Helping A Child Choose A College

Oakland University

Helping a child choose a college is as important as it is difficult. More than 50% of college students change majors and nearly 7 out of 10 students today graduate with debt. The right fit academically and educationally is crucial to success!

I spoke with University Research and Review Founder Joe Schmoke for some tips and resources for parents for helping a child choose a college or university.


Helping A Child Choose A College

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – When thinking about a college selection, what are the factors the parents for helping a child choose a college?

Joe Schmoke, Founder of University Research and Review – College is expensive… but it need not be. Look beyond the “usual suspect” colleges for schools that have good academic programs, reasonable costs to attend and, importantly, their students love them. As an example, there are about fifteen such schools listed on, each of which are thoroughly researched by higher education experts (not by marketers or list providers). Then take a close look at important numbers for each school, like default rate, graduation rate, net cost, financial aid provided, and other criteria, all of which can be found on the Department of Education’s College Navigator website. As mentioned above, free guidance can be obtained at several other websites.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – When helping a child select a college or university, how should a family use their budget to help decide what might be the best fit financially to avoid massive amounts of debt?

Joe Schmoke, Founder of University Research and Review – Keep in mind that all colleges are now great marketing machines. Note that their ads NEVER mention cost; it’s always about the experience. That should alert a thinking person. Costs to attend should be carefully examined. Grants and scholarships (both of which are actually “discounts” offered by schools with artificially high tuition) should be researched. College Navigator website is good for this research. Many students should think about attending community college for the first two years, especially at a school that has transfer agreements in place with good four year colleges. Also keep in mind that of the current twenty million students in college today more than six million will transfer to another school before graduating. The number one reason they transfer is the cost of their first choice has become burdensome. The typical transfer students says, “I picked my original college because I thought it was a cool place, but now that the reality of its high costs have hit me I’m moving to a more reasonably priced school.”

University Research and Review uses students surveys to formulate the best possible fields of study and best possible potential schools for students to pursue their career. Days after the survey is complete, a report suggests recommended fields of study and about five schools, out of the more than 7,000 colleges and universities in the United States. The service is tailored to a variety of end users, including high school students, current college students considering switching schools or majors, or professionals interested in going back to school. URR’s results are unbiased and never favor one institution over another, ensuring an even playing field and unbiased suggestions from URR advisors.

For more tips on helping a child choose a college, visit

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