Choosing which college to study in is one of the first major decisions anyone makes to mark the start of their adult life. It’s a decision that also determines a huge part of what your future looks like. Some students even take a gap year until they can figure out which college to choose. There are a lot of factors that go into this decision that you should put into consideration before you decide.
First of all, you need to think about location; are you looking closer to home and your family to have a sense of familiarity? Or are you looking to try something completely new and outside of your comfort zone? Would you want to live in a bustling college city or a quiet, rural area where you can enjoy studying in nature?
The size of the school you want to attend also plays a significant role in your decision. A smaller school means smaller class sizes which means more focus on each student’s needs. Smaller colleges also allow better specialization in art and education. As for larger colleges, you’ll find that they offer more facilities and resources along with a bigger social scene with a large variety of activities.
Once you have that decided, the next thing to think about is the academic side, the college rankings, and accreditation. This will go hand in hand with your SAT scores and what they allow you to go into. Think about which colleges have the major you’re looking to study and are known for giving quality teaching in the field. You want to enroll in a college that aims to properly prepare students for their future careers with the best education, tools, and resources.
Another important factor to consider is the overall cost of each cost and their payment methods. There’s not only tuition that you need to think about, but there’s also the cost of accommodation, books and academic supplies, transportation, food, groceries, etc. Check if the colleges you’re interested in are offering financial aid packages or any scholarships that help with the financial burden.
Speaking of accommodation, that’s another tricky part of choosing a college if you’re not going to be living at home, you want to make sure there is good on-campus accommodation or otherwise you’ll have to rent your own apartment.
A less crucial yet still important factor to think about while choosing which college to attend is the campus life and environment. College is where you discover yourself and your interests and you want to make sure you can meet like-minded students to feel like you fit in and have a sense of community. Look into your possible college extracurricular activities and what students do for fun on and off-campus.
The resources and support systems available at each college are a significant aspect of choosing your college. You want to ensure that your college has the necessary tools and sources to offer help and support in anything you might need especially if you have any medical conditions or specific learning requirements.
At the end of the day, the choice of which college to attend really goes back to what your heart is set on and what feels most comfortable to you, and what you see for the future. However, since it’s such a life-determining decision, you still think about all these factors mentioned above, make a list of narrowed-down college choices that fir your standards, then make a well-informed decision that you’re sure you won’t regret later on.