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How important is the college you attend for your undergraduate degree?

I have gotten into several schools, with varied reputations. My parents would like me to attend the most challenging and reputable from an academic standpoint. I want to find the right fit. #college #college-advice #college-selection

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Sam’s Answer

The students we work with often have to deal with this unfortunate pressure. The truth is this - it's not neccessarily where you go, but what you do when you get there. I've seen very successful students graduate from community colleges to ivy league institutions. I've also seen the opposite as well, where going to a particular school didn't land a student a particular job or outcome. Job employment rates are never an accurate assessment at any college no matter what anyone tells you. They are ballpark figures based on survey data.

You want to be focused on these:

  1. RPG - Retention Rate ≥ 75% (national avg is 61%), Progression Rate , and 6 year Graduation Rate ≥ 70% (national avg is 59%)
  2. Student loan default rate - indicates students ability to pay back loans after college. higher the rate typically means they aren't finding employment that allows them to pay back loans or the college is too expensive
  3. Percent of students who intern or co-op

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Richard’s Answer

There are some fields like politics or business that rely on connections you can make during school. In other fields like science, engineering and medicine, the name of the institution on your diploma matters less.

Some questions to consider include:
1) Do they have the major you want?
2) Will be happy? Does the social situation fit your personality?
3) Does it fit your financial situation?
4) Do they have clubs that fit your interest?
5) Do they have resources to get you summer internships and eventually a job or graduate school
6) Is it a desirable location? You may end up living in the city in which you attend college.

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RENE M’s Answer

Selecting the right fit college is important. One college is not a perfect fit for all students. Consider curriculum; class size; are classes and labs taught by professors or grad students; do you want to participate in sports (smaller colleges offer excellent opportunities to continue to compete in a variety of sports). How active are alumni (they can be key to networking). Does the college offer internships for undergrads? Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond; or a big fish in a little pond? What is the college's graduation rate and how long does it take the average student to graduate? What is the college's placement rate after graduation? Do some sole searching and homework on the colleges you've been accepted into, you'll then be better prepared to make a good decision.

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Rachel’s Answer

Start by applying and seeing where you get accepted. Once you are accepted, go and visit the schools. Talk to students with your desired major, talk with your parents, and consider costs.

Hi Rachel, this is good advice but it does not directly answer the student's question. They want to know how important is the prestige of an undergraduate school? Gurpreet Lally