As we built College Counseling Connecticut, we noticed that many of our college counseling discussions quickly turned to financial discussions. In addition to the common questions related to financial aid, merit aid, and overall college expenses, the questions started to focus on “whether X college was worth it?”
Since career counseling has always been a part of my work, I was happy that my knowledge about career paths could be helpful to our college counseling clients. I was surprised that my financial background (in part from my attorney days with the Securities and Exchange Commission) would be an asset.
Families making financial decisions about college cost are usually so anxious that rationality becomes constrained. Our initial framework centers upon differentiating the college experience versus career outcomes.
In the not so old days, most parents were focused on “fit” based on socialization, class size, campus, clubs and other factors primarily related to the 4 year experience at the college, as if the post-college career outcome was not particularly important.
In our recent work, some parents are focused almost exclusively on the post-college career outcomes, as if the 4 years at the college were not particularly important.
Both matter. Both are worth the investment. The nuances and subtleties of each relate to our clients’ idiosyncratic preferences.