Influences on Teen College Choice

By Cameron Green As time in high school to comes to an end, teens have to begin to think about their next steps in life. For many teens, that would be the decision of which college they might attend. How do teens come to make their college decision and who has the most influence? According to Social Cognitive Career Theory in the Stats in Brief article, the most positive supportive influences usually are a combination of parents, families, teachers, counselors, mentors, or role models in general. A student’s major will often be an important influence into their college choice. Many students will wisely look into the rankings of schools for what they want to do. In fact, Marcus, a current college student said, “When I was trying to decide which college, it came down to who had the best ranking for my major and what school was most affordable.” The schools themselves have extreme influence on whether a teen would like to attend. Some students want small campuses while others want larger ones with big sports teams. Some students like urban campuses while others want to be in a small college town. The cost of college is also important to consider. Most students interested in college noted factors such as the college’s academic reputation, the jobs that the graduates get, financial assistance and the cost of the college (Higher Education Resource Institute, 2010). Check out resources like the Financial Award Letter Comparison Tool and the College Scorecard to help you consider college costs in your decision. In the end, there are a lot of factors that affect a teen’s final decision on where to attend college. Be sure to start early so you can thoroughly consider all your options and work with your school and other supportive college access organizations to consider this important choice.

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