How To Choose A College: The Checklist

Choosing where you want to spend the next four years is a big deal; take your time.

If you put thought into your decision and weigh all your options, you’ll ultimately make the right choice.

Here are a few things I did before I chose the U of I:

  • I Considered Atmosphere

When you’re picking a school, keep in mind that the atmosphere of the campus will be largely determined by its location. I knew I wanted a college-town feel so I applied only to Big Ten schools.

I went to a big high school, and I was drawn to the diversity and resources that come with going to a big college. I wanted to see new faces every day.

Even though the U of I is surrounded by cornfields, it doesn’t matter; everything a college student needs can be found right in Champaign-Urbana.

If a town full of college kids isn’t your style, come up with a list of things you are looking for. Would you prefer to be in or near a city? Do you want a big school or a small one?

  • I Considered Location

It was important for me to be relatively close to home. My parents expected a visit from me every month or so, so it was more realistic, price-wise and time-wise, if I stayed within a few hours from home. The prospect of paying in-state tuition didn’t hurt, either.

But if you don’t mind being away from home for longer periods of time and are craving a change of scenery, don’t hesitate to check out out-of-state schools.

  • I Visited My Top Choices

After I sent out applications, I visited my top choices. College visits gave me a chance to see if I felt at home at each of the campuses, and also allowed me compare my choices.

On each visit, I took notes and snapped a few pictures to help me better remember the schools. When it came time to make a decision, I knew that I had felt most comfortable at Illinois.

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Selma Haveric

Selma Haveric

Selma Haveric is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying journalism and Spanish. When she’s not studying, she loves reading, traveling and bike riding. She’s currently deciding whether to go to law school or to postpone her studies for a year and teach English in Spain.
Selma Haveric

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