People make choices every hour: some of them are insignificant, while others can change the flow of life once and for all. There are different approaches to finding an answer to the question of how to choose a college and the reasons why young people opt for a certain educational establishment can be different. Sometimes, there are some really funny reasons that can make you laugh! One student recollects that he sent an application to a college that had a doughnut shop on the campus and that was an important factor for him. Another school-leaver wanted to escape home environment so much that he decided not to choose any college or university nearer than 500 miles away.
Choosing a college, everybody has specific personal priorities which may be weird for others. It is essential to keep in mind that in some cases the best feedbacks about the college may mislead you and then you will expect a dream institution that will bring you a nightmare experience. Still, it is a turning point in your life and it is recommended to take certain typical steps while deciding on where to study.
First of all, take some spare time and think over the questions you could ask yourself. Try to understand who you are. Try to realize what you expect from a college education. It sounds easy, but actually, it is tough and it requires efforts and concentration. Besides, when you are still in high school, it may be confusing to you to think about your plans for the future. Evaluation of your own personal traits, interests, and genuine passions may be challenging, but that is the basis for your ability to determine how to choose a college. An urban environment, especially a megalopolis, can be inconvenient for introverted people. A college with a poor variety of food will not look very attractive for picky eaters. Take into consideration all your academic interests, ambitions as for the career choice, and hobbies you would like to continue after school. Careful research in the field of academic programs will show you various options that can meet even the most sophisticated expectations.
So, you have thought about your interests and realized which of them can be viewed as your priority. Nevertheless, it is still not clear for you which major would serve you the best. You may look for those schools which facilitate exploring of general interests in the framework of a curriculum without strict limits between the fields. It is possible to switch between the majors, changing from Government to History or some even double majors. Another option is dropping one of the majors or turning it into a minor. You have to agree that a high school student cannot know for sure what will happen next and only after being involved in the study can realize whether the made choice is right.
Learn How to Choose a College and Use This Knowledge!
Having specified the school of your dream, try to point out the category that is most suitable for you according to a number of aspects. It is high time to narrow down the made choices by taking into account the following items:
Ask questions about the cost of tuition in the college you have chosen. Try to estimate the total amount, adding the cost of the board and room. Evaluate the offered financial aid. Analyze the area where the college is located: is it expensive? Is it convenient to get to classes? Will you need to drive to college? Your priority is to exclude all kinds of expenditures and stress that are excessive in your situation. You should double-check if you have understood it right how to decide between two colleges. Take into consideration all the extra costs. Ask for advice from your parents and estimate the chances that they will assist you with your bills.
Ask yourself, “What college is right for me? Where do I see myself? Is it ok for me to come home only several times a year? Are travel expenses affordable for my family? Am I interested in wild parties in the city? Would I prefer a rural area with a high level of education provided? Which location would be the best for me?”
Are you still unsure how to choose a college that is right for you? Have you thought about your desired major? Have you found a list of colleges with the major you would like to have? Are you looking for academic challenges? Do you need a Master's program at your new college? Would you like to get transferred from the college or is it more convenient for you to stay at the same one through graduate school? What classes will you have in your first year at college? Have you checked on the graduation requirements? Do they look achievable for you? Would you like to have more diversity or you opt for the schools with obligatory subjects to be taken? The curriculum is one of the main aspects to be taken into consideration while making your choices, so do not forget that you are choosing a college for study, not entertainment.
Are you an athlete? Would you like to play for a college team? Which sport is your favorite? Are you a theatergoer? Are you into music? Would you like to take part in the debates? It is easy to decide how to choose between colleges if one of them offers the options you would love to accept and the other does not. Are you looking forward to becoming a member of a certain sorority or fraternity? Will a student radio station be a bonus for you? Academics are always accompanied by interesting extracurricular activities which can give you inspiration and bring more light and color to your college life.
Thinking about how to choose a college, try to decide whether a large school is preferable for you. There will be much more activities and courses, but at the same time, there will be more students in the class and less individual approach to everyone. If you opt for a small school, you will enjoy more personal attention from your professors, but the scope of activities may be less diverse.
Room and Board
Evaluate the housing options you have. They will ask you, “Why did you choose this college?” Can you say that all the conditions are perfect there? Are dorms good? Have you checked on the available meals? Is it far from the campus to the apartments? Can you park at your college? Consider the expenses needed for your room and board and evaluate the affordability of your housing.
Picking college options, you should check on the availability of sports and athletic centers. Evaluate the required costs needed. Have a look at the available college facilities and the level of computer laboratories. If environmental issues are essential for you, consider the options for energy conservation and recycling.
Environment of the Campus
How will you feel in the college community? Where will you go on weekends? Is commuting common there? Are religious services provided on or off-campus?
Thinking about how to decide on a college, take into account the options of diversity. Is an all-female school for you? Would you like to study in an all-male class? Would you like to be a member of an available student organization? Is multicultural environment good for you?
How many students drop out without graduation? What is the percentage of successful graduates? High graduation rate is the evidence of the top quality of school education and satisfaction of the students. We recommend you to study statistics and do some financial planning.
Conclusion on how to Choose a College
Take into account all factors in choosing a college, but make this process less complicated with a focus on your key goals and academic ambitions. Pick the most essential aspects on the list and try to determine the college that suits your needs. Which factors are the major ones for you as a future student? Will your college experience be great if you have all the required conditions?