NEVER MAKE YOUR COLLEGE CHOICE BASED ON COLLEGE RANKINGS

Blog Single

Higher education is an excellent investment if you select the right school. However, never make that choice based on college rankings. It's easy to assume that a highly ranked college is a good choice. But is the best college deal the best deal for you?

Picture this. Your son or daughter worked hard throughout high school. They earned top grades while taking a full schedule of challenging courses. They spent many hours preparing for college entrance exams, visited numerous college campuses, and participated in an impressive list of extracurricular activities. Finally, your student gets accepted to their dream school, and after four years, they graduate with honors. One year later, they are applying for a remedial job and have over $50,000 in student loan debt.

Are you thinking, “This couldn’t possibly happen to my child?” Think again!

Every year, students and their parents spend countless hours going through the stressful college admissions process in the hope of getting into top colleges. The truth is, in today's economy, getting into college isn't the problem. The real questions are:

  1. How will you pay for college once you are accepted?
  2. How can you be sure you will complete college in only four years?
  3. How can you be sure you will get a job in your degree field?

Despite paying over $60,000 a year for an increasing number of colleges, it’s the students who are held responsible for their success or failure. Only recently as tuition and student debt have skyrocketed has the word “accountability” begun to be mentioned. And now the COVID-19 is playing a significant part of whether a college commits to online classes, families are starting to wonder what the student gets for his or her $60,000.

  • Why do colleges with seemingly similar inputs such as student quality and faculty expenditures, vary by as much as 20 percentage points in graduation rates?
  • Why do some colleges with much lower “rankings” produce just as many graduates as those more selective schools?
  • What obligation do colleges have in helping students to graduate?

Apparently, beyond admitting the highest percentage of “quality” students as possible, there doesn’t seem too much consensus about the role of the college in a student's success.

College is a significant and expensive investment, and families need to treat it that way. School rankings play a useful role in helping students make wise choices about their education, but rankings should support, not replace, your research. Understanding how the college system works can help you avoid costly mistakes and put the student in the right college for the lowest possible cost.

As a college advisor, the most meaningful college ranking should be based on qualities that make a college a good fit for each particular student.

If you’re a financial advisor with a high school student that plans to go to college in the next four years, and you have no idea how to develop a college game plan, then please contact me. I can show you how to save your client considerable money on your college expenses.

Posted by Ron Them

For over 20 years, the nation's leading financial advisors, broker/dealers, and major media outlets have been using his research, funding strategies, training, and insight. Ron is highly regarded as an expert in the college funding field.

He is a former Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 company and currently owns his own financial advisory company specializing in cash flow planning for business owners and executives. He developed the Cash Flow Recovery™ process that uses cash flow management principals to increase asset value and build wealth for business owners.

He is also the originator of several software calculators to help advisors and families make college affordable, including:

* College QuikPlan EFC Calculator
* "Find the Money" College Cash Flow Calculator
* College Debt Reduction Calculator

Ron has been quoted in U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Smart Money, Financial Advisor Magazine, Small Firm Profit Report, Practical Accountant, LIMRA's Market Facts, Senior Advisors Magazine, HR Magazine, BenefitNews.com, Employee Benefit News Magazine, ProducersWeb.com, Entrepreneur Magazine, Insurance Selling Magazine, CollegeNews.com, The Christian Voice, and Columbus CEO Magazine.