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Why We Chose the Colleges We Chose

Why We Chose the Colleges We Chose

Dartmouth College, N.H.

By Michael Pugh

March 04, 2014

What should you consider as you make the big decision on where to go? We asked high school and college students what they looked for in a college.

Academic Programs

“The thing I found most important in selecting a college was the types of programs available for my major. Were they accredited? Was the school known for their program in that subject?” Kristen O’Brien, California State Polytechnic University.

“The top priority on my list of things to look for was a school that would challenge me. Academic prestige was a definite factor, but I didn’t want my college experience to be just about that,” Matt Stenerson, Stanford University.

“The first thing that I felt I should look at was how the college rated in my major,” Emmanuel Situka, Texas A&M.

Reputation

“Even though I had applied to places like Yale and Princeton, I only did so based on the reputation of their quality,” Seth Pipkin, Brown University.

“I decided to go Texas A&M because they have one the most illustrious engineering departments in the U.S.,” Emmanuel Situka, Texas A&M.

“Like many students, I was tempted to simply look at the national rankings or to go by prestige to select a school, but this is not a good technique. In the end, I chose a school where I could see myself enjoying and succeeding at my studies,”David McGibbon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Location

“I am pretty much a country boy, and I don’t like driving through big cities everyday. I picked my college based on its isolated location,” Andy Flippen, Gordon College, Georgia.

“I chose Cal Poly because it is five hours from my house. I believe that it helped in my maturing process and got me fully involved in my school community,” Kristen O’Brien, California State Polytechnic University.

“Stanford was right in my backyard, only an hour’s drive away. Mom just loves seeing me once a week when I come home to do laundry,” Matt Stenerson, Stanford University.

Size

“Class size was one of the most deciding factors for me. I feel that I learn better in a smaller class environment,” Kristen O’Brien, California State Polytechnic University.

“I would definitely prefer to attend a school with 5,500 undergraduates than one with 25,000-plus,” Seth Pipkin, Brown University.

“To me, size matters. After visiting several highly competitive but extremely large universities, I found that I wanted an environment in which I could put a name with most of the faces I saw on campus,” Terri Bendyna, College of William and Mary.


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