How To Sell That Perfect Fit College to Family

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William Goodall
William Goodall

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If we’re lucky, we know the feeling of finding that perfect school. That one campus which you step onto and immediately feel like home. Getting that acceptance letter in the mail can feel like the highlight of your life, but once all the immediate commotion settles down, it’s time to get to business. How can you, as a student, effectively sell that perfect fit college to your parents and/or guardians?

For some people that perfect fit just happens to be exactly what their parents are looking for as well! However, sometimes a bit of prodding—perhaps due to distance, degree or some other factor—is needed to get everyone on board with you. If/When that time comes, here are some tips for selling your perfect school

Sell it to yourself

You are your own worst enemy. Psyching yourself out is easily one of the quickest ways to close a door, so once you’ve found your perfect college, the first person you need to sell it to is yourself. Not only does this process help solidify your own beliefs on the University, but it also starts forming an argument (and some counter arguments) that you can use in more formal conversations.

Convincing yourself may lead you to some new research that you may not have focused on previously. Use this time to come up with counter arguments the person you’re selling this school to might make, and prepare responses to these gripes. Just remember however, a prepared individual is very different than a prepared answer, be flexible and knowledgeable, not just a robot.

Bring leverage

Walking into a sales pitch for a college should be treated just the same as a professional sales pitch in the workforce, meaning it’s not enough just to know your product (in this case perfect school). Beyond just arguments for your school, bring evidence. This doesn’t have to be physical, but school rankings, cost of living numbers, successful alumni, and benefits beyond just what the school’s website lists are often key factors in a decision, and should be used accordingly.

Make concessions but don’t give up the fight

Bargaining is a game of give and take, and it’s rare you’ll walk into a pitch without giving a bit in return. Offering to help cover costs by taking on a summer or part-time job, accepting to take a double major or a minor in something if an argument over the relevancy of a degree comes up, setting a schedule of video chat sessions that both parties regularly adhere to if distance is a concern. Sometimes giving up on small battles to win the war is worthwhile.

What counts as a concession is different in every situation, however: just remember that sometimes doing something you might consider tedious or overbearing might just be the small price to pay for the school of your dreams. And when you know the perfect fit college is on the line, it’s worth investing in your future.

Questions? Let us know!