With dozens of options, if not more, choosing one college to attend can feel like choosing between a bunch of equally shiny, brand-new cars. You love aspects of each choice, but going with your gut isn’t necessarily a smart way to select a future school.
If you really want to figure out if a school is a good match for you and your needs, here are the questions you need to ask yourself.
Does It Fit Your Budget?
First and foremost, you probably need to think about money. The average student graduates with $30,000 in debt, but if you play your cards right, you won’t be in such a sticky situation after you finish college. Look into all of the available financial aid and scholarship options, then decide if the school is financially viable for you and your family.
Is It in a Good Location?
Although you might not immediately consider location to be a deciding factor, remember that you’re going to spend four years or so in that place, so it needs to be an area that you feel comfortable in. If you hate big cities, don’t think about heading to NYC for your degree. If you need lots of exciting options for entertainment, don’t head to a school in the middle of nowhere.
Does It Offer the Degrees You’re Interested In?
If you think you might have an interest in majoring in journalism, but that specific school only allows you to take a few exploratory classes in the subject, then you might want to nix it from your list of candidates. A school is only a good match if it will allow you to explore all of your interests thoroughly.
How Do You Feel About the Class Sizes?
Some schools have class sizes in the hundreds while others have as few as fifteen students in a classroom at one time. Think about your personality and learning style, then decide which would be more conducive to a proper learning experience for you.
Is There an Appropriate Amount of Emphasis on Athletics?
Some people love school spirit and football games, others could care less, and that’s okay. Think about how important the athleticism and spirit of the school is to your personal happiness, then use that to eliminate schools that aren’t right for you.