Congratulations on coming far enough in your school career to reach the point where you’re considering college. Now the really hard work starts.
Your first major task is deciding which of the over 4,000 colleges in the US is the best fit for you. America offers a range of outstanding academic institutions across the country, so although we all have our favorites, it’s difficult to choose the best one.
Apart from, ‘what should I do in college?’ and ‘what college major is right for me?’, here are some tips on how to choose a college program.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
There’s more to college than books and degrees. This is one of the most exciting times of your life filled with social events, communal living, and sports.
Consider the hours you’ll spend outside of the classroom too. These are some of the questions to ask:
- How many of my friends are attending this college?
- How far is it from family and home comforts?
- What are the sports facilities like?
- Does the school have a good reputation for safety?
Four years can be a long time when you’re miserable, and although you might regard the social aspect of college as secondary, it’s an important part of your life at this time.
How to Choose a College Based on Your Interests
Don’t get your head stuck in the sand when considering your options. A few colleges offer alternative courses of study beyond the usual BA and MBA’s.
You can choose from golf colleges, equestrian colleges, or even a college in the middle of the desert. If you’re an eclectic person, you’re more likely to succeed somewhere that truly captures your imagination rather than when slogging through four years of tradition.
Remember, if you’d rather get straight out into the job market, you can also study for a college degree online nowadays. It’s the best of both worlds for students who don’t want to waste time at frat parties when they could be earning cash.
How to Choose a University Step by Step
Once you’ve considered all your options set up a shortlist of your favorites.
Then, grade your chosen colleges according to how many of your boxes they tick and rank them accordingly. Remember to include fee considerations in your appraisal of the school.
If possible, take a campus tour, this helps you get a feel of the overall atmosphere on campus.
Research each college’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your field of study, and delve into how effective their career center is too.
One of the major factors, when you’re figuring out how to choose a college program, is how much your parents can afford. Discuss all your choices with them to help find the most affordable option.
Apply to as many colleges as you can. You should make sure your applications are in early, even though admissions only close in January every year.
What if You’re Not Going to College?
Not everybody gets to wonder how to choose a college. For some, it’s totally unaffordable and others simply don’t make the grade.
Whatever the reasons you aren’t attending college, this is still one of the most exciting times of your life.
You don’t need a college degree for some of the best jobs around. Wherever you end up, focus on doing the best you can, and you’ll thrive right where you are.
Browse or blog for more inspiration and advice on career choices and other lifestyle tips.