Students must consider a variety of criteria when choosing a college


Photograph by Jasmyn Sanchez

A pile of books about college admissions at the Eastern Monroe Public Library.

Jasmyn Sanchez, Staff Writer

It is fairly common for high school students to put pressure on themselves in order to get the grades they need to get into a prestigious college. These students and their parents believe that earning a degree from a top college will inevitably set the graduate up for a successful future.


After earning their higher education degrees from prestigious universities, these students are greedily scooped up by employers.


Traditionally, studies showed that prestigious colleges offered a higher quality education than. Today, there are as many as 200 colleges in the U.S. that offer the same or a close level of education at a more affordable price. This shows that students have more flexibility when choosing the best college for them.

Surveys conducted by Gallop found that hiring managers were not focused on where their future employees attended college. In fact, only 30 percent of the hiring managers were concerned about that. Instead, most were more concerned about the students’ abilities.

“Employers are interested in what skills you bring and how these skills can be used in their business,” said Ms.Kris Stadelman, director of the NOVA Workforce Investment Board.

“I think that the most important qualities for employers are being hard working, ambitious, and punctual,” said junior Emily Irlbeck. “I don’t think it matters that much to employers where you go to college as long as you are a well rounded individual.”

A study showed that students who were accepted to top schools and ended up going to less selective schools still earned as much as money as students who had graduated from those top schools. A study conducted by Wall Street Journal concluded that the prestige that a college has doesn’t effect future earnings for many students. 

There are a few important factors students should consider when deciding on the best college to attend. It is important to note the cost, the financial aid, the environment, etc.

Students should definitely consider the best environment when choosing a college. It depends on the person and the career path, and not so much on the name of the university.

“I do not think it matters what college you go to, as long as your college provides you with good opportunities in order for you to have a good career,” said sophomore Amina Bhuiyan. “Colleges that are less prestigious have programs that are just as good as those of the prestigious ones.”

It is important to understand the financial costs of college. A student loan can affect students in the long run.  Attending a prestigious college usually costs more than other colleges, so students must factor in whether or not the additional debt is worth it.

Finding a college that allows a student to pursue his or her passion is also very important when searching for the ideal college. It is important to look further into the college and the opportunities they offer in the classroom, as well as extracurricular offerings, sports, and other considerations.

“A person could have gone to an Ivy League school but still not know what they learned because they weren’t determined,” said sophomore Melanie Santiago. “If that same person also had bad characteristics they would not be admirable to any employer. Being an overall good and well rounded person dominates what college you went to.”l.

Overall, the reputation of the college as well as the tuition do not always determine the quality of education a student receives.  For most students, success is determined by the effort they put into the experience.  If students are committed to earning a degree, willing to learn, and motivated to do well, they will likely succeed in college and in their careers.