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Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

Every day we make dozens of choices. They are typically minor things that do not occupy much space in our minds.

March 5th, 2020

Every day we make dozens of choices. They are typically minor things that do not occupy much space in our minds. But from time to time, we have to decide on some serious stuff. Education is one of the most important choices in a person’s life. How long does it take to choose a college? The process might be stressful, but it can also be interesting. Whether your decision is independent or influenced by parents or peers, it must, first and foremost, be informed. So here are some essential factors to consider when choosing your future college.
Eight (Plus One) Factors to Consider

  1. Set your priorities straight. This is the first and most important step. Think of your dream job and research which colleges have the best base for it. Concentrate on majors and programs, or the best-known schools of the chosen field. People often strive for top colleges while forgetting about their goals. Your central focus must be the quality of major specializations.
  2. Make a list of the colleges you like. Plenty of guidebooks on choosing an educational institution exist but start with googling. Do not forget about search engines specifically designed to perform searches by majors, locations, types, or financial aspects. College websites and various US rankings can help a lot.

Every year lists of the best colleges in America appear just before the applying process starts. Examine them attentively. Then, visit college websites. They provide information on syllabuses, tuition costs, teaching staff. Virtual college tours are also available online. Same as the access to high-quality custom papers when you need to buy thesis paper.

  1. Understand college prices. The choice of college is dictated by affordability. Eight out of ten American families state college prices among the top factors when making a decision. The US News data shows the average tuition fee at an in-state public college is about 73% less than that of private ones this year. However, private institutions offer their students financial aid packages. Learn everything about grants, scholarships, and loans. Financial aid programs can make a private college more affordable.
  2. Learn more about the size of enrollment of your potential college. Some people prefer small colleges that offer tailored programs and focus on the individual success of their students. Others feel comfortable studying at large institutions with more diversity and social opportunities.
  3. Most colleges do not accept everyone — they select their students. Some institutions admit fewer than 20% of all applicants. Selective colleges tend to be ranked higher. Do not pay attention to that; concentrate on your priorities. But do learn the average acceptance rates of your choices, as this will give you a more realistic picture of your chances.
  4. Don’t forget about the location of the college. A common struggle for many students is caused by the desire to stay together with their school friends. Some even make their choice based on the decision of others. This is not right. Your future career is your personal life choice, so think this through! Would you like to spend the next four years far from home? Maybe you have always dreamt of studying in a particular state close to the ocean or mountains? Or do you feel better next to relatives and friends? Consider all of these options, because college life is not only about studies. New contacts and experiences will teach you a lot, too.

The location will also influence your personal expenses on transportation, housing, food, and studying materials. Take a college tour and see how the campus feels. Learn what clubs and organizations or student services are available. Many institutions offer different additional activities — these can also influence your choice.

  1. Be attentive. Deadlines vary depending on an institution. Try to apply to college as soon as the online application becomes available. Do not hesitate to doublecheck the timeframes.
  2. The main task of any college is to prepare you for a career. And you want a successful one. Then pay attention to college career centers and what job connection services they offer. These offices help students write CVs and provide interview prep. Most importantly, they host job fairs during which employers visit the campus to recruit students who are about to graduate. This can help you with potential internship opportunities. Lists of the best US colleges for career services are also available online.

Many people complain that choosing a college is difficult. Families quarrel, applicants, lose their determination. Life-changing decisions are always hard.
College is not just a place to get a degree. It will change your outlook and personality. Plus, studying is expensive, and this doubles the weight of your choice.
Take your time and look through these eight factors attentively, although one is definitely missing. The most important one, actually — how you feel about a college. Visit the campus, talk to people, look around. Don’t forget that college life is not only about studying. It is an important period in your life when you develop contacts, skills, and future perspectives. So all of your decisions must be responsible and informed. Good luck!

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.