The Right Decision: Choosing a College and Why it Matters

I have another book coming out soon! This one is the shortest book I have ever written…but the topic is super important!

I have served for the last 8.5 years as the President of William Jessup University (www.jessup.edu). In my time in this role, I have had literally hundreds of conversations with parents and students. The choice of a college rivals marriage, career, and where to live.

I’ll let you know when the book comes out, but here is a sneak peak at what I think goes into that decision:

The Right Choice Overview:

My fundamental bias about the college decision process is that it is weighty, important, should be made in partnership with people who care about you (the student) with input from experts and friends, and never based on a single factor.  I like to think about the college choice conversation as a Venn diagram with intersecting circles based on Dreams, Desires, and Details. 

Dreams are all about your personal hopes for the future.  Career, calling, sense of mission. This is where you start thinking about your life at age 30 (yikes!) and maybe even at 50 (double yikes!).  If you have not done any career assessments or inventories, you can obtain one at Monster.com to benefit from that information.

Desires are what you have dreamed about when you thought about college.  Perhaps you have always wanted the urban alternative to your rural upbringing, the remote college setting to contrast with your suburban or city life.  Did you attend a huge public high school and long for the intimacy of a tight college community? Did you long for more variety, diversity, breadth of experience and travel opportunities?  Each of these desires will likely shape your choice of your college.

Details include realities like tuition costs, financial aid and scholarship offers, housing costs and options, chosen major availability, and club/intramural opportunities.  These details can seem mind numbing to wade through, but they affect your total cost and your experience more than you might imagine.

THIS IS WHAT I SEE:

I see you down the road. Years from now, after you have had a wonderful college experience where you made 3-5 great friends that stick with you for the rest of your life and had one or two professors who imprinted on your worldview and skillset. I see you down the road when you may have married someone you met in college, got your first job based on an internship, or changed your entire career trajectory based on your experience in college. I see you down the road. You are full of peace and joy because you are living out who you were made to be. Choosing a college well can be a life changing choice, and this book will help you make that decision (and many others!) so that you are a person of peace down the road.