The Criteria for Choosing Colleges has changed; Make sure your child considers these factors!
6 factors to consider when choosing your college
If you have a child who is considering which colleges to apply to or if they’re already seniors and they’re weighing their college options now, consider behavioral economics instead of rankings. Forget about the US News and World Report – they collect data based on admissions yields, retention, grades, test scores, and graduation rates. While this may seem important, they don’t include career satisfaction or how prepared grads are for real life.
The Gallup-Purdue Index has surveyed 60,000 graduates (over 80 years) about their satisfaction with their college experience and preparation for a successful career and a happy life. It lists 5 essential elements of a “Great Life”: Purpose, Social, Financial, Community and Physical Well Being.
Here is what is key in getting the most out of the college experience.
Instead of looking at rankings, prestige of college, and physical characteristics of the college, successful college grads who have a great life now consider the following elements essential to the college experience:
- At least one professor who made them excited about learning
- One professor who cared about them as a person
- One mentor who encouraged their goals and dreams
- Long-term PROJECT (more than a semester to complete)
- Internship or job where they applied class learning
- Extreme involvement in extracurricular activities and organizations
Sadly, less than 30% of college grads in the US experienced any of the above. Seriously? Those who had a job or internship in college where they applied what they were learning in the classroom were twice as likely to be engaged at work later in life. 82% of those who experienced all 6 elements above feel that their college experience prepared them well for life after college; and by a strong contrast, only 5% of those who did NOT experience any of the above felt well prepared for life.
The US News and World Report does not consider any of these vital factors into their rankings today. Hmm. Now that Gallup has conducted behavioral economics studies about colleges and universities, we’ll see more information about what really matters when our children go to college. So as your child starts considering colleges, ask questions about how engaged your child will be with professors, internships and student activities. Seems like these are more important considerations than the old ranking system.