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How to choose a college

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

By Sophia Uong,

Staff Writer


College acceptance letters are rolling in and there are so many options to choose from, but which will be the chosen one? If you are not sure between choosing what college is the best college, then you have come to the right place. First thing’s first, we have to begin by breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of each college and how they can benefit and give you the most of your college experience. The main categories that colleges can be sorted between are based on the environment, location, freedom and opportunities, and finances.

A map of the domestic college locations from class of '20

When talking about an environment, you tend to think of nature and the area that the college is in, but this is not the case. The environment can refer to the diversity and atmosphere of the college. Nice and friendly students and professors, the school’s mission statement, and finding the common goal of the student body are important things to look at. A nice way to determine a college’s environment is by watching YouTube videos and vlogs of current or past students touring the campus. These give you a great idea of how the campus really is in person. Once you’ve narrowed down the ideal environment you want to commit to, you can begin to look at other factors.

Following the social environment, the location of your college may have the greatest impact on your everyday life. Research regular temperatures and weather in the area of your colleges and the seasonal pattern. The further your college is, the more likely it is to be unfamiliar to you. Another great feature to pay attention to is the terrain. Do you prefer campuses that are high in the mountains or lower down by the beach or maybe you like to be in open lands? Think of all of these elements coming together, and which would be most convenient for you to get used to.

Next, finances are another major influence during your college life. When you’re already enrolled, you already have classes and socials to worry about. Then finances pile on top of that. Making sure that you are financially stable, even while in college, will be one of your biggest priorities. Finding a job and applying for as many scholarships as you can be a serious help in attacking that. However, it doesn’t end there. If you had borrowed loans to be able to pay off your education, debt might stick with you long after your graduation. Be sure to select a college that best fits your current financial situation first before deciding on how you will deal with it in the future.

Lastly, one of the biggest make or breaks of a college is, without a doubt, the number of opportunities and freedom they offer you. You would want to ask yourself if you prefer a more flexible or routine schedule. There are a number of colleges that give you one or the other. As for opportunities, look at their range of clubs and classes that they offer and find whichever campus has more of your interests. Don’t forget to think about potential hobbies or jobs that you may pick up in the future and if they can fit into your schedule.


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