Once you graduate from high school, the next step is to choose the best college for your higher studies. The factors to consider when choosing a college may confuse you to the extent that you may not even know where to start.
In some cases, you may find yourself panicking and over-analyzing the list of colleges you have before you. This is because, as you go through the list, you’ll be wondering which place is the best to spend your next four or more years.
You don’t need to worry. Here, we present to you the factors that can help you in choosing a college.
Public college vs. Private colleges
Public and private colleges differ in many ways. One main difference is that public colleges get funds from the state. This means they don’t provide much financial aid to students.
On the other hand, private colleges provide more aid to students because they are privately funded. They also a smaller population compared to public colleges, which makes funding to be easier. So, if the cost of tuition is what determines which college to join, then you can opt for a private college.
However, you also need to consider whether that private college offers the best academic programs. If you prefer colleges with a bigger population, a public college would be your best bet.
And if you want to join a religiously affiliated college, then a private college should be at the top of your list. All in all, in choosing a college, consider the majors, the size, the financial packages, etc.
Location of the college
Do you want to study far away or close to your family? In which part of the country would you want to live? Or, which parts of the country do you consider to be tolerable?
These are some of the questions that may determine which college to join.
Another thing to consider is whether to live in a city or a rural area. The place where you want to live for the next four years is a personal choice, and it depends on your personal preferences.
Some people like to stay close to beaches or in the mountains, while others prefer cold or hot regions. Make a list of your preferences, then select a college that’s located at a place you consider the most conducive for you.
What do you want to major In?
If you’ve already decided what your major would be, then you need to narrow down your search to only the colleges that offer that subject. Surprisingly, you may still find many colleges that offer that major. So, your next step would be to pick the colleges that excel in the programs that are relevant to your major.
For example, if you want to major in international studies, you can choose a college with the best foreign language or study abroad programs. If you don’t have a preferred major right away, take your time to decide on a major before you start looking for a college.
Do you like sports? If yes, you would not want your talent to die as you move from high school to college. You need to choose a college that will help you develop your sporting talent.
Some universities are very good at certain co-curricular activities. Consider such colleges when making your choice. You may want a college with campus radio, choral groups, sororities/fraternities, orchestra, campus ministries, student newspapers, or even a dance program. These programs are very important for your holistic development.
Housing is a very important factor in choosing a college. Some colleges have hostels where students can live, while others allow students to find accommodation off-campus.
In some cases, the college can let you choose whether you want to stay in the hostels, or you can rent a house outside the campus. There are many questions you can ask yourself to guide you in choosing the mode of accommodation that suits your taste.
Do you want to live alone or you prefer to share a room? Do you want to live within the campus or you want to live far away from the campus? If you live far away, what mode of transport will you use? Which form of accommodation can you afford? What social and other amenities do you need for your comfort? All these questions will lead you to a college that has what you need.
What College Should I go To? Consider your performance in high school
The grades you got in various subjects in high school will determine which colleges you can join. For instance, colleges that offer engineering courses may require you to perform well in mathematics and other science-related subjects.
Some universities like Harvard University are very competitive and may need you to perform exceptionally well to get admission. So, before you pick a university, check their admission criteria to find out whether you meet all the conditions set forth.
Size of the college
The size of a college has a great impact on your social life and experience. In large ones, there are many people to socialize with. However, with such a large number of students, you’ll have to bear with crowded classes. Also, when in a large college, you’ll not be able to relate with your professors at personal levels. Meaning, you’ll not perform as well as you would in a small school.
Small colleges have higher student-faculty ratios making it easier for students to get help from their professors. Going to a large or a small university is a choice you can make depending on your personality. If you are an introvert, you may not care much about interactions or networking. For extroverts, socialization is of utmost importance.
You can answer the question “What college should I go to?” only after considering all the factors discussed above. You can start with a list of colleges, then eliminate them one by one as you go through these points.
Still, you may not find a single school that offers everything you need. So, you’ll have to compromise in some areas. What you can do is, pick a university that offers the things you can not do without.
The No. 1 FORBES Top College 2015 is Pomona College, followed by Williams College and Stanford University. The highest rated public school is the University of California, Berkeley. This ranking is based on an ROI scale, with points for low debt, high graduation rates, student satisfaction and career success.
They Include, Boston College, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Binghamton University
One of the best thing to do is first choose your program, find a list of colleges, then rank according to your priorities, and most important focus on your goals.
This depends on your passion. However, it is good to know how your course is going to fit in the current world. Therefore, you must be conversant with current trends and what the