How to select a college: to begin with, make a list of potential colleges. The big list should include every college that you might be willing to attend. Once you have a list, narrow it down by taking the time to consider all of the following.
Choosing a college can truly be a daunting task—especially with so many choices.
When choosing how to select a college, there are a few things you can consider to make the process go smoothly and reduce your stress.
Does the location of the school matter to you? If so, consider whether or not each college on your list fits your needs.
2. Degree programs
Obviously, degree programs matter. In this case, you don’t just want to look at undergraduate degrees. If you did decide to further your education with a master’s or a doctorate, does the school provide programs to suit?
3. Campus resources
What resources does the school offer that will help you on your road to secondary education? Do they have research opportunities in their science programs, for example?
4. Academic rankings
How does the college rate when compared to similar institutions? Although rankings aren’t everything, there is usually a reason that the highest ranked schools are so well regarded.
Consider the costs involved in attending each institution. Tuition isn’t the only factor; you should also factor in the cost of food, housing, and any other activities in which you plan to be involved.
6. Class sizes
A college with smaller class sizes may be more difficult to get into, and they may have higher tuition costs. But they also might give you a more personalized educational curriculum.
7. Housing options
What options do you have for housing in the area? Does the college offer on-campus housing? If not, does the rental market in the area fit with your budget?
Along with the school itself, you should also look at the faculty.
9. The student body
Does your personality mesh well with the college’s other students?
10. Admissions counselors
Talk to the admissions counselors at the schools you’re considering to get a feel for the school’s offerings and if you’ll be a good fit.
Taking the time to consider all of these elements when figuring out how to select a college will make the selection process easier. More than that, it will help you choose a school that is right for you, and in turn help you get the most from your college years.
Ross Blankenship is an admissions consultant and admissions counselor. He is also an author and co-founder of Miro Advantage and TopTestPrep, which help with test prep and admissions.