How about majoring in The Right Fit?
Snipping the velvet rope preventing you from accessing an exclusive club is a poor way to choose a college.
Driving your child crazy while creating a problematic outcome isn’t optimal.
This is precisely what many parents do when shopping for the right school.
It’s almost impossible to deflect peer pressure and a weaponized college rankings system.
The U.S. News and World Report’s ranking system is the false god of college ratings. Worshipping at this altar is not the path to academic heaven. The criteria are not backed by evidence of what makes for an exceptional college experience.
Many ranking systems fall for a common fallacy. They measure data that are easy to gather, not what’s most important.
Stanford University created a white paper on what parents should look for when researching schools. The findings highlight some common flaws in using this metric to evaluate schools.’
A closer look at some of these metrics raises even
more questions. For instance, considering the list of
expenditures, where do construction expenses and
infrastructure costs factor in? Do the alumni giving
rate metric encourage colleges to admit students who
are more likely to be able to afford to donate after
graduation? And why are colleges with more faculty
members with higher degrees regarded more favorably?
Faculty with terminal degrees may do more research,
but they may or may not be experts in teaching or
What should parents focus on when helping their child research schools?
It turns out engagement is the holy grail for all positive student outcomes. This includes learning and financial objectives. Taking advantage of all the resources schools provide is more important than being accepted to a selective school. Students learn more when actively engaged in the learning process.
“It appears that what students do in college is far more important than the type of institution they attend.”
Here are the items of prime importance:
These experiences are directly connected to future workplace engagement, health, and happiness upon graduation. Unfortunately, few students focus their energy on these factors. According to Gallup, only 3% of all graduates experienced all six elements.
The evidence is overwhelming. Students should focus on these factors rather than the hyped selectivity and conflicted rankings system the crowd chases without a second thought.
Choosing a school based on meaningful relationships with professors, opportunities for mentorships and internships, and participating in various extra-curricular activities to build a strong sense of community is the golden ticket.
Our son just informed us one of his professors asked to be a T.A. for a summer program. Things like this create opportunities and forge connections. Despite what you might hear, the good news is they’re abundant everywhere, not just in top-ranked schools.
Devoting all your energy toward achieving a perfect SAT score may not provide the results ingrained into your brain.
Copious amounts of stress and money are devoted to getting into the top 5% of the 4,500 accredited colleges in the United States.
Here’s what should be on every High School Guidance Counselor’s wall.
Whether a student attends a college ranked in the top 5% or one ranked lower, the research strongly suggests that engagement in college, how a student spends their time, matters much more in the long run than the college a student attends.
A rebellion is brewing among colleges that disagree with the rankings methodology.
The participating schools’ chief complaint: The rankings, they argued, were opaque, favored the wealthiest schools, and promoted practices that didn’t benefit students. They warned against simplifying something as complex as an education into an ordinal rank.
Declare your major early. Concentrate on the best fit and ignore the noise.