Factors to Consider When Choosing a College
Not sure which college is right for you? You’re not alone! Finding a school that fits your unique personality and prepares you for your dream career can feel intimidating – even for the most future-thinking students.
Wherever you are in your search, exploring these factors can help give you a better picture of the school that’s right for you:
Location. Where do you want to spend your college years? Do you want to be close to family and friends? Would you enjoy experiencing a new city or state? Think about your support system and your comfort level being away from home.
Campus Size. From small liberal arts schools to huge state universities, the campus experience can be dramatically different depending on the size of the school. It’s a good idea to visit campuses on both ends of the scale to see what feels most natural to you.
Classroom Style. We all learn differently. Some of us thrive in large lectures – others in more intimate class settings. Schools often publish student-to-teacher ratios on their websites, which can give you an idea of what to expect in the classroom. Another option? Sit in on a class and see how it feels!
Degree Decisions. Already have your dream job in mind? Do your research to find schools with programs that cater to the career path you’re interested in. If you’re not sure what you want to major in, it’s better to choose a college that offers a wide array of programs so you can explore what is the best field of study for you.
Money Matters. Scholarships. Financial aid. While there are countless ways to pay for college, it’s still important to take a realistic look at how you plan to pay for school so there are no surprises down the road. Besides tuition, remember to factor in the less obvious costs like food, housing, textbooks, extra-curricular activities, etc.
The Big Picture. From special interest clubs and sports to social events and carrying on school traditions, what do you love to do? When evaluating colleges, keep the entire experience in mind! You’ll be happiest, healthiest, and most authentically YOU if you choose a school that caters to your non-academic interests, too.