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  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

Picking Your College - How Much Does It Matter Which One You Choose?

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Today I attended the Key4Women Annual Forum where I met so many interesting women - leaders, business owners, dedicated employees, and entrepreneurs! It was amazing to be in the same room as Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic Track & Field Legend who I had watched compete on television so long ago, and to hear about her impressive life journey - from a childhood in East St. Louis to college at UCLA to becoming a world-class athlete to giving back to her community through her foundation work.

She had good reminders for us about believing in yourself, working hard to achieve your goals, and recognizing the greatness in the people around you! She challenged all of us to be our best selves, to work together, to get involved, and to give back to our communities. As she said, “If you give the world the best, the best will come back to you!”

It was obvious to me that she wasn’t great only because she attended UCLA, it was because of her hard work and all that she put into her experience that she succeeded. All of the other successful women I met today had their own stories and they represented a wide-range of colleges and universities that they had attended. As I connected with many of them on LinkedIn afterward, I took note of the many different colleges listed on their profiles - Russell Sage, SUNYs, UAlbany, Pace University, Baruch College, Alfred State, Maria College, Ithaca College, to name a few, and interestingly enough, no duplicates.

This is a great reminder that you can be successful and happy in life regardless of the particular college you choose to attend. It’s more about the energy and effort you put into your experience (what you get involved in, who you network with, how you challenge yourself to learn new things) than the exact college you choose.

Do I believe students and families should be thoughtful about their college choice? Yes, I think it’s very helpful to learn about the options and make choices that will be a good fit not only academically, but also socially and financially. That said, I also believe there are many colleges and universities out there that will be a good fit for each student and that there is a place at the table for all students.

At Confident College Planning we work to take the stress out of the college selection process by helping clients with a planful approach to researching institutions, writing essays, completing applications, understanding funding options, and successfully transitioning from high school to college. If you have questions or would like to discuss the support I can provide, please email me at because I would be happy to help!

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