School size, academics and finances are just some of the factors to consider before choosing a college or university.
Before you make up your mind about where you'll get your degree, make sure you take the following things into consideration.
1. Type : There are many types of higher education; from technical colleges to public universities, these may all depend on how much money you have available, what kind of job you want to have and how much you value selectivity and prestige.
2. Cost : Don't go straight to choosing the cheapest option available. Although cost should be a huge factor when deciding on a college, you need to figure out a realistic plan. Don't set your heart on an expensive college either, if you do not have much cash at hand for tuition and other living expenses. Scholarships are an option.
If the career you are hoping to enter does not pay well, consider whether or not the prestige is worth the dent you leave in your pocketbook.
3. Major : Research the institution's various academic programs before you make any final decision. You want to make sure the college for you meets all your requirements, otherwise you waste time and money transferring.
4. Location : Are you planning to live at home? Are you choosing a college within easy driving distance? Is there public transportation? Do you have a part-time job you need to go home on the weekend for? Think about whether you prefer a small college town setting or a big city atmosphere. There are advantages for each setting, but it all depends on how comfortable you feel.
5. Size : Your personality comes into play here. Many students that I've worked with love fast-paced energetic setting of a big school, along with the opportunities it can bring, while other students prefer a more personal setting where they get to know their professors and peers and this is easier to do at a smaller school.
6. Miscellaneous : Narrow your list from the factors above, and think about the FUN things now. These extras can determine whether you will survive or thrive in college. For instance, how's the cafeteria? What do students do on the weekends? Does the college have an active Greek life or other clubs/activities that interest you? How are the sports teams?
If you have the opportunity, go tour the college and ask yourself if you feel like you fit in.
With the fierce and competitive application process and high tuition cost of many colleges and universities, it's essential that you weigh the factors that matter to you before you shell out thousands of dollars in tuition payments. You want to feel happy and comfortable at the institution you decide to attend and you need to consider life after college. Make sure you are not uncomfortable because of the student loan debt.
Good luck. For more help, contact Lee Academia at Stephenie@LeeAcademia.com.