4 Factors to Consider when Choosing a College
Last updated October 27, 2022
Similar to finding a good pair of jeans or a date, finding the perfect fit for college is key! Many factors should go into your decision of what college is the best fit for YOU. Finding the right fit should not be based on where your friends are going or what is closest to your home. Your decision should be based on many factors including academics, size, campus life and affordability to name a few. Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you in that process to help you make your decision with confidence!
Your major determines what subject(s) you’ll be dedicating the majority of your time in college to, influences what careers and career trajectories you have access to, and informs what kind of graduate programs you can enroll in if you so choose after obtaining an undergraduate degree. Don’t let the stakes overwhelm you, though!
Majoring in something you hate, or find too difficult, is a recipe for failure. Always consider the type of classes and course work associated with your potential career choices. For example, If you’re interested in engineering but hate math and science, that may not be the best fit for you. Think about what subjects and activities you enjoy and which ones make you curious and compel you to research and learn more. This tool that matches careers to majors/degrees can help! Still can’t decide? Remember, you don’t have to make a decision right away! You typically don’t have to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year.
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.
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. 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 “Hello” to 33-55-77!