It's almost spring and you've got a lot on your mind as a senior in high school. Plenty of reports and projects are due, Prom may be coming up and you're beginning to realize that you'll be leaving your friends in a few short months. On top of all that, colleges are asking for deposits for enrollment. Your problem is you don't know which school to pick. Two colleges seem so similar, and you just can't decide.
Sound familiar? There are several important factors involved in deciding which college is best for you. This is where you'll spend the next four years, and you don't want to make the wrong decision. Location is important. Perhaps your two choices are similar but one is a good day's drive and one is much closer to home. You need to decide how often you'll want to come home and whether or not you'll be comfortable living very far away. Also, you may want to look at the area around the college. You might want to live near a big city with lots of action and activity, or maybe you prefer a quiet, more rural area.
The size of the campus and the student body is another consideration. A larger college may have more social and academic choices, but the campus may be so big that student/teacher relationships aren't as developed. You need to decide whether you want to "get lost" on campus or have more intimate surroundings.
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If the two colleges you're looking at are very similar in size, location, academics and opportunities, you'll have to look a bit deeper. Visit both colleges and even stay overnight, if you can. See if one student body is friendlier than the other. Talk to the professors and determine whose classes you'd rather be sitting in. The more you visit, the better the feel you'll get for the campus and that can really help in the decision process.
Finally, see which college is most helpful. Are their mailings prompt with all info included? Did they thank you for visiting the college? Have they called and asked if you have any questions?
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Looking at these various aspects and comparing them between colleges should help. There really is a "fit" when you find the right college, and the more you visit and look into everything available, the more apparent the "fit" becomes. Then hopefully, you'll be sure to spend the next four years in the perfect place for you.
This article originally appeared on Making It Count.