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How to Choose the College that’s Right for You

What College is Right for You?

choosing the right college

Choosing the right college for you is one of the biggest decisions of your life.

People are different.  We all have different goals, different dreams, and different skill levels.  We excel in some areas while we struggle in others.  We are highly interested in some topics and others bore us to sleep.  So when it comes to choosing which college is best for you, your answer should be unique.  Just because your brother or sister or parents attended one college doesn’t necessarily mean that same college is the right choice for you.

5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right College

  1. Ask yourself these questions. “Why am I going to college?  What are my goals?  What am I good at?  What am I interested in?  What do I truly want out of life?”   The answers to those questions can shift your college decision tremendously.  Are you a highly motivated individual that can tackle college on your own, or are you someone who will rely heavily on family support?  Size up who you are and what your needs are. Explore your strengths and weaknesses and assess your needs.
  2. The size of the college or university you choose is very important.  Maybe you want to be a part of something huge?  Or maybe you don’t want to get lost in the crowd.  Small colleges give you a better chance to get to know all of the key people in your field and do some inner exploration, whereas  large colleges and universities may offer more things and have different opportunities based on shear numbers.  It’s typically easier to get one on one time with your professors at small colleges.
  3. Depending on your unique situation, the distance your college is from your loved ones can make a difference.  If you’re just starting college you’ve likely never been out on your own before.  Believe it or not, it’s very easy to become homesick and depressed when your culture changes drastically and you are no longer around people you know and are comfortable with.  If you are somebody who wants to spend the holidays with family consider colleges a bit closer to home.
  4. Choose a college or university that makes financial sense.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to a big name brand university, possibly out of state.  The tuition is enormously higher for out of state students.  Consider the financial benefits of choosing an in-state school.  You should also consider attending a community college the first couple years to knock out all of your common classes.  There’s no reason to put an unnecessary financial burden on your back if you don’t have to.
  5. Do your research before selecting a college or university.  Look for schools that specialize in the industries you are interested in.  Start by making a large list of colleges you are considering attending.  Then continue to narrow down your list.  Visit the websites of each college, read as much info as you can, look at all the pictures and videos available.  Visit each campus.  Check out not only what each college has to offer but what the area has to offer as well.  Think about where you’ll be eating, hanging out, shopping, etc.  and factor all of those things in to your decision.

College doesn’t have to be strictly a chore; it can be the most exciting and fun time of your life.  But it all depends on which college you choose.  Other than your major, choosing the right college is one of the most important decisions you will make in your adult life.  Choose wisely, go forth, and prosper.