This post goes out to all of the high school students, transfer students, and parents of the aforementioned who looking for a college. Your quest is not an easy one and, no doubt, you are being bombarded by many institutions. I want to encourage you to look at schools in a new way:
STATS: As you visit campuses and websites you will hear many FACTS. These may include graduation rates, job placement percentages, SAT score averages and the like. You will find lists of clubs, hear about student to faculty ratios and have people tell you “we have that program.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the lists and numbers start to blend together after a while. The question is: what is distinct about any of these colleges?
STORIES: Some have said that numbers tell a story. I prefer to say that numbers support a story but, in fact, people share their lives. When you visit a campus ask students, faculty and staff about WHY they are at that college. Look for stories in the brochures and websites. When you visit each campus go early or stay late and just wander around for half an hour to observe the intangibles of the college.
You can graduate any college with a piece of paper that gives you a degree. You can leave most schools getting a job. You can attend a prestigious institution solely for the name. The real question is: are you going to college to get a job or to be transformed into a person that lives a memorable story? The answer to this question will determine how you approach your college search. Blessings to you as you approach the next chapter of your story.