I recall one parent ranting that his son will “go to UCLA!” Unfortunately, his grades were going to be an obstacle. For this father, this was the only university for his son. Parents are usually the driving force of where they want their children to attend college because of family legacy, pride, or simple determination.
The odds will never be in your favor. Fewer than 6% of college students attend elite colleges. One of our stellar students who boasted a 4.0 GPA and 34 ACT score was denied admission to Stanford. But what about the odds?
Recently, Jeffrey Selingo of the Washington Post, reviewed the book “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be” by New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. It is a great read for parents who are franticly making life-long judgment calls based on admission to a certain college.
One of my colleagues spoke with a parent who was focusing on the popularity and rankings of colleges where her daughter had been accepted or denied. Wisely, she guided this mom to consider if this was a good fit for her daughter, not if it was an elite name brand (sounds like clothes shopping).
Selingo reports that private high school guidance counselors are often evaluated based on where there students attend. I thought it was about prepared students to succeed. As an independent consultant, I am able to guide students to find colleges that are good academic, social, emotional, and financial fits.
Higher education is about learning: broad subjects, creative problem solving, interacting with diverse people, critical thinking, and earning a degree. So selecting the right major at the right college has more long-term value than attending an elite college or university. That is success!
Through student ministry and educational consulting (career and college planning), I have enjoyed guiding teenagers to discover their higher calling.