3 Reasons You Shouldn't Go to the College Of Your Dreams

Thousands of students are beginning to make choices between the schools that have offered them a spot within the Class of 2017. Most students do a great deal of research and soul searching to make the right decision if they have received offers from multiple schools. Fortunately for these students, going to college correlates to higher salaries and other great things. 

However great college can be for a potential student, there are reasons to not choose particular colleges; even schools those students and their parents have dreamed about going to for their entire lives. Students often do not consider the reasons why they shouldn’t go to their dream schools until they have to make that final decision.

In this piece, I want to discuss three main reasons why students may end up not going to the college of their dreams. These are three reasons that I believe are relatively universal. As I usually explain with these lists, this is in no way an exhaustive list of reasons students may end up not joining the Class of 2017 at their presumed dream schools. I do hope that this piece can help the typical student reconsider their reasons for choosing a suitable school.

1. It’s Not Really Your Dream School


Through my own navigation through the education system, I have come across many peers that had dreams schools chosen for them before they could even talk.  Their parents either went to the school or had their own dreams of their children eventually attending an Ivy League Medical school. Now, students all around the world have the added pressure of making one of the most important decisions of their lives that could make or break their parent’s hearts. And not only parents have opinions; if you are not familiar with the story of Ralph Jones and his choice of Florida A&M over schools like Harvard, Cornell, and Stanford, you can read about it here. The point I mean to make here is to be more like Ralph and choose a school that you want to go to for your own reasons. Just remember that none of the people offering you advice will be sharing your college diploma.

2. Your Dream Major Isn't There


Hopefully, it does not surprise you that most people go to college to study a specific subject. However it may surprise you that not all schools have the same programs of study. You may want to go to a particular school but it is more than important to consider the academic programs you may pursue during your time in college.  This one should be fairly obvious but sometimes the allure of attending your dream institution can seem more valuable than your actual education.

3. Price


There are three important methods to paying for college that every future college student should know: scholarships, loans and financial aid. Right about now, students are waiting to receive their financial aid packages from schools that have admitted them. However, students should be prepared that their favorite name brand school may not be able to offer them as much money as they had hoped. In order to go to the school, the student will need to take out more loans than they originally anticipated. Then comes the task of weighing the importance of attending the school against the price of paying back tens of thousands of dollars through your 20s. With unemployment rates being so high in recent years, it would be wise to not blindly believe that a college education will guarantee you a job when you graduate. Hence, it may be wise to save your money.

In the end, it is your choice. Think about your future and what’s best for you. Many of us end up with regrets in the way we handled this process but I hope that my thoughts can help some high school seniors put some serious thought into their college choices. Good luck!

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Justin Douglas

From New York, living in San Diego. Education and youth advocate. M.A. from NYU Steinhardt, B.A. from Wesleyan University. Proud Yankees and Nets fan; doubtful Jets fan.

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