A Short Guide to Choosing the Right College

June 3rd, 2016

“How do I choose a college?” is a question bothering a lot of high school seniors at this
time of the year. After all, picking the right place to study can either make or break your academic career and overall college experience. The first and most important step is to choose the criteria that are of importance to you.
Colleges, just like people, have values and personality. Choosing the right university is simply a matter of matching them to your own ones. There’re also other factors, such as location, tuition fees, and the size of school. These criteria can help you eliminate some choices right away and narrow down the options.

Location

People usually underestimate how climate can influence their mental and physical health. If you’re used to yearlong sunshine, moving to a colder area can be quite a drag, which will inevitably influence your academics. College is also an opportunity to experience life like never before. You can choose to travel abroad, or stay close to home and visit your family regularly.

Environment

No, I’m not talking about how eco-friendly your future school is, though if that matters to you, include it in your list of criteria! What I’m talking about is the feel of the school. You can opt for an urban college and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, or go with the more relaxing vibes of rural colleges. Whatever you decide on, think about your own background first and how prepared you are for a change.

Size

Colleges range from hundreds to tens of thousands of enrolled students. Large campuses usually have more to offer in terms of activities, but small schools feel more exclusive. Consider your previous experience. If you went to a big high school and hated it, you should focus on smaller colleges, and vice versa.

Tuition and financial aid

“How do I choose a college?” should not be a question of price, but education is expensive. If this is something that matters to you or your parents greatly, there are ways to limit the expenses.
Student loans are not the only option. Plenty of schools offer academic, musical, or sports scholarships. Even if you don’t qualify for full tuition coverage, any sum can help.