Determining the best college for you is a very personal decision that will be based completely on your interests and needs. While the best college for you is not necessarily the best college for someone else, that doesn’t make it a bad choice. Here are 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing where to attend college to help make the decision a little easier.
- Have You Decided on a Major?
Knowing the major you plan to pursue will greatly help you narrow down your college options. Look for a college known for offering programs in your field to give yourself more options for specialization and a greater breadth of knowledge on that particular subject. If attending a college that specializes in your major is not a possibility, at least make sure you choose a school that offers your major to avoid having to transfer part-way through your college experience.
- What Are Your Interests?
Are you hoping to participate in a college sport or write for an award-winning campus newspaper? Find a college offering top notch programs that align with your interests to help you excel and give you better opportunities to pursue your passions. This is also important to consider when looking at potential roommates and making sure you’ll click.
- Is There Somewhere You Want to Be?
For some people, the location of a college is critically important. Are you hoping to stay close to home or move as far away as possible? Would you prefer to be on the beach or in the middle of a big city? These are all important things to consider when contemplating which college to attend, since it’s important you find a place you love where you’ll be happy and comfortable.
- What is Your Financial Situation?
Depending on your financial situation, you might need to limit your options to the colleges you can afford to attend. Will you be paying tuition yourself, or do you have parents, relatives, or scholarships lined up to cover the costs? Think more along the lines of public universities if you’re looking for something less expensive, or consider attending a junior college to earn your Associate’s degree for less, then transferring to a four-year university to finish.
- What Are Your Future Goals?
Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to major in yet, but have a good idea of what field you’d like to pursue after graduation. Take your goals into account and make sure you choose a college that will help you achieve them. Choosing a college offering mostly agricultural degrees, surrounded by miles of farmland probably isn’t the best bet for someone hoping to go into fashion design. Go somewhere not only with programs that interest you, but local opportunities for internships and apprenticeships.
- Have You Reviewed College Ratings?
Every year, lists are released rating colleges and offering college reviews. While consulting a college list won’t necessarily make the decision for you, these lists can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect at any particular college, for instance, whether it’s known to be a party school or not. Review these lists and determine what’s most important to you, and what campus cultures you’d prefer to avoid in helping make your decision.
Time for the Next Step
Picking a college can be stressful, but choosing carefully will help you succeed in the next phase of your education. When in doubt, review these 6 simple questions and you’ll find the best college option for you is easy to identify.