Just think about it. You’re fresh out of high school, excited to meet new friends, create new memories, and show your true academic potential. Maybe this college will help you achieve your dreams. Maybe it will inspire you to do something else. Whatever that may be, picking the perfect college is never an easy task.
- Pick a college with your major!
Yes, this may be a no brainer, BUT a lot of college students tend to transfer out of their college after their first year because the college does not provide the major they want. Granted, you may not know what you want to do in the future, but pick any major that you believe will have a great interest in.
This means, pick the college that you want to go to in the desired state, city, or even country that you to be in. For example, I personally wanted to stay in California because I loved it, so I majority of the schools that I applied to were in California.
- Go take a visit!
Most people pick the college that they want to go to because of the pictures that they see online or because of what their friend told them. Sometimes looks can be deceiving, it can be both good and bad. To prevent this, try to visit all the colleges that you applied for. Who knows, you may fall in love with the school that you least expected.
- Look into their athletic program!
This point is for all of my sports fans out there. If you were a huge football/basketball/soccer/etc. fan in high school, you may enjoy a school that was big sports teams in those areas. This also works in favor for high school athletes trying to get signed. If you haven’t signed yet, try to get into contact with the coach if there is any possibility of you receiving a scholarship still or if you are able to walk on and try out.
- Most interested clubs!
Most colleges would have a page where they have all of the clubs that meet on campus. Find a campus that you believe would get you most involved. The more that you are involved in school, the more likely you are to succeed! Make college fun!
- Make your own opinion!
Many times people would go to a school because that is where their best friend or boyfriend is going. It is okay for you to consider that school, but don’t limit your options. Create your own opinions, college is a big change, but sometimes change can be good.
- Don’t limit your options!
Keep an open mind when trying to choose a college. Consider both public and private schools, it may surprise you! I know going to a private school was never thought about until choosing the college I wanted to go to, but I couldn’t be happier!
- Dorm life!
This is a major point. Keep in mind that you are going to be living here for the next possibly 2 years, so make sure that you like where you are going to be staying for the next couple of years.
- Don’t waste your college credits!
If you took any AP/IB tests in high school put them in good use! Many colleges have different standards for each particular test, so if you are trying to get out of school fast, try to see which college accepts most of your AP/IB scores!
- Fits your lifestyle!
If you are outgoing and love a good party or likes to do things, you may want to go to a college that is around a beach or a big city. If you love nature and the outdoorsy type person, you may want to go to a college that is near a forest or has a lot of trees. The list goes on, but make sure the college fits your needs!
- Has the programs that you are interested in!
If you are interested in any particular programs for your college career, such as studying abroad, make sure that your college offers that because not many do.
- Family or..?
In this point, many people have a different opinion. For me I wanted to go to a college where I was surrounded by my family and close enough that I could go home and back to campus if I wanted to. In most cases though, many students want to be around people they are familiar with.
- Financial Aid!
After doing FAFSA you will get a notice about how much financial aid you may get to each school that you wanted to send your FAFSA to. Most students tend to pick the school that gives out the most financial aid and that is perfectly fine!
- Mindful of the cost!
Now don’t make this the reason why you don’t go to your dream school, just be mindful about the tuition and other costs, so that you know how much in debt you may be in, how many scholarships you apply for, or how much grants you get.
- Make a list!
For each college that you are interested in, make a pros and cons list. Not every college is going to be perfect, but it will help you visually see which college has the best characteristics that would suit you.