The process of finding the right college should not be treated lightly; after all, the student will spend the next four to six years of his or her life in this school – or transfer or drop out if they feel it is not for them. So parents have to help their teenagers make the choice carefully; after all, they are the ones who will pay for it. There are many factors both parents and their children should consider but here are the ones which seem to most preoccupy college freshmen, according to UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute: availability of financial aid, success in job placement, size of the college or university and academic reputation.
When considering a college’s academic reputation, parents should keep in mind that a school does not have to be a big-name institution such as Yale or Harvard to provide a student with a solid, quality education; many unheralded schools will provide an equivalent education and with lower tuition rates to boot.
Corollary to this is the size of the college or university. Does it have an instructor-student ratio or class sizes that will ensure a student will, so to speak, not get lost in the crowd? Will it provide support services for students such as academic and counseling support?
Of course, cost will always be a consideration.
Are scholarships and other forms of financial aid such as loans and work-study programs available?
Finding a college where your teenager can thrive ultimately boils down to the amount of homework you are willing to do before a choice is made. So go online and do the research; it could spell the difference between the success and failure of a student’s college career.