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The hockey varies, some can hang with better D-3 while others would be competitive with a good Club team.
The education is fine if the kid's if plan is to stay in New England the rest of his life. Career wise, yes there are little local alumni networks depending on what the kid wants to study (Business maybe, education who cares) so it might have some value. Nationally no one cares if you went to Bowdoin, Colby or Bates as most would say "What's that?"
If the kid has an interest in college life, a wide range of majors, a little diversity, living in a city, getting out of New England, being part of a recognizable school with a huge alumni network, playing in front of fans then I'd say look into a higher-end Club team that checks all the boxes.
Not sure what "big time hockey" means. Anyone who plays D3 or club is there for the education, 99.9% of the time their hockey career is over after that. Heck, even most D1 players will not advance past college. You go to college to start a working career, not to have your parents brag to others. Go where you want, you're not going pro. Its OK. Get over it.
He sounds like he's angry he paid full boat to some no name school and is chipping in on his 25 year old graduate's student loans.
Hey guys thanks for some of the responses I talked to a number of coaches this weekend and it looks like 1 year of Jrs and can really pick any D3 school or 2 years of Jr and have a shot at D1. So I am leaning D3 NESCAC, will decide this week.
Pack his bags, he's heading to the Midwest!