According to Peter Van Buskirk at the College Planning Blog, one of the most common mistakes students make is they choose the college that they think will look best rather than the one that will work best for them. Simply put: there’s no reason for students to spend thousands extra to attend a “famous” college if a less-expensive school would be just as good—or better—for them.
On the flip side, students shouldn’t automatically choose a less-expensive school if it won’t provide them with the environment they need to do their best.
When choosing a college, Van Buskirk suggests that students ask themselves the following questions:
- “Which school gives me the best opportunity to achieve my educational goals by virtue of its curriculum, faculty and facilities?”
- “In which learning environment will I be able to ‘do my thing’ most comfortably?”
- “Which college will challenge me to develop my skills to their fullest?”
- “Where will I find a community of ‘scholars’ that brings out the best in me as a person?”
- “Which college has demonstrated that it is most likely to invest in my success?”
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