Things to Consider When Choosing Your College

Choosing a college or university to attend is easy, right? Maybe for some lucky few. What about the rest of us? The choice might not be clear. There are many issues to consider: program of study, school reputation, distance from home, money, school size, and so on.

A good way to make a solid decision is to become organized about your school search. Put together a list of important requirements that you will consider with every college. Sit down and brainstorm with someone else if you’re stuck for ideas. Parents, friends, coworkers, and even a bit of web research could provide you with some important things to look for when choosing a college. To help you get started, here’s a list of some issues to ponder that will make the right school stand out in the crowd:

  • Location, location, location. O.k., so you’re not buying real estate, but you might be relocating to attend your new educational home. Ask yourself questions like: How far away am I willing to go? Across town, across the state, 2000 miles away, to another country? Keep in mind that you might be traveling during semester breaks and some weekends.


  • Campus size. Can you see yourself at a large university with 30,000 students? Or would you prefer to see more familiar faces every day at a smaller school?


  • Student body size. Are you one student in a lecture hall of 599 other students or do you know the names of all 12 people in your class? Consider the number of people that you might have to elbow for a good parking spot when you’re running late to class and look for information from your school about student-to-professor ratios. Sometimes a smaller class will keep you motivated more every day and lead to more focused discussions.


  • Degree programs. Do you have an idea of what degree you would like to pursue? Bachelor of arts, bachelor of sciences, an engineering degree, a degree in underwater basket weaving? Make sure that your school has a degree program or track that works for you.


  • Public versus private. Sometimes there are big differences between public and private institutions. What kind of a learning environment are you looking for? Compare your important elements of a quality education between types of institutions. Look for things like degree programs offered, financing, class sizes, and student housing.


  • School ranking. How do your school choices stack up against the competition? Are the rankings important to you? A degree in hand from one school might give you a better chance of entrance into your preferred medical school. A handful of schools might give you a much better chance of landing that dream job at Pixar after graduation.


  • Money, money, money. This is, of course, an important consideration, but should not be the only factor in where you go to school. Are your parents willing or able to help put you through school? At a public school or a private school? Have you applied for any scholarships? You better get started! Keep an eye out for free”>″>free college scholarships, grants, low interest rate student loans, athletic scholarships, and look into your savings account. Keep in mind that you might be paying off loans in the future. Will your dream job after college help you to pay off your bills from school? And think about a balance of school time and work time. How many hours will you have to work on the weekends to pay for rent, or will you be able to cheer on your school football team instead?


  • More money. Be prepared to research for an accurate cost of attending a school. What is the tuition cost for each year (will you be in a two year program or four year program)? What will room and board cost you? There could be a big difference between on-campus and off-campus housing. Will you have any additional course fees? How much will textbooks cost you each semester? Transportation costs? Food? Does your school have an affordable meal plan or do you need to make sure that your weekend job is working as a sous chef for your favorite restaurant?


  • Career placement. What is your school’s career placement rate after graduation? Are 80% of graduates working in the industry within a few months? Are employers hiring people before graduation because the school provides such good job candidates?


  • Social life. Make sure that you enjoy yourself in college too! Consider your social life and things like greek life, college sports, local music, cultural exchanges, opportunities to play Ultimate Frisbee, and other local activities to help you take a break from studies and to meet people.


  • Online versus Offline. With the growing number of broadband connections and fast computers it is now feasible to get a great degree through the web. Consider the tradeoffs between distance learning and attending a classroom full of students. Sometimes an online degree program will give you more schedule flexibility if you are working full time.

Use some of these tips to compare a handful of your top school choices and you’ll be on the way to receiving an education that is just right for you.


About the author:

Author: Jesse Kelsey
About the author: Jesse Kelsey probably should have taken more of his own advice when selecting a college (the choice would have been easier), but he graduated! Right now he is helping students find money”>″>money for college as a marketing representative for Find out more at http: //