The debate between paying full tuition at an elite institution or accepting a merit scholarship from someplace less prestigious “is a conversation we have all the time,” said James Conroy, chairman of post-high-school counseling at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Ill., an affluent suburb in Chicago. “It’s a tough conversation because what it gets down to is the values of the family.”
But he said many parents did not realize that their children were going up against other children who were identical to them — at least on paper. “There are 100 schools that we talk about in this office day after day after day,” he said. “But those are the same schools that every New Trier across the country talks about.”
Prestige has always been part of the equation, but he said he had expected parents to start looking for value in colleges after the 2008 financial collapse. Instead, parents have come to see the elite universities as the only way to give their children a chance at success. They feel jobs are hard to come by and companies are only going to look to hire at the elite universities.
Read the rest of Paul Sullivan’s informative article for more on college name vs. cost.