We don’t have to tell you that selecting a college or university is one of the toughest jobs a parent can face. All those catalogs listing all those courses can be somewhat daunting. What’s more, a school’s true qualities are rarely as blatant as the service charge on a ticket for The Rolling Stones. You have to ask questions, query administrators and dig deep underneath the academia mire to truly understand what a school is about.

Fortunately, we can help.

First thing you want to keep in mind is that times have changed since you went to college, and the institute of higher learning that has only one, maybe two concerts per semester is a relic of the past. Today’s schools often schedule two, four, even eight shows per week starring such big name stars as Coldplay and The Used. In the new millennium the deciding factor about schools isn’t about how many concerts the campus plays host to, but rather how much it’s going to cost you so your kid can have a decent seat for U2 in the school gym.

But ticket price is only one of the factors that should be on your short list when considering a college for your son or daughter. Faculty members are equally important. Do professors insist on scheduling major exams the day after Bob Dylan plays at the school? Will they extend the deadline on a term paper so that your kid might catch Particle or Adema playing at one of the local student hangouts? Will they cut your son or daughter some slack if he or she decides to skip a week’s worth of classes in order to hang out on the road with Bret Michaels? Sure, these questions seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many parents don’t think about the answers until it’s way too late and that first tuition check has already been cashed.

Picking a university or college for your son or daughter can be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, and student curfews, complimentary Green Day tickets for fraternities and sororities and low grading curves are just some of the factors one must consider when selecting a school for one’s child. However, with proper research you are sure to find the school that’s right for your child. A school that will prepare your son or daughter with the necessary educational experiences so that he or she can go out and win in this crazy mixed-up world in which we live.

Besides, if you pick the right school, your son or daughter might even turn out to be just like you. Isn’t that something to strive for?