College Counseling: Location, location, location… it really matters

By College Counseling

As always… all names and identifying details are changed when describing interactions with our college counseling clients.

Steve and Linda are well meaning parents from Old Lyme, Connecticut.  I met with them several years ago in relation to their son Kyle.  Reading from what seems to be the current “good parent playbook”, they said that Kyle could go wherever he wanted. to college.  As we reviewed colleges, I noted – as I always do – that we are lucky in that we live in an area where there are more great colleges than anywhere on earth.  That’s not an exaggeration.  The northeast corridor has more good colleges per square mile than any region of the country (or world).

Kyle – speaking from seems to be the standard student applying to college playbook – noted that he wanted something “different”.  I totally understand.  But he had no idea regarding the differences between living in the Midwest v. the Wouth v. the West and as I noted to Kyle (and his parents), there are far reaching implications to attending college in a particular location.  Most students – and some parents – do not realize that “once you start a ball rolling, it will continue in that direction” such that going to a college in Ohio (as Kyle did) would naturally lead to Kyle having the majority of his friends in Ohio, more abundant work opportunities in Colorado, and possibly someone he was dating in Ohio.  That’s all fine if there was some forethought about living in Ohio in the future.

I met with Steve and Linda recently regarding their second child.  The first ting they said: “wow you were right about location mattering.  Everything you said happened – his friends are in Ohio, it was easier to get a job in Ohio, and his girlfriend is from Ohio.  Looks like he is staying in Ohio.”

I should emphasize that there was literally no connection to Ohio prior to Kyle heading off to college there.

This may well turn out fine but as Linda noted with some sadness – it’s not Ohio is like California but it is just far enough that a plane ride is needed so we never see him anymore…

I’m happy to help your children go wherever is optimal for them.  But if you want some help in assuring they make a wise choice, contact me at anytime.