Why You - Not Your Parents - Should Pick Where You Go To College

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Brought to you by the American School Counselor Association

Your parents want you to go to a good college that's right for you. But you're the one who has to go there, so it should be your choice where you go. Afterall, this is the most important decision you've made in your life so far!

It's your deal.

Your parents have their own goals for your college career, but this is all about you, not them. Parents "need to recognize it's the son or daughter who will be attending the institution, not themselves," advises Carol Loewith, an educational consultant. Set your own goals because you're the one who will try to achieve them.

Assert your own values.

As you were growing up, your parents worked really hard to teach you their values. But now that it's time for you to go out on your own, your folks need to let you decide for yourself what's important. "Parents can't be objective because they're too invested in their child," suggests Dr. Gary Ripple, Director of Admissions at Lafayette College. This is your big chance to step up to the plate and do what's best for you.

Trust your instincts.

From now on, you're going to have to rely on your own instincts to make big decisions, so now's the time to get good at it. "Even a large, expensive decision about college starts with the facts, but the final choice is much more intuitive," says Ripple. Trust your own feelings and go with the school that feels right for you.

It's your choice, but it's also your responsibility.

"When they're dropped off on campus, students are the ones who will have to make college work," Ripple says. Don't let your parents fill out your applications or call to make interview appointments for you. That's your job. Show colleges that you're responsible and deserve to be admitted. Take the initiative, send in applications on time and do the work yourself. Your parents won't be there to take exams for you, so why should they write your application essays?

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