10 data points for making the college decision

Last Updated on March 24, 2021 by Real College Matters

by Leigh Moore

A friend recently asked me to identify the ten most important facts when it comes to choosing a college.  The higher ed choice starts and ends with the student’s unique priorities, but I liked the tacit question behind his challenge:  What’s most important?  Specifically, what data is most important?

As some of you know, we have a senior at our house this year.   He’s probably seen about half of the schools to which he’s been admitted.  He simply will not be able to visit them all, and we needed a compass of sorts to show us where to travel during his spring break.  I reflected on that matter of relative importance, compiled a data set accordingly, and put it in front of both my husband and my son.   The exercise was valuable; in terms of objective measures, his best bets became pretty clear once a few metrics were on paper.

In case it’s helpful for you, here’s what I decided are the 10 most important data points to reference when making the college decision:

Real College Matters balances big ideals with big data.  We understand the limitations inherent in any metric but believe that data can serve our students beyond the admissions process.  As I hope I’ve illustrated above, there is much in the data which may be a lens for clarifying the “real college” behind the hype.

All of the stats mentioned are publicly available, and most of them can be found on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System website.

If you’d rather skip the research, we can save you a lot of time; we keep all this information, along with much, much more, on hand. If you want to know more about how data can guide your student, set up a free consult today.