One of the biggest tasks for high school students is choosing the right college for their future studies. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to choose which to apply to, and even more difficult to choose amongst multiple colleges when one has been accepted. Here are 5 factors that you should consider when stacking your colleges side by side.
It may not be the most attractive of factors, but it’s the most pragmatic. If you’ve examined the financial aid and scholarships opportunities of a school and decided that you truly can’t afford it, scratching it off the list early can actually help you focus on better opportunities. Be sure to consider all aspects of cost, including travel, housing, tuition, materials, and ancillary fees.
Where do you want to live for 3 to 4 years? That’s the question you should ask yourself when comparing colleges. For most students, moving to college is the first time they’ve been away from home, making the campus life a significant factor in the decision. Looking at the amenities, extracurricular activities, housing options, and campus culture can have a big impact on whether a college is good or just good enough.
It is more than just the types of classes and majors offered. Consider things such as average class size, student-to-teacher ratios and whether classes are generally taught by professors or graduate assistants. Think about whether you prefer to learn through hands-on experiences or class discussions.
Consider things like distance from home, geographic location and climate. If you’re used to a smaller town, will the move to a big city be exciting, or a distraction? Are you depending on public transit that is found in larger cities, or are you looking at a campus that is all within walking distance of just the basics?
Try to visit your top choices before making any decisions. Talk to students, take a campus tour and even sit in on a class. The best way to get a feel for the college is to experience it the way a student would. Most people know when a school just feels right.