How To Pick The College That’s Right For You

After all the applications have been sent, and at least some of the colleges have responded,  you are nearly at the end of choosing the place where you will start the rest of your life.

But how do you go about that? What determinate factors should you check for to make sure that you are choosing the option that you will feel most at home with? After all, to some extent, this will be your new home.

Here are 3 things to consider to help narrow down your options and find the perfect school.

  • 1. Consider your major.

If you choose to venture on a career path that doesn’t have a wide variety of schools to choose from, than your choices are obviously limited. However, even if it is a common program, then there are still many factors to consider.

Some of these include how precise the program is to what you want to go in to; the notoriety of the school for that program; and the structure of the program all together.  While school’s often have common thread for their programs, such as required classes need for graduate exams, they still vary greatly in their difficulty and methods of teaching.

If you can, contact one of the professors in the program, talk to one of the admissions advisors, who could, at the least provide you with a list of course requirements, which you could compare with those of other schools.

  • 2. Financial Aid.

This is one of the most important practical parts in making a decision of what college you’re going to.  Schools will offer a varying degree of scholarships for a great many different things, including academic standing, family-based scholarships, athletic, and even out of state scholarships. That aside, there are plenty of other scholarships can be found from other organizations that could go towards reducing student debt.

Ultimately, you can work what the schools are willing to give you to your advantage, by playing the offered scholarships against each other in order to get some more money, if you are leaning towards one school, but are coming across some financial problems.

  • 3. Finding a Home.

Finally, perhaps the most important factor to deciding a school is how well you mesh with the community and environment there. This is especially true if you plan on being a resident, but is no less important for any commuting students.

College is where you will form your community for the next two to four years, and you want it to be a good one, with new friends and memorable experiences. If  you find that the people that you will be spending that time with aren’t your type, then that is a good indication that the school isn’t for you. Fortunately, however,  nearly all schools are large enough that you’ll be able to find your niche somewhere among all the students on campus.

In addition to your life in a community, and with your new found friends, your life alone is important to. When your friends leave, or are swamped with midterms, could this place be somewhere that you feel comfortable enough to call home?

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.