09 April 2013

Deciding on a College

College admission letters will be rolling in soon, and a lot of lucky high school seniors will be ripping open their acceptance letters from a variety of schools. Many will also have to open up a few rejection letters as well. No matter your situation, you still have to answer one very important question: Which school will fit your needs the best? To figure that out, there are several important things you will want to look at first.

You will definitely want to choose a school that you could see yourself being happy at. The things you have to consider when applying to schools are different from what you have to take into account when committing to a school.

Cost: Will it be Worth It?

One of the most important things you should look at before deciding to attend a school is how much it costs to attend, and if you can afford it or not. You should lay out your college payment plan and compare the prices of different schools, and see how they fit your financial status. If you have applied to a wide spectrum of schools that are distinguished from one another, it may be best for
you to spend more. However, if the schools have little differences then you may want to pick the one that has the better price.
Remember to factor in that most schools require freshmen to sign up for meal plans, and reside on campus. This can definitely add sway when really narrowing down your choices to one or two schools. Also keep in mind that costs add up over the years, and your initial costs of starting school could end up doubling. 

Quality of Life: Will You Be Happy?

You should also list the most prominent details/features of each school, and compare each college using pros and cons.

Visualizing everything you deem important, seeing it organized on paper, will assist you in coming to a more solid conclusion.

Experts say that students should visit their top three picks multiple times to get a feel for what life on campus is like there. Going back as an admitted student could change your perspective on things if you have already gone on a tour of the school before. Most people who visit schools pay attention to a lot more things than they originally did when just going on a tour. It is also worth it to arrange a meeting with a professor in the same department that you would like to study in. If you have chosen a school that has a wide variety of majors, programs and degrees then chances are you will be able to remain at that school once you narrow down the career path you want to follow.

Campus Life: Will You Also Have Some Fun?

The size and location of a school should also play an important role in your decision process of choosing a school to go to. It is considered okay to base your decision on location if the schools you are deciding between have similar academic quality. Sometimes factors such as the weather of the location you want to choose or the campus you liked the best can be deciding factors. It is said that people can greatly benefit from attending a college with an urban campus where they are not completely immersed in college life. This allows them to experience other corners of life and gain much more experience than one could in a small town.

Social life can become a very important factor when deciding on a school. It is only natural to think about how you may fit in and if you feel you will belong. Considering the social aspects is important because you will most likely live there for several years. So when making your list you should try to think about important social dimensions. Which schools have clubs, associations, or honor societies that meet with your interests? You may want to consider looking into different recreational activities that the different schools offer. Whether they are sports- or artistically-driven, finding interests that are common between you and the student body is essential for your decision. Students often perform better academically and socially in environments that fits with their social preferences and personality.

Keeping these aspects in mind, don’t forget to breathe. Yes, this is a big decision, but it’s also an exciting one. Maybe you got into the school of your dreams. Maybe you didn’t. The important this to remember though, is that if take the time to research, you will most likely end up at a school which meets all of your needs, making your college experience a success.

Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy, and save some money with a Levi’s promo code.


Cl;ara said...

A day in the life of college student.
The cool thing about the college schedule is that you have more opportunities to explore your interests and passions.However, college is like high school in that you will have the opportunity to get involved by joining different clubs, organizations, and maybe even by getting a part-time job.
Thanks for sharing.

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When deciding which college to apply to it's also important to seek advice fro others and if possible get views from people who have been into your preferred college because they can give you a first hand experiences that they have had in the institution.
This is because at times things may look very great from the outset whereas it's not the actual situation at the ground. It is also advisable to compare different institutions to see which best fits your preferences.
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