4 Factors to Consider When Choosing a College
Last updated August 17, 2023
There are so many important factors involved when it comes to choosing a college. Those factors can include academics, campus size, student life, affordability, and more. Finding the right fit should not be based on where your friends are going or which college is closest to your home, rather, your decision should be based on what college is the best fit for YOU. We’re here to guide you in that process to help you make your decision with confidence! Here are four factors to consider when choosing a college:
When it comes to choosing a college, academics are often one of the most important factors to consider and can make a big difference in how well you do in college. For example, consider what you want to study and what majors each college offers, and if the college has programs and courses that align with your interests and career goals. Class sizes can also impact your academic success. Do you prefer a smaller, more intimate classroom setting or a larger lecture hall? Think about your learning style and what environment would be best for you. Additionally, academic supports such as tutoring, writing centers, and academic advising can provide you extra guidance to succeed in college.
Finally, graduation rates provide insight into the percentage of students who finish their degree within a certain time frame. While a high graduation rate is generally a good sign, it's important to also look at why students might not be graduating. Is it because they're transferring to another school or because they're not able to keep up academically? Ultimately, choosing a college with a strong academic program and supports can set you up for success in your future.
Size & Location
Would you prefer a huge university in the heart of the city, or the small town scene in a rural area? These are the types of questions to ask yourself when considering what size and location are a good fit for you. But remember, just because a school is different from what you’re accustomed to does not mean it’s not a good fit. Talking to current students and touring the campus are great ways to get a good feel for the campus and student life.
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One thing college students quickly learn when they arrive at college is it’s filled with people from all walks of life, beliefs, and values. Campus culture is an important factor to consider in your decision because it influences so much of your day to day experiences. Asking questions about what social organizations and support services are on campus is a good way to gauge if you will feel at home on campus.
Ensuring that your experience and beliefs are celebrated and honored on your campus can also make or break your college experience. Is there a safe space for LGBTQ+ communities on campus? What is the political climate on campus? How does your #1 choice address race issues on campus? These questions are not as fun as exploring what clubs are available on campus, but they are just as important when considering the best fit for your future.
One of the most difficult factors in finding the right fit for many is financial. It’s important to explore all of your options, but maintaining realistic expectations is key. If you are deciding which college to apply to and you don’t know where to start, uAspire has developed a list of financially safer colleges. This list contains both public and private universities that offer better financial outcomes to its students in terms of cost, net price, debt and repayment rates, and graduation rates. While this shouldn’t discourage you from applying to other colleges, adding a few schools from uAspire's list can give you more options to choose from and provide you with a better chance of attending a college that’s financially feasible for you and your family.
If you already applied to a few colleges, comparing your financial aid award letters will guide you in making a financially fit decision. While one college may have higher tuition and overall costs, that same college may offer you grants and scholarships that makes it the most affordable. One of the biggest mistakes that someone can make is taking out an unreasonable amount of loans because they are fixated on attending a specific college. Affordability based on your award letters should play a huge role in determining what college campus you will call home.
With so many factors that make or break your college experience, it’s best to do your research and consider the big picture. Our team is also always available to answer questions and help talk you through the process of choosing a college! Just text#College to 33-55-77, or if you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!