Sending out applications to an assortment of colleges actually requires a bit of thought. Of course it never hurts to send out lots of applications to see what types of responses you get, but you'll still need to choose which college to go to. Here are 7 things to consider before picking a college, when you have a choice.
7. How Will You Get There?
Are you going to need to take a bus or a plane to your new college? Will you need a family member or friend to drive you there? Or will you be able to ride your bicycle to the college you want to attend? Knowing how you will actually get to the college of your choice can sometimes determine which one you ultimately choose. Remember that this might also play a part in how much time you spend with your family once you are in college as well.
6. Distance from Home
Sometimes this doesn't matter at all. However, there are some individuals who don't think that it will matter and find out within their first month at college that they are extremely homesick. Attending an out of state school can put a damper on financial aid as well. Most states give residents a break on the cost of tuition, but you have to live in an area for at least 6 months to be considered a resident.
5. Does the College Fit into Your Budget?
How much financial aid will you have to apply for to make up the difference? Not everyone has a major amount of money set aside for college. You'll need to figure in how much the tuition is, what meal plan is included, the price of books, and money for laundry and such. College costs can really add up. If you've received any scholarships, you'll want to make sure that they college you are interested in is going to accept them. This is rarely a problem.
4. Size of the Classes
One of the reasons I chose the college I did was because the largest class had 20 people in it. I didn't want to be lost in the crowd. I actually wanted to know my professors and have them remember me as well. If you are just seeking an education and don't care much about interacting with staff and students, then a larger college or university might suit you fine.
3. Location of the College Campus
Is the campus in town where you can walk to nearby stores or restaurants during a break? Or is the campus on the outskirts of town and away from all the hustle and bustle of the city? Depending on where you grew up, you might choose a college depending on where the campus is located.
2. A Major
Some colleges focus on particular types of majors, so choosing a college that will help you achieve a specific education can be to your benefit. Besides the types of classes offered for your major, you might want to consider how the surrounding area of the college will also benefit you. For instance, if you are seeking a major that focuses on clothing design, then you will most likely want to attend a college that is located in an area where you might have a better chance at getting an internship that will aid you with your major.
1. Are You Attending the College Because Your Friends Are?
Choose a college that is suited best for you, not because your friends are all attending it. Sometimes it works out that you all have similar interests, thus attending the same college is useful. I've seen too many people follow a boyfriend or a girlfriend to college with ill effects on both their education and relationship.
I know these 7 things to consider before picking a college are many, but it's a good idea to try to include as many of these as possibly when making your decision. What do you think is the most important thing to think about when deciding on which college to attend?
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