Things To Consider When Deciding Which College To Attend

Published by Tucker Bedingfield on

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Things To Consider When Deciding Which College To Attend

Choosing a college can be a daunting task. You’re committing to spend the next four years of your life somewhere, and in some cases, it can take even longer. There are so many factors to consider on the quest for a college that is right for you.

When you’re choosing a college, it’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions, and it can be hard to find a more neutral starting point. That’s what this article is for!  Consider the following factors when searching for the right college for you.

Prestige

When making this life-altering decision, many people first consider how prestigious the college is. It is not uncommon to look at some of the biggest schools first. A college that has a lot of history and culture can be an attractive attribute, but don’t let it be your sole deciding factor. Contrary to popular belief, well-known schools don’t always guarantee success

Location

Location and proximity during your college years can be integral to success. What businesses are around you that you can intern with? What opportunities for work are near you? Be sure to scope out the professional and social scenes in order to fully envision yourself at the college. 

Along with location, transportation should be considered too. If you do not have reliable transportation, it’s wise to check if schools have public transportation or school-funded busses in order to make classes accessible.

Private vs. Public

A private institution has its advantages. They are significantly smaller than most state schools, so it is likely that you will not be lost in a sea of students. However, private institutions can cost significantly more than public ones, and the workload tends to be more strenuous. Look into tuition rates for each school you’re looking at to have a good idea of what you’d be paying to attend school.

Financial Aid

Along with the cost of tuition, find out what the financial aid opportunities look like at the schools you’re looking into. Student debt is on a steady incline. Although there are colleges that offer financial aid and scholarships for every kind of demographic, it’s a good idea to apply to as many scholarships as possible. Make sure the school you’re looking at is affordable. A college degree is awesome, but what’s even better is getting one with no student debt.

Comfortablity

A beneficial piece of advice when choosing a school is to tour the colleges you’re looking at.

When I began my search, I thought I was dead-set on which school I wanted to go to. However, after touring, I found that I felt so much more at home at my second choice than at my first. I would never have known that if I had not actually visited the schools and seen all that they each had to offer. Make time to go visit the campus and even sit in on some classes if you can.

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It's an important choice: choosing a college. Students walk around Kennesaw State University.
Tucker Bedingfield | Avant-Youth

Student Body Size

Size of the school can be a big factor into whether or not you’re happy at a school. For some people, a large school size is great. That means more diversity, bigger extracurricular groups and larger class sizes. However, large colleges can also mean that the sense of community is not as close-knit. It can feel intimidating to go to big schools with a large number of students, but it could also be exciting to have so many people around you. My school has a student body of 32,274. With a large number of students, I have found it easy to make great connections. 

However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each student body size to find the right school for you.

Degree Accommodation and Outcome

Be sure that the college you’re looking into has ample opportunities for you to find a major that is right for you. Look at the course catalogues and make sure the university has a degree curriculum that will benefit your career goals. If you’re not sure what you want to do, looking through course catalogues may be a good place to start that search. 

If you do know and want an in-depth understanding of the degree’s program, find department heads by locating the school directory, which will list the contact information for each department. Emailing department heads and initiating a conversation will give you a better idea of that college’s offerings.

The most important thing to remember when choosing your college is realizing that this journey is all about you. What matters is what you like, where you fit in, and what you want to do. This experience is yours and it will shape your life going forward. 

College has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have made so many great friends, made great connections with my professors, and had amazing opportunities presented to me. Finding your perfect fit is an intimate decision, but there are plenty of resources to help you along the way. College is a time of so much personal growth. It is the time in your life where you can solely focus on you and your future, so make the decision count.

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