Question

What are some recommended steps to take in deciding what college to attend?

Answer

A few quick and easy things to consider should help you out:

  • Visit - If you have a few schools in mind, try to make time for a visit.  Going to college campuses can give students a feel for the different environments and what things they like and don't like.  Sometimes a college visit is "love at first sight."
  • Location - Consider the school’s location. Do you want to be have some "breathing room" between you and your parents?  Want to come home most weekends? Is a city environment or rural area a better fit? 
  • Diversity - Diversity is another thing to look for. Do you want to attend school with your friends and other people similar to you?  Or would you like the experience of meeting people of all different sorts?
  • Size - A school’s size is a key factor. Big schools have their advantages, but the teacher-to-student ratio may make your classes more difficult.  Smaller campuses can feel either homey or restricting (depending on your personality), but individualized attention and assitance from professors is more likely.
  • Academics - What do you want to study?  Do your ideal colleges offer good programs in your area of interest?  Will the courses challenge you?
  • Extracurriculars - If sports or clubs are important, learn what programs different colleges offer to suit your interests.
  • Cost - Is a particular school feasible?  Think about the Total Cost of Attendance. This includes tuition, room and board, books, fees and other college-related expenditures.

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