Making a college choice is a big deal – not that you don’t know that already. Nobody can give you the right or wrong answers; it’s up to you to make the final decision, after loads of research and deliberation.
What others can do however, is suggest what you should consider in making your college decision. You've likely found that people enjoy doing this…a lot. Perhaps more than you’ve bargained or solicited for. True, they are just trying to help. Also true, it can become pretty darn irritating.
Sometimes, amidst all of the advice, as great as the intentions are, you need to remember what not to consider in making your college decisions. It’s an aspect that’s often ignoring but, honestly, just as important as its counterpart.
These aspects are areas students tend to focus on and rule out a college just because of a single aspect when the aspect often can be resolved or in the scheme of things is not as important as it seems. Read on - you’ll gain a better understanding of what we mean in the descriptions below.
The following are some suggestions of aspects you should NOT rule out colleges solely for when making a college decision:
1. It seems too costly.
This being on the list may seem a big silly but, when financial aid and scholarship awards are taken into account, it’s really not that outlandish at all. You aren't able to tell the actual price you will be paying for attendance at a school until your financial aid packages, scholarship awards and merit scholarships come in.
Additionally, it never hurts to negotiate your tuition price with the school’s financial aid office – a route that students rarely take but can actually work!
2. It isn’t as prestigious as I wanted.
Maybe you’ve always wanted the impressive Ivy, but choosing a school just because of its reputation doesn't necessarily mean it’s the right school for you. Do you know anything about its programs, specifically? Does it offer the types of classes you’re looking to take?
Do a little research beyond the name to make sure that it’s a fit for you, rather than just bragging rights. That hardly seems like the right reason to commit the next four years of your life to an institution.
3. My parents really want me to go somewhere else.
The pressure parents can put on their student to go to their alma mater or dream school is unfair. You need to sit down and have a talk with them, acknowledging that you’ve considered their option and, while it is a great option, it’s not where you feel you belong.
This next chapter is yours, not theirs and it’s not fair that they’re asking you to sacrifice your happiness.
Most likely, they will be happy you were honest and forthright and will support your decision. Often times, parents don’t realize how much pressure they are putting on students in the first place, thinking they are on the same page as the student. As long as you’re honest, they will likely respond positively.
4. All of my friends are going to a different school.
While it can be intimidating to go to a school without your friends, it’s exactly what college is all about – branching out and making new connections!
It just may be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you. It will be easy to make new friends, with all of the entering freshman activities and, trust us, there will be plenty of students in the exact situation you’ll be in.
Bonus: you’ll have plenty of friends at another school you and your new friends can go visit.
5. The person I’m in a relationship with is going elsewhere.
It’s up to you and your significant other if you’re going to maintain a long-distance relationship while in college. However, both of you need to think of yourselves first. You’re adults now and, if you’re going to be in an adult relationship, that’s what mature adults do.
Your futures are what you two should be focusing on and going to the right college will facilitate the most successful future for each of you, as individuals.
Respect each other’s wishes to attend the separate schools of your dreams and work it out from there. That way, you won’t have any regrets when looking back.