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College Choices and Following Family Footsteps: Yay or Nay?

Without even realizing it, parents can adversely affect the choices of their students which may lead to a lack of success in college.

College Choices and Following Family Footsteps: Yay or Nay?

 
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I will be the first one to admit that deep down inside I hoped that one of my kids would at least consider my alma mater (the University of La Verne, a wonderful little college that is still very near and dear to my heart) when thinking about college and making the important decision on where to spend the very important years after high school. 

Unfortunately, (fortunately?) I moved across the U.S. before having a family and the distance played a big role in why none of my boys chose my college as their college. I still have one at home who has not made his college choice yet, but as of now (he’s just starting high school) his heart is set on attending the same college as one of his big brothers. 

See how that works? Peer pressure can have a large role in the college decision process, even if it comes from well-meaning parents, siblings, or other family members.

College prep and parenting expert, Wendy David-Gaines, tackles the problem of outside influences in making college choices in her latest article.

Without even realizing it, parents can adversely affect the choices of their students which may lead to a lack of success in college. 

BEWARE OUTSIDE INFLUENCES

ON COLLEGE CHOICE

Financial forces and student qualifications clearly impact college choices but there are other factors that can have a huge effect on the specific school a student attends. “A new paper on sibling influence in college choice proves, once again, that it’s always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” according to HuffPost college.  And sometimes it’s parents, girlfriends, and boyfriends. Being aware of the external leverages refocuses the spotlight back on what the college offers that benefits the student.

The sibling findings were based on the study, The relationship between siblings’ college choices: Evidence from one million SAT-taking families in the Economics of Education Review. Prior research “demonstrated the importance both of educational peer effects and of various factors that affect college choice.” This one noted, “One-fifth of younger siblings enroll in the same college as their older siblings.”

Peer pressure also plays a strong role in teen lives. In the college process, it notably pops up in many a college list filled with the same popular brand name schools. Motivation for interest in a school can also be based on who else attends like a best friend or boyfriend. Parents can exert pressure, too, urging consideration of an alma mater.

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Whatever the influence, if it doesn’t lead students to their best chance of success it can cost dearly in time and money. High student debt and poor graduation rates are huge hurdles that can be overcome with a college choice matching student abilities with college offerings.

College Choices and Following Family Footsteps: Yay or Nay?

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