Deciding on a college will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. This may be a stressful decision process since you want to make the best choice for yourself.
In order to choose the college that best fits you, you must consider many aspects. When making your choice, be sure to consider the following:
1. Location, Where Do You Want to Be?
Location is one of the most important aspects to some students. Some need a change and cannot wait to get away from where they live; others prefer a college closer to home.
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Also, you will need to consider what kind of setting will fit you best. There are colleges in rural, suburban and urban type of settings.
When considering these settings, make sure to think about different factors such as traffic, how many people will live there, crime rates, etc. You need to be happy with your school’s setting, so try to figure out what you like best.
2. Cost, What Can You Afford?
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Cost is definitely one of the most important factors. You need to take a look at your finances, and your parents to decide what colleges you can afford. Scholarships are always available, but few students receive a full ride, so you will most likely be paying some amount of tuition.
The great debate is state schools versus private schools. It is true, state schools are much cheaper than most private schools.
For instance, let’s compare the tuition of Baylor University, a private school in Texas, to the tuition of Texas Tech University, a state school.
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Baylor University per year, $49,394
Texas Tech University per year, $24,044
As you can see in this scenario, a private school is more than twice the cost of a state school per year.
If your parents can spend a pretty penny on your education, and a private school is where you want to go, then by all means, go for it. But, if you’re trying to remain cost conscientious, you might want to rule out private schools all together.
Most employers are becoming more accepting of employing workers with degrees from state schools; unless you’re headed for an Ivy League education, don’t worry about receiving less opportunities from a state school compared to a private school.
3. Majors, What Do You Want to Do?
If you know what you’re majoring in, this is also an extremely important aspect. You obviously don’t want to go to a school that doesn’t have your major, but more importantly, you need to make sure that the school you’re choosing is good for your major.
Since you may not have decided on a particular major yet, research your interests. That means, look into whether or not your school offers all
of the prospective majors you’re considering, as well as whether or not each of the departments are strong.
4. Atmosphere, What Type of School?
Atmosphere is another thing to consider when it comes to choosing a college. If you’re adamant on focusing on your education, it probably would not be wise to choose a school that has a reputation of being a “party school.”
Or, if you’re all about being involved in school clubs and activities, you’ll probably want to choose a college where you can easily become involved. Visiting campuses can give you a better idea of what the atmosphere of a college is like.
5. Acceptance Rate, Can You Get In?
This is where you decide what colleges you can be accepted to. You need to consider many factors, such as, your class rank, GPA, SAT and ACT scores, volunteer work, extracurricular activities and your work experience. Certain schools are picky when it comes to accepting students, especially private schools.
This in no way is to discourage you from applying to the school of your dreams, but instead is just trying to get you to be realistic about where you can go. We can’t all get into Yale or Harvard, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Overall, just make sure you view a school’s requirements before you apply.
This choice will affect you for the rest of your life; make sure you make the right decision for yourself and your future.