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Making a Good Choice of a College

Choosing a college could give any high school student a headache. It is overwhelming to consider the number of colleges that are out there to attend. What are the most important factors in a college may be the first question that a prospective student should ask.


Most students have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for in a college or university before they begin their search. Yet there are plenty of first year students who head off to college thinking they have made the right choice only to find out part way through the year it was not a good fit at all.

There is not an exact science to choosing a college, but something to consider is not to just react to the situation you are coming out of. Some students from a smaller high school or town want to go to an extra large university to get lost in the crowd when really the change may be too much. For other students who come from a large, metropolitan area attending a smaller college in more rural area can provide just as much culture shock.

There are a few things that one can determine when starting the search for a college or university that can remove some of the things that do not make for a good fit.

Consider your interests. Does the college or university you are considering have the degree program that interests you? Take the time to review their catalogue. Look over the course offerings in your preferred department to see if they interest you or address what you want to learn. Also look at the general course offerings to make certain you will get to study in the areas you want to.

Consider the size of the institution. Is the college or university you are considering the right size for your needs? Take the time to go to the campus and get an idea of the size and a feel for the atmosphere on campus. A challenge of large sprawling universities is making it from one class to another. Maybe you never want to go more than a few blocks to your next class. If so, a giant university may not be the best fit.

Consider private or public. Does the college or university you are considering offer the type of community you seek? Private colleges are usually smaller in size and offer and sense of being known at least within your area of study. Public universities may have more students than were in your hometown. These types of factors certainly will change the feel of the campus. If you want to attend college in a place that feels like a small city, then the public university could be just the place. If you desire to be in a community, than a smaller private college may be in order.

No matter where you end up, a lot of your experience will be what you make of it. Test out your options and spend some time on campus. Talk to other students about their experience, not just the appointed ambassadors. Most of all find a good fit.

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