How to Pick the Right College

Post by Sarahjane Hehre • At 3:00 pm Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

School Selection

Dedicating your life to a singular location for the next four years can feel overwhelming and scary. How do you know where to choose and if it is going to be the right fit for you? Maybe you have no idea or maybe you have 30 plus schools in mind. When making this decision, there are a few things to consider that can help narrow down your college list and help you find the right school. 

To begin, think about the actual location of the school. Is it too far or too close to home? Do you want to go abroad or somewhere close to certain family members? Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? The cold or warmth? These particular answers can help you settle on a particular region. However, while the setting is important, education is your main priority. Do you have a specific major or field of study you are considering? Focus on schools list of select majors and apply accordingly based on your interests. Some schools may not offer your major or may offer a major that is better suited for you that you may not have thought of prior. Furthermore, explore the different resources of your select colleges. Some schools offer programs that may interest you such as a CO-OP, a 5-year master’s program, nursing programs, etc. With that being said, take a gander at the clubs and sports they offer as well. Aside from your education, college is a great way to connect with people and fill your extra hours up with fun events you love participating in.

Moreover, when searching for schools be sure to acknowledge the size of the school Do you want to go to a big university or a small college? Do you like living in autonomy or do you enjoy knowing everyone around you? Consider the cost of the school, as well as scholarships and financial aid they may offer. Be careful not to apply to schools where you may not get the financial help you need and not be able to feel secure later in life. There are a plethora of options out there and sometimes relying on the cheaper options can be one of the best decisions you made when choosing your school. But also note, there is a lot of help out there and plenty of scholarships you can apply to that are offered by third parties, you just need to do your research. 

The research will not only help you understand the colleges you are applying to, but it will also help you feel more comfortable in your decision. When researching, make a list of your preferences, then search each school you are thinking about and checklist if they apply to your specific needs. If you still are unsure of your school, you can apply this method to narrow down a location,  certain majors, activities, and programs to help direct you to the right school. Talk to alumni or students you know who are attending these schools now. If you know your major or what classes you may want to take, email professors and ask them questions. However, make sure to use them to further your knowledge about the school, not as influential opinions. Finally, visit- visit as many schools as you can on your list. If you can not physically attend, see if the school offers a virtual tour. Most schools do. Listen to your heart when making this decision. No matter where you end up, it is what you make it. Every college has something to offer. Ask questions and use their resources. Follow your gut, research and do your best, the rest will follow!

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