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Choosing the Right College for You

By Edited Aug 13, 2016 6 2

College is often referred to as a place where students can find themselves, however, knowing a bit about yourself beforehand can help you choose a college that is right for you. No one wants to spend time in a place that is uncomfortable. Choosing the wrong college could compound the painful experience by making you pay to be there. The only thing I can imagine worse than being in a place I don't like is having to shell out thousands of dollars for the privilege. Knowing in part who you are and who you want to become can help you choose the right school for you from the long list of universities out there.


Where did you grow up? This may seem like it isn't an important factor but it is. Did you live in a big city and love the bright lights and goings on. or did you crave adventure in the great outdoors? Many colleges are in the center of a metropolis where there is sure to be activity. A student that craves a quiet and mellow atmosphere would have trouble adapting in such a setting. While you could certainly broaden your horizons at a busy university it will be an expensive lesson to learn if all the distraction keeps you from being a good student. If you are a student that enjoys solitude a large university probably isn't for you. Keep in mind that colleges come in all sizes and types you just have to know what you are looking for.

College Location

Just as location is important in real estate it is important to a college student. Many students dream of college farm from home and the freedom to do what they choose without restriction. The dream seems fine until a student wants a home cooked meal, or sights of the familiar. It is a wonderful thing to have wings, but you can't forget your roots. Will you be able to come home for the holidays or will the financial burden of traveling across country keep you from visiting more than one time a year? Family plays an important role in any students life, and if you need to see them every weekend then you should choose a school closer to home.


The bottom line on tuition is rarely the bottom line. Colleges vary widely in their tuition and cost. It is important to find a school that meets your budget so the pressure of debt doesn't find you in over your head. If the school tuition has you feeling like you need to part with a kidney, it's simply the wrong choice. No student needs the pressure of loans, upon loans, and three jobs to try and keep up with the financial end of things. Too much pressure over money will make it hard to focus, and for many hard to breathe. You don't need to go into debt up to your ears to get a good education. In state schools often have huge discounts for residential students, verses students coming in from out of state. If you are leaving your state consider a private college as they normally have endowment programs to help students with financial aid. If you have a scholarship consider a school that has a strong program in your area of award. Music, dance, art, and sports are all good areas of award and typically you can find a college with a good program that will fit your needs and your interest.

College Major

The answer to this question is important and the answer may surprise you. If you don't know it really is OK. Colleges vary as widely in classes you can take as they do in tuition costs. The important thing to consider is course-load. Do you want a broad range of courses or do you want to simply take classes tailored to your career choice? Some colleges require students to take courses in general education while others specialize in tailoring courses to a students educational need. While the class on anthropology might be fun you are having to pay for it and it is important to consider that. Knowing where you are or are not going can certainly help you pick a college. Be honest with yourself and you are sure to pick the right choice.

College is a wonderful experience a place where a student can certainly find new experiences and a mix of familiar ones as well. Knowing your likes and dislikes will help you make an informed decision. You can visit a college before you choose to attend and eliminate fears or concerns that you may have. This shouldn't be a shotgun decision since you will spend four years at the college of your choice. If you are undecided talk to friends and family members, or join a forum. Choosing a college can be scary, the people that know you best can play an important role in helping you select the right path for you.

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Mar 23, 2010 1:28pm
It is one of the most difficult decisions to make; But the student must remember, if they choose the wrong school, they can always transfer to another.
Jul 8, 2010 3:59am
This comment has been deleted.
Oct 9, 2010 10:55pm
As soon as our children got in high school, we began incorporating college visits into all our vacations. The entire family enjoyed it, and it made it much easier for our daughters to decide where they wanted to apply. All four of them are college graduates today, and now our daughters take our grandchildren to visit colleges, too!
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