042: West Chester University and the Blueprint for the Perfect College

Today’s episode features a College Spotlight on West Chester (PA) University with Ethan Martin, which serves as a case study for how to choose the perfect college for you.  The interesting part is that Ethan didn’t know he was following a blueprint for success… but that’s also the scary part because so few people do!

Ethan shares some of West Chester’s highlights, including great facilities (especially for recreation), an accessible and enjoyable town, and professors who have credibility in industry, all of which helped him have a great experience and land a job with a WCU alumnus upon graduation.

Unbeknownst to him, Ethan used all four components of our “Perfect College” assessment in making the decision to attend West Chester: Academics, Finances, Campus Life, and Opportunities.  We help students prioritize and then implement each of these factors when choosing their “Best College.”

First, he focused on academics by selecting Gwynedd-Mercy University as his initial destination because of their strong reputation in his desired major, respiratory therapy.  However, when he discovered that he didn’t enjoy the coursework in his freshman year at community college and opted for business, he shifted tack and looked at West Chester’s business school.

Finances played a role in Ethan’s decision in two ways: first, he started his schooling at Montgomery County Community College, where he could earn his general education credits at a much lower cost.  Secondly, he considered the sticker price of WCU as compared to private schools and saw the advantages of graduating with less debt (lesson #1 of business, right?).

The third lens through which we teach students to choose a college is Campus Life; as I say in the interview, after 18 hours/week of classes you still have 150 hours to live life: where do you want to live for four years?  Ethan astutely noted the convenience of the town and the setup of the campus as “good fit” factors, and it seems to have paid off for him.

Lastly, Ethan took advantage of opportunities by using career services on campus to land a job with a WCU alum.  He gave himself a greater chance of success by attending a school with a larger alumni base than the others he considered, leveraging the importance of networking in and after college.

Links mentioned in or related to today’s conversation:

West Chester University

Montgomery County Community College

Gwynedd-Mercy University

Eastern University


Sam’s college selection process (episode 001)

Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in review (episode 022)

Tribes by Seth Godin

Have a question for Ethan about West Chester or a review about the school that you’d like to add?  Leave a comment below!

If you would like to learn more about our course: Choose the Perfect College for You, check out the box below for more information about personal coaching or the Academy, our online source for whatever you need to make great decisions about your education.

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