How To Choose The Right College


The buildings also seem to get more intimidating in college!

The buildings also seem to get more intimidating in college!

It’s that time of year when prospective students are eagerly awaiting acceptance letters into their favorite schools. No doubt you have applied to more than one college and if you have several attractive offers, you want to make the right choice. It can be really difficult to decide between schools, so here is a little guide on how to go about making the right choice.  Remember that you can still call schools you get accepted to with additional questions.

Make A List, Check It Twice
Write down all the things that you are looking for in a school in order of importance.  The most important option should be the program you want to take so that should go on the very top of the list.  Follow this with other factors and facilities that you find essential to the success of your academic career.  Also remember that it may be wise for you to go into school as undeclared and use your first year to get use to college life and courses. It also allows you the opportunity to explore the degree programs offered and the career potential after school.

Be careful of colleges/universities that require you to elect a major.  They know a high percentage of students change their minds and that makes a 4 year program 5 – 6 years.  This will really blow your budget.

The second half of the list should contain the considerations that you would like to have in your future school.  These could include things like size; some students prefer the intimacy of smaller colleges while other students like big schools because they can meet new people.

Take A Holistic Approach
When finding the best fit for you, consider not only your academic needs, but also your personality and interests.  You need to find a school that suits you in order for you to excel.  You should include factors like diversity, location, arts, sports, your budget, the facilities provided by the school, the lecturers who will be giving your chosen courses, course requirements, etc.

Now you can compare schools in terms of how many boxes they tick on the ‘essentials’ list and on your ‘wish’ list.  This helps you to accurately select the best school for you.

Ask All The Questions
By the time you are ready to make your choice, you should have visited each of your colleges and you should know everything you need to know in order to make your decision.  Do your research on each school so you know exactly what you will be getting.  Know that many colleges are having a difficult time filling their incoming classes so that is creating some novelty.

Set A Deadline
There’s nothing worse than waiting in limbo, so set yourself a deadline for making your final decision.  Take enough time to carefully consider your options, but don’t get bogged down in indecision.  Set a date, make a decision and then move forward with your planning.  Planning is especially important if you are going away to college.

Communicate
Your family, friends and teachers are all excited and invested in your decision. While you may feel pressure from different quarters to make a decision, don’t shut down communication. Listen carefully to advice, then take time to make your own decision. Communicate with your councillors, parents and teachers so that they can help you come to the right decision for you.

Choosing the right college is a tough decision and it will directly affect you the rest of your life, so take your time and trust your instincts. Good luck!

Note: Adapted from a post originally published 3/10/2014 on the Tutor Doctor Corp. blog

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Filed under Education, My Experiences, Parenting

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