We love Frank Bruni’s Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania so much that we hand out a copy to any client who is interested in our college planning services. Bruni, a New York Times columnist, lays out a rational and persuasive case for why parents and students should stop torturing themselves over getting into the most prestigious brand-name universities.
Bruni’s philosophy tracks perfectly with our belief that the right school is more important than the name of the school. He draws on anecdotes, interviews, and statistics to prove that you can be successful without going to Harvard (or any of the other Ivies or similarly lauded schools). He analyzes lists of Fortune 500 CEOs and finds that the majority do not have prestigious degrees. He muses about why the media loves to talk about politicians’ Ivy League credentials while ignoring the fact that many successful politicians have less impressive educational backgrounds.
The point is not that you shouldn’t apply to an Ivy League school (or any other school with highly selective admissions requirements). But what the book does extremely well is convince parents and students that you can find success anywhere. In fact, often a school with a less prestigious reputation is a better fit for an individual student.
At the end of the day, which college you attend matters much less than the amount of work you put into your education and your willingness to push yourself and be open to new experiences. As Bruni notes, life is defined by little snags and big setbacks; success is determined by the ability to distinguish between the two and rebound from either. There’s no single juncture, no specific crossroads, on which everything hinges. So why do so many Americans–anxious parents, addled children–treat the college admissions process as if it were precisely that?
If you haven’t yet read this book at our urging, we encourage you to pick it up (we think both parents and students will appreciate the sentiments inside). You might find that the entire college application process becomes a lot less overwhelming.
Our college counselors can help guide you towards the school that will truly be the best fit. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-216-2222 to learn more.