Which US college is both students’ and parents’ dream school?
Stanford University is the dream college of both students and parents. Source: Jason Leung/ Unsplash

Choosing which colleges to apply for in the United States can be a daunting task, only complicated further by differing preferences between students and their parents.

The 2018 College Hopes & Worries Survey Report produced by college admission services company Princeton Review looks at applicants’ biggest concerns as well as their hopes for university. It also looks at which is the ‘dream school’ among both prospective students and their parents.

It found that while half of the parents consulted said they wanted their kids to attend university less than 250 miles from their home, a healthy majority of students (67 percent) said that they would like to study more than 250 miles from where they grew up.

But turns out there is one thing both those entering university and their parents can agree on: the most desirable school in the US to attend.

California’s Stanford University was named the number one dream school in America among 9,345 students and 1,613 parents across 80 countries consulted for the survey.

Located close to Silicon Valley and the bohemian San Francisco Bay Area, Stanford offers a world class education as well as quality of life and abundant opportunities after graduation for employment nearby. It is also ranked third in the world by Times Higher Education World Rankings.

Source: Ye Linn Wai/ Unsplash

Both named the leading colleges of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, Yale University and Princeton in their top ten dream colleges.

But while students named Berkeley, UCLA and the University of Southern California in their top ten, parents were more inclined towards Brown, Cornell and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

The largest percentage of respondents (42 percent) said that their college preferences were based upon the program best for future career interests, while just 8 percent said that they preferred the university with the best academic reputation.

Their biggest worries? Some 85 percent of respondents estimated that their college costs exceed $50,000. The survey showed concern over debt has grown significantly in the past decade, with the largest worry of students and their parents being college debt since 2013.

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