Don’t Pick Your College Like you Pick Your Bracket

It’s bracket season, baby!

What’s your strategy this year? If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably pay some attention to the team’s athletic rankings. But since you’re choosing on the fly, you might find yourself picking winners based on things like mascots or school location.

Maybe you’ll win your office or family pool this year. And if you don’t? It probably won’t cost you more than $10 in friendly betting money if you make the wrong choices.

The same cannot be said for picking your child’s college.

And the truth is, too many students pick their schools based on criteria similar to those we use to pick our brackets.

Some teens think things like “I want to go to this school because my boyfriend is going there,” and “I like this school’s mascot.”

Also, “This school has a big football team,” and “I heard it doesn’t snow much.”

I know someone who chose a college because of a cool car window decal. For reals.

But what seemingly innocent choices like this have a long-term impact on our children’s futures. Picking a school with a weak–or non-existent–program in your child’s desired career field can sabotage his or her future career options.

Picking a school that you have to overpay for can lead to years of student loan debt. And picking the wrong fit could lead to switching schools…which could cost you an extra year or more in tuition.

So what’s a parent to do? The answer is to prepare your child for college properly–with doing full, thorough career development work, and working with a personal mentor or advisor who knows the ins and outs of school programs and can help match your child with the right fit.

This takes a lot of time and effort–which is something many high school students and their parents don’t have. That’s why we are here to navigate you through the whole process.

In the end, though, it’s gonna cost you a lot more than $10 if you skimp on this work. So why not do it right from the get-go? That’s a real win.