Deciding Between Colleges
Who could have ever thought that choosing between schools was going to be so difficult? With the application process over, it’s time to make a decision of where you want to pursue your undergraduate education. But don’t let this process be so daunting – here are some questions you may want to consider when choosing the right school for you:
- Can I graduate in 4 years? – You can graduate at private schools in 4 years most of the time, whereas many public-school students are now graduating in 5 or 6 years.
- How far away from home do I want to be? – Sometimes the distance between school and home can be the deciding factor of whether you’ll flying home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or Spring Break.
- Can I get credit for my AP classes? – Receiving credit for AP exams can often give you college credit for high school courses that you received a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP test(s).
- How much financial aid did I receive? – Money is frequently one of the biggest determinants of choosing schools. Should you turn down a big name college that doesn’t offer much free money for a less prestigious school that offers more money?
- What type of campus and people do I want to be surrounded by? – Each school has its persona. Make sure your characteristics fit in with your school’s persona when you visit. After all, you’re going to be living there for the next four years. This is where the personality assessment you took when we first started becomes vitally important.
- What type of setting do I want my school to be in? – NYU is practically located in the heart of Manhattan, whereas UCLA is in the wealthy suburbs of Los Angeles. UCSD is right next to the beach, and Dartmouth has been described to be in the middle of nowhere. What do you want?
- Do they have sports teams? – If you’re looking for the full “college experience,” many say you have to pick a school with football and basketball teams. Others don’t really care for their school’s athletic fan base and are content with just a fencing team. Your definition of “college experience” is what really matters!
You have to remember to factor all of these aspects into your decision. If you pick the wrong school, you’ll quickly figure that out within the first couple weeks of attending. Discuss your choices with friends and family (and us!) to make sure that you’re making a wise decision.