It has become fashionable among affluent Connecticut parents attempting to lower stress to spew nonsensical statements like “it doesn’t matter where you go to college.” This crazy talk emanates from one piece of truth: the character of the child will likely make the college experience good/bad regardless of where one goes.
(1) You will want choice. If you move to Colorado, it will be different than moving to South Carolina. Some people would like the former and some the latter. Indeed, entire lives shift when students decide to go to college out west. Certainly, if a student goes to college in Boston, she has a higher likelihood of living there post-college than any other location. So, that matters – a lot!
(2) the people matter enormously. My wife and I met in college. That’s not particularly uncommon. While likely a dated statistic, at some point, 25% of college graduates met their spouses in college. That alone would make me as a parent want to do everything possible to optimize the college choice. The Godfather of my youngest child is my college roommate. Those who knew me in high school were surprised because my high school best friend was more like a brother to me. But due to living together, college has a way of forming bonds in a way well beyond those formed in high school. This matters because students are different in subtle ways – at least as a collective – from one college to another. Compare Clemson to Emerson. The students – in general – are very different. Your children will want to be wit their people.
New friends, a new home, and maybe even one’s spouse can come from a well-matched college. Optimize your child’s choice.