As I explained in a previous post, I recently asked a group of friends about their experiences in selecting a college or university.
This account comes from a graduate of the University of Portland (Oregon, not Maine), who later pursued a Masters in International Studies from the University of Denver.Â He is now a specialist in international trade at the US Department of Commerce.
“For undergraduate studies I wanted a small school focused on a classic liberal arts education. I did not want fraternities, big football games, and classes bigger than my entire high school. However, I wanted to be located in a larger city/metropolitan atmosphere but not necessarily right downtown. Picky I know, but when you think about spending a $100,000 and more for college you should get what you want and that is what I got at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon.
Now with that said, I do not think I was totally aware of all of these needs so in some respect I got lucky. My parents did not go to college and thus had very little input as to what school would be better suited for my needs, plus I was taking on the financial burden of going to a small private school, where the price of one academic quarter was twice as much as a full year at the State schools in Washington State.
My undergraduate college was not a brand name school outside of the Northwest, but it is constantly ranked as one of the best small private schools for the price. Further, it continues to strive beyond expectations. A year after I graduated they started a financial campaign to raise a measly 7 million dollars over 5 years, in the first two years they raised 10 million and by the end of the 5 year campaign they had raised over 20 million with the majority of coming from alumni. I think this says a lot about the experience people had while attending.”
So, as usual, I have some questions for you, dear reader. Is a “brand name” school the most important criterion? What is the measure of a “good” education?