Schools are More than Classes
It can be easy to focus too heavily on the types of programs offered without paying enough attention to the school as a whole. School, and even programs of study within the schools, may have distinct personalities. The atmosphere within the school, the types of students who attend, and the community in which the school is located all have a significant influence on the school, overall.
Parents might already be on the alert for "party" school where drinking and socializing may take priority over studies. Beyond that, both parents and students may fail to consider the other factors that will determine whether or not the school is a good fit. Universities that primarily attract wealthy students often have high academic standards but the social life at the school may revolve around expensive hobbies and high-end restaurants. It might be difficult to fit in on a ramen budget when other students are weekending in the Hamptons.
Even if there are few differences in income, lifestyles could significantly impact the university experience. Pay attention to what percentage of students live on campus, attend part-time, or are older students, returning to school to complete their degrees. Also take a look at what societies and clubs you might enjoy.
All these areas should be researched, prior to picking a school. It can be difficult enough to settle into a university and excel in a programme of study, without adding in other factors like a poor fit into the challenges. Before making what could be a lifechanging decision, take the time to learn more than school statistics and academic rankings before committing to a school.