Family and College Choices

on March 23, 2017

Throughout the college application process, your family can help you choose the best colleges for you. Family members know you well and might have insight on which colleges you should consider. They also can be great company on college campus tours.


Although you might be ready to conquer the world on your own, listen to your family and take advantage of their wisdom.


In or Out of State


When you start your college search, consider whether you want to go to a nearby college, a college that is within a day’s drive or a college that is as far away from home as possible.


Is distance from home important to you? Does it matter how far away college is?


Your parents might be pushing for you to go to a college that is close to home. Parents often have trouble letting go as their children transition to adulthood. They will miss you. Even if you go to college nearby, a weekly telephone call can help you avoid homesickness while keeping your parents in the loop.


Although some students find comfort in having family close by, others might see going to college as an opportunity to declare their independence. Understanding what proximity you want to your family can help narrow down your list of colleges.


Even if you want to go to college far from home, include at least one in-state public college on your college list. The local state school can serve as a financial aid safety school since it will often be your least expensive option. Your parents will like the possibility of getting a great quality education at a lower cost. They will appreciate that you considered their opinion and their wallet.


Let’s Hear It for the Alma Mater


Did your parents meet in college? Is your sister always raving about how much she loves her college? Were you raised as a diehard college football fan? These colleges are a great option for you, too.


College pride runs deep within families, and you might be encouraged to apply to the alma maters of your parents and siblings. Your college journey will make your parents feel rejuvenated and nostalgic for their own college years.


These colleges might seem more desirable to you because of the great stories you’ve heard about them throughout the years. If they fit the criteria of what you want out of your college experience, they can be a great way to continue the family tradition. But, be sure to research the different majors, student life and campus culture before making this decision.


Sharing college spirit with your family can keep you connected after you’ve moved away from home. It will give you something you can enjoy together. You’ll love walking around campus with your mom as she tells you all about her college experiences decades ago, and she’ll love watching you have as great a time as she did.


Many colleges like the idea of creating a legacy within families, and having family members who are alumni will be noted on your application. Being a legacy can increase your chances of admission.

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