There was a post recently on “Admitted,” the blog of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), that examined how many adults — if they could do it all over again — would choose to attend a different college than the one from which they graduated. The post, written by Mary Stegmeir, cites how a survey conducted by Gallup and the Strada Education Network found that 28% of those polled responded they’d have attended a different college if they could get a Mulligan. Of course, there are no Mulligans years after college — only if you’re able to realize you’d like to attend a different college during those four years and successfully transfer to another institution.
Unsurprisingly, many respondents also weren’t happy with their choice of major. Many would have chosen a different course of study if they had the chance to do college all over again — kind of like how Zac Efron got to do high school all over again in “Seventeen Again.” Oh wait, that was fiction. Anyhow, as Stegmeir writes of the study, “Other key findings include: individuals with some college but no degree are the most likely to say they would select a different institution, major, or degree choice; individuals who borrowed larger amounts of student loans to pay for undergraduate training are more likely to report they would make different educational decisions; individuals who attended a for-profit institution at the sub-baccalaureate level or who attended a private, nonprofit institution at the two-year level are more likely to regret their decisions than those who earned credentials from other institutions.”
Many students who approach the highly selective college admissions process incorrectly don’t end up getting into their top choice schools. And so they matriculate to less prestigious universities even though it’s not what they would have wanted — because they have no choice. We suspect that a sizable percentage of respondents to this survey who cited that they would attend a different school in hindsight if given the opportunity didn’t end up getting into their top college choice(s) during the admissions process. We suspset their displeasure began at the very start. But it’s just a guess.