit themselves to a narrow view of success.
The Power of Networking and Skills:
Success often comes from the skills acquired and the connections made during college. Urge your teen to focus on developing practical skills and building a network of peers, professors, and professionals. These connections can be invaluable in shaping their future career paths.
Your teen’s success goes beyond the reputation of the college they choose. It’s about the valuable experiences they’ll encounter, the decisions they’ll make, and the skills they’ll acquire along the way. We encourage you to support your teen in embracing the array of options, broadening their horizons, and selecting a college that resonates with their individual dreams and aspirations. Remember, success is a voyage, and the right college can be the launchpad for a rewarding and prosperous future.
Bottom Line: I think it’s critically important for affluent parents (and their children) to stop fixating on these elite research universities. Attending these colleges perversely requires near perfection from admission offices. Teenagers must sacrifice their high school years in an attempt to achieve that perfection which can lead to abject misery, mental health and physical disorders and alienation from parents.