Deciding where you want to attend college is quite a personal, and very often stressful, decision for students and families. Here’s a quick look at a few things that might make the process just a bit easier for you.
Field of Study
Maybe you want to stay on the beautiful Hawaiian islands for school, or you might want to experience a bit of snow while studying at one of the actuarial science programs in Illinois – either way, many students begin college without having chosen a degree, and that’s fine. However, if you have some sort of idea of the major or career you want to pursue, it can help when it comes to narrowing that list of colleges down since they don’t all offer the same things.
Maybe you want to remain on the islands and attend college in Hawaii, or maybe not. Do you want to go back to the mainland to attend a massive college or a smaller one? What price range are you comfortable with? These are just a few of the things you should consider when looking for a university that’s perfect for you. The more you can narrow the list down, the better, and choosing your criteria can help tremendously with that.
Once you have a bit of an idea of your criteria, it’s time to begin the next phase of searching for a college to help you prepare for life as an adult in the workforce. You can locate information in a variety of books, both online and off, as well as on many websites.
Don’t discount advice from guidance counselors, teachers, friends, and family too. You may also want to go to a few college fairs and meet representatives of the schools.
Info and Resources
Once you have the info you need, you can curate your list of schools. If you find that you’re missing info you need about a particular school, go directly to the college’s website and find it. Most universities also offer virtual tours these days too. This kind of thing will allow you to get a feel of the location right from your bedroom.
Narrow It Down
Use the information you’ve gathered up to this point to narrow the list of possible colleges down to a number that’s manageable. What this number is will vary from one person to the next, and this may depend on how many you can actually physically visit. Most people will get their list down to 10 or less, but some stick with numbers closer to 20. It depends on you.
If you truly want to get a feel for the schools in question, you’ll need to visit them. Take a tour of the grounds, meet with a few students, go to a class, read the school, newspaper, eat in the cafeteria, and stay a night in one of the dorms. This is critical because wherever you decide to go, you’ll be spending four years of your life there.
Finally, once you’ve narrowed your list down by actually visiting the schools in question, apply to the ones you’ve decided on. Again, the number you apply to will depend on you and what you can afford since most of the time there’s also an application fee. That said, most teens will apply to at least one of their dream schools even if there’s only a small chance of them being accepted. Then, they’ll also apply to around four schools where it’s a safe bet that they’ll be accepted. Ultimately, you need to choose what’s right for you. Hopefully, with the tips you’ve just read, the process will be a bit easier.