Looking for the Best American Colleges

Last week when I was filling in as a guest lecturer for the college counseling certificate program at the University of California, San Diego, I exchanged messages with a mother/college counselor who felt very strongly that kids in San Diego should attend college here.

Her arguments? She reasoned that students couldn’t get summer jobs at fast-food restaurants and at other employers in San Diego if they attended college elsewhere. She also feared that after graduation they probably wouldn’t return to San Diego. Really? San Diego?

This is the argument that I had a hard time wrapping my brain around: She suggested that kids spend so much time drinking and taking drugs that they wouldn’t appreciate the financial sacrifice that parents make. So why spend too much money – have the kids stay close to home in college.

I’m sure many parents share some of the mom’s fears, which would help explain why most students attend school within 100 miles from home. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are wonderful opportunities spread throughout the country and some of them even cost less money than if your child attended school a couple of hours away.

Families often don’t know what good academic matches exist outside their own state. And that’s why I’m providing a link to lists of great schools in the East, Midwest, South and West.

I found the lists after reading Forbes Magazine’s Best American Colleges issue that I wrote about last week. If nothing else, the lists give you a starting place to look.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution.

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