How to Choose the Right College for Aspiring Engineers


Choose the Right CollegeChoose the Right CollegeIn this episode, I speak with Pamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Compass Education Strategies, LLC, about how to choose right college for aspiring engineers. We cover admissions and scholarships, and she outlines key considerations including academic offerings, social fit, financial aspects, career objectives, and cultural environment.

***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

Engineering Quotes:

Choose the Right CollegeChoose the Right College

Choose the Right CollegeChoose the Right College

Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How to Choose the Right College for Aspiring Engineers:

  • Aspiring engineering students should consider key factors like academic interests, social opportunities, financial affordability, vocational goals, and cultural support when selecting a college. Evaluating these aspects helps ensure they thrive in their chosen engineering program and campus environment.
  • For students, especially those interested in engineering, strategic standardized test preparation is key. Taking practice exams for both the ACT and SAT helps identify the best test for focused preparation and maximizing score advantage in college admissions.
  • To increase scholarship opportunities, students should target colleges that align with their interests. Colleges are more likely to offer scholarships to students who are a good fit for their programs and demonstrate strong academic performance and extracurricular involvement. Applying for need-based aid like FAFSA is also recommended, as colleges may consider various factors beyond income when awarding scholarships.
  • When exploring colleges, students should look beyond brand names and locations. They should visit campuses to gather firsthand information about departments, curriculum, and faculty, and ask questions to ensure a good fit for their academic and career goals.
  • When researching colleges, students should visit departments of interest to meet current students and explore community connections. If unable to visit, reaching out to admissions or department staff for student contacts can provide valuable insights into the college experience.
  • Before diving into college choices, students and parents should ask themselves why higher education is important to them. This foundational question will guide decisions about coursework and college selection, ensuring a purposeful and intentional approach to the college search process.

More in This Episode…

In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Pamela talks about the exploration of different areas within engineering through summer programs.

About the Guest, Pamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D.

Compass Education StrategiesCompass Education StrategiesPamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D. — The Education Doctor® — partners with busy parents to help their teen find a college that feels like home without over-paying. She founded Compass College Advisory in 2010 and has served over 1,000 families. Ninety-five percent of their students have been admitted to their top-choice colleges, and the average scholarship is $75,000. Dr. Pamela is a highly sought-after speaker and author of the best-selling book, “What to Know Before They Go: College Edition.” Dr. Pamela graduated from Stanford University and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and she earned a doctorate from the Stanford University School of Education.

About the Host, Jeff Perry, MBA

The Engineering Career CoachThe Engineering Career CoachJeff Perry is a leadership/career coach for engineers, building mindsets, leadership, and career intentions to unlock hidden potential and remove self-imposed roadblocks for career and life. For years, he has had the pleasure of supporting engineers and software pros, from new grads to director level. Having been on the front lines in the technical world, he has been able to map out the necessary skills for becoming a quality leader in the field.

You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn at or visit his website, Jeff also has a new, FREE, on-demand training course for engineers who are job searching or in job transitions. You can see it at

Books Mentioned in This Episode

The Intentional Engineer

Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:

Compass Education Strategies, LLC
Compass College Advisory
Connect with Pamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D., on LinkedIn

We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how to choose the right college for aspiring engineers.

Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.

  • If you enjoyed this post, please consider downloading our free list of 33 Productivity Routines of Top Engineering Executives. Click the button below to download.

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To your success,

Jeff Perry, MBA
Host of The Engineering Career Coach Podcast


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