Variables to Consider When Choosing a College
When choosing a college the question should not be “which is the best college?” The question should be “which is the best college for me?” The college search process begins with self–exploration. What are your interests, abilities, goals, and expectations? What is your “learning style”? Do you learn better in a small group or listening to a lecturer? Do you value the availability of professors for individual discussion or would you rather work with your peers on group assignments? What are your reasons for going to college? Students should consider these questions and think about the course work, extra-curricular activities, and/or community service that they have found most interesting throughout their lives. Academic interests and feedback from teachers, coaches, club advisors and other adults can help students reflect upon how their activities have influenced them. Career interest inventories and consultation with your guidance counselor may be useful in considering personal and career goals.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN THE COLLEGE YOU CHOOSE?
- Type (two or four year, coed or single sex)
- Geographic Location (region, state, distance from home)
- Majors/Curriculum (liberal arts, technical, business)
- Setting (urban, rural, suburban)
- Size (small, medium, large, very large)
- Selectivity (very difficult, moderately difficult, open admission)
- Cost (tuition, room and board, books, fees, travel, financial aid)
- Diversity (race, religion, national, international, age)
- Extracurricular activities (sports, entertainment, culture, religious, educational)
- Housing (on/off campus, coed, single sex, special interest, rules, roommates)
- Facilities (buildings, libraries, classrooms, lecture halls, labs, recreational/athletic, stores, laundry, handicapped access)
- Specialized Programs (programs and services for students who are learning disabled, physically challenged, or for whom English is a second language.)