The college search can be overwhelming and stressful. From attending open houses to preparing for the SAT, there are many checks to cross off the list before beginning freshman year. In order to determine where you belong in the college search, consider asking yourself the following questions.
Do you want a two-year or four-year school?
At a two-year school, students achieve an associate degree. At a four-year college, students obtain a bachelor’s degree. Some students will start at a two-year school and matriarch to a bachelor’s degree program. Both programs offer different courses and benefits for each student.
Do you want to attend an accredited school?
The United States Department of Education’s Office of Post-Secondary Education determines if a school meets their accreditation and standards. If the school does, then it is up to par with other accredited institutions. However, some schools do not uphold the standards and can be frowned on when applying for a job after graduation.
Do you want to go to a public or private school?
Many people choose public schools because they are less expensive than private schools. However, with financial aid options, private schools can be comparable in cost. Private colleges can be more selective, but they can also provide a more focused education.
How far away do you want to be from home?
Location is a major factor for many students’ college decision. Many students like to be close to home-cooked meals, clean laundry machines, and weekend visits. The preference varies from student to student.
Do you want a small or larger campus?
Campus size can draw students in or push them away. Some students want to go to a bigger school with more people and things to do. Other students prefer a smaller setting with smaller class sizes and more individualized attention. There are also medium sized schools that accommodate students who do not want to go to a bigger or smaller school.
Do you want to go into debt?
With ever increasing tuition rates at many schools, college can dent the wallet. Financial aid and loans assist many students to reduce the cost. Scholarships are available to those who research and apply for the help. Scholarships may be given to students with special interests, backgrounds, or experiences. It is important to look for opportunities and ask academic counselors for assistance.
Do you know what you want to study?
Many students enter college undecided on their major. While this can be intimidating, there is nothing wrong with being unsure. Since college is a learning experience, you can explore different majors and classes to determine what fits you best. When you find what you want to do, you will be more comfortable than just picking a random major at the beginning and not being happy with your decision.
Determining which college is best for you can be a difficult decision. It is important to weigh all aspects and wants before choosing a school. Do your homework and research different factors about each prospective school. Ask guidance counselors, admissions offices, and other students questions about the schools or for feedback on which they think would be best for you. However, in the end, the decision is up to you. For more information on getting the most out of the college experience and for guidance on all things college- related, click on one of the articles listed below.