Applying to and Choosing a College
Choosing the Best Fit
Comparing colleges to narrow your choices before applying helps make your final choice easier. Here are key areas to consider when evaluating your priorities:
- A good general fit
Does the college offer what you want, at an affordable cost, and at a good location?
- Academic strength in your field of study
Are there minimum quality and reputation requirements of the degree or certificate program for getting the job you want?
Is the campus easy to navigate? Does it have good housing and food options? Will it require a car?
Is it close to family? Is it inner city or in the suburbs? Will you have access to interests and hobbies?
Is it small and intimate or is it large and more impersonal? Where are you most comfortable?
- Social climate
Is it an academics-first campus? A party campus? A sports campus? Does it generally fit with your lifestyle and value system?
What are your out of pocket costs/how much will you need to borrow? Does the school offer gift-aid? Will you need to work part-time or full time? Will your degree program allow you to work more than a few hours a week?
Once you know your priorities and have made the decision you’re comfortable with, let the schools you don’t choose know that you won’t be attending, so they can offer admission to another student on their waiting list.
Feel free to celebrate this important milestone in your life, but you still need a strong high school finish. A bad case of ‘senioritis’ could cause your grades to crash and lead your college to rescind their offer of admission.