Parent College Coach Tip #28: Attitude Trumps the College Name

Much is debated about the college name and prestige, especially among parents. It’s logical that parents want their kids to have the best opportunities available. It’s illogical that they place more value in the name than in the education itself. But so many parents encourage their kids to make illogical college choices. Where you go to college is not as important as you might think.

Name vs Attitude

The college education itself is more important than the college name. Your student can get an excellent education at a community college, a small liberal arts college, or are large state university. If a student isn’t invested in college, the college reputation won’t make him any more committed to the education. Attitude is everything. A student who desires a learning and life experience can make that happen in any college environment.

Does it really matter which college?

Expensive institutions would want you to believe that their price is high because your student will receive a better education than those less expensive institutions. That is not necessarily the case. There are over 400 four-year universities and colleges in this country providing quality education. A colleague of mine told me that some of the best government contractors will shun Ivy League graduates over those of the state colleges.

Here’s one recruiter’s perspective:

Sometimes the poor kid who had to pay his way through Chico State has the most pluck and is the most driven. These types of employees are sometimes the most successful of all, because they are used to working hard from the get-go and did not come by anything in life through their dad’s connections. They have no sense of entitlement, so are willing to get their hands dirty for the mission.

Read the rest of the article and you’ll see why a college name isn’t that important.

Bragging rights for parents doesn’t translate into a good college investment. What matters most is your student’s attitude and desire to learn. Plopping down big bucks in the hopes of a big payback after graduation is not a wise decision unless all the criteria are met.

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