Deciding to go to college is a major decision. A college degree opens up more doors once you enter the working world. It is hard work, and certainly not a decision to be made lightly. Adding to that is making sure that you choose the right college for you. There are plenty of factors to consider when trying to decide where to take your education up a step further. Let’s take a look at some of the top factors to consider when picking a college.
If you already know exactly what it is that you want to study, then this one will be easy for you. Have a look at the top colleges that offer the specific major you want to study and apply to those. If you, like so many others, aren’t quite sure what you want to study yet, that’s also just fine – your future path can change anytime you choose. In this case, apply to colleges that offer a wide variety of majors to choose from, so that you have the opportunity to figure out which direction you would like to go in.
Once you know a bit more, you can switch to a more focussed program without needing to transfer to another school. However, it is important to remember that your interests may change. Most students change their minds about their elected majors several times throughout their college careers.
The mantra “location, location, location” holds true even when it comes time to select the college you wish to attend. Consider the following location-related factors when selecting potential colleges: what the weather is like, how close you will be to friends and family, what the surrounding areas offer, as well as the ease of access to transportation there and back.
If you prefer hot weather and it is always cold and raining at your potential college, it probably isn’t the best fit. Likewise, if you wish to see your friends and family from home fairly often, making sure that your college is close by will definitely make your overall college experience more memorable and you’ll feel like you’ll always find big wins this way.
You are going to be spending a lot of time on campus, especially if you have moved far from home and are living in a campus residence. You need to make sure that you are comfortable in your home away from home, even when you are not in a lecture or doing research in the library. First, consider what the residence halls have to offer – what are the rooms like?
Next, consider the food options at the residence halls; if you are a vegetarian, for example, will you be catered for? Another big factor to consider is onsite services. Will you have access to the campus clinic if you are in need of healthcare? If you wish to see a counselor, will one be readily available? Finally, it is vital to consider recreational activities.
If you are very active, it is best to consider campuses that have gyms or a number of sports teams you can join.