What is the true purpose of going to college? This question will ultimately drive how parents navigate the college selection and admission process with their child.
On the one hand, there are parents who believe that only the most selective colleges have the best professors, thus the best academic departments, ultimately providing their child with the best degree to get the best job and have the best life.
They believe competing with the best and brightest students will get the attention of recruiters and graduate schools, who will be knocking down their child's door upon graduation. And that will lead their child to the best first job out of college, at the best company, which will ultimately determine their child's best career path for the rest of his or her life. To these parents, the purpose of college is to set their children up for lifelong professional success at the age of 17. To this group, success in life is directly tied to the selectivity of a college. For them, college is a means to a financial end.