Choosing a college can be really easy. Or really hard. It all depends on a number of factors, some within your control and some beyond it. There are some components, however, that universally need to be considered when deciding on colleges that should be on your application list.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is fit. This is why it’s important to actually visit any universities you are seriously considering attending. Meet people – staff, professors and students – to really get a feel of the place and see how you feel about fitting in there. Not every college is for everybody, and you might find yourself simply liking the feel of some over others. Lots of schools have a website like this one for UC Clermont College. Spending some time on the schools website can help you get a feel for what the culture there will be like.
While it’s not something most potential college students want to think about, the reality is that cost is always something you must consider when applying to universities. If you get more financial help to attend one school over another, that alone might make the decision for you. Or it might not. Always apply to schools you want because you might end up with more financial aid than you thought, and your college experience is not to be decided by money alone. But cost should always be a factor.
- Breadth Of Degree Choices
You are likely to change your major during college – that much is a fact. So if you’re looking at a very small school for a very specific program they are well-known for, what happens if you want to change your major and you then find there are not many other options to choose from? The smart thing to do is not only have a few majors in mind you might be interested in pursuing, but applying to colleges that have programs in a handful of subjects you are interested in, as well as other options you might not have even considered.
- Your Chances At Getting In
Have a good idea of the acceptance rate and average accepted student GPA of the schools you are considering. It might be best to simply not apply to any you have no realistic chance of getting into. If you are applying to a school or two that might be hard to get into, go the extra mile when crafting your application, essay and interview to present yourself as a student they want to accept. But also realistically determine if you’ll be able to keep up in the academic environment of those schools if you are accepted. And always apply to a “backup” school that you’re sure to get into.
The decision of what colleges to apply for is a very personal one, and there are a lot of things to consider. The benefits of a college education, including becoming a more well-rounded human being, better employment aspects and better lifetime salaries make it all worth it. Ultimately, follow both your heart and your head, as well as consider the four factors mentioned above, and good luck on those applications!
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. Kara recommends looking into diplomacy programs for more information on degrees that can help save the world.
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