5 Ways To Find The Right College For You

female college student holding books

Making the decision to further your education is an exciting but overwhelming prospect and the choice of college you make can determine your experience and success not only in school but in your career afterward. 

But there's not really a class in high school teaching you how to choose a college that is the perfect one for you. Sure the guidance counselor or friends may have their tips on college applications and programs but you have to look a little deeper at who you are and what you want in your college experience to include.

Keep reading for tips on how to choose a college that not only has the program you're interested in but also offers everything you need for a successful college life.

1. Decide Your Priorities

People go to college with a lot of different expectations for what they want out of the experience. Of course, they want a good education with a valuable degree and a bright future but there's so much more to consider when deciding how to choose a college.

The first thing to consider is what program you want to go into. You'll also need to consider what extracurricular activities and school services are important to you.

Some students will desire strong student support systems for mental and physical challenges while others will feel like social activities and clubs are an important aspect of school life.

2. Pros and Cons List

Once you decide what your priorities for college life are, you'll want to consider which schools make the list of best colleges for you.

This can best be accomplished by creating a pros and cons list for each school you're considering. Break your list up depending on what your priorities are.

Some things you'll want to include:

Location and Cost

The location of the school can have an impact on your enjoyment of school and how practical it is for you to attend.

There may be costs and hurdles associated with attending an out-of-state school that you'll want to take into account when deciding.

Costs can vary greatly depending on what school you attend and what your living situation will be throughout your school career.

Programs and Prospects

Not all programs are created equally and you'll need to do a little research into what each program offers to enhance student learning and how the program will help your future career and life goals.

If you're planning on furthering your education with post-graduate studies or to go onto another program you'll want to ensure the program you start with is recognized and respected by other institutions. 

Ability to Meet Your Needs

Each college will have its strengths and weaknesses as far as support programs go and what they can offer to help make your college experience successful.

If you'll be living in student housing you'll want to check out the options there and see which school offers the things you value most.

3. A Place to Call Home

Some student housing is dorm-style where you'll be sharing a bathroom with everyone else on the floor and eating in a cafeteria for meals. 

Other student housing options are like apartments where you share a common area with three or four other students. If you have friends attending the same school you may be able to arrange to live together in residence.

If you're planning on living off-campus, you'll want to look into the housing options and costs of living in the area.

Talk to Loved Ones About How to Choose a College for You

Your loved ones know you, sometimes better than you do. Talk to them about how to choose a college that is right for you. 

Choosing the right college can be a difficult but important aspect of your post-secondary education.

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