How To Choose A College
At some point high school comes to an end, and a new chapter will begin. For most, though not all, college is the next chapter. During senior year, students are expected to choose a university to spend the next several years of their life. With so many options available these days, how can students be expected to choose? Here are some ideas to take into consideration when picking a college to attend.
With so many colleges and universities knocking on doors, it’s important to consider each college’s location. There is no right or wrong location for a college. Some schools might have a large city appeal, boasting more internship or employment opportunities. Some schools are in the center of a college town, celebrating the school’s focus. Some schools are secluded and can provide a distraction-free college experience. Each student will need to evaluate what a college’s location can provide for them specifically.
College campuses range from an online environment to miles of walking distance. This is another topic of personal preference. A large campus likely means lots of students, giving an opportunity to make new friends and lifelong friendships. A medium sized college will have the same friendship opportunities but on a smaller scale because of the smaller student body. A small school can boast personal relationships with faculty and a one-on-one experience that students from a larger college might not receive. Smaller class sizes may also be a bonus for a smaller school as many universities try to promote small class sizes and student to faculty ratios below 20:1. However, there’s nothing wrong with larger classes and a bigger student to faculty ratio. The importance of school size is entirely individual.
Every school possesses different opportunities for their students. Some colleges have prestigious study abroad programs while others push classes and seminars. While comparing schools, it’s important to note the opportunities given to students. Even if a seminar on group communication doesn’t seem interesting now, it could be useful down the line when struggling with a group project. Connections a college might have with businesses could set up future opportunities others may not. Taking advantage of opportunities given by colleges and gaining experience before entering the workforce can only do good. No matter what these opportunities look like for different students, consider the different opportunities each college can provide.
While a school’s location, size, and opportunities are more than relevant when choosing a college, the cost of attendance cannot be forgotten. It’s no secret that college is not cheap, but some schools cost more than others. Picking a school that is the perfect fit can still happen with a reasonable budget. Staying in-state can save thousands of dollars. There are so many schools in the state of North Carolina that it’s almost impossible not to find a match! If a school’s cost of attendance is just out of reach, remember that there are also scholarships available! Filing the FAFSA and applying for scholarships can decrease every school’s cost of attendance.
When it comes to college, there are so many decisions to make. Hopefully, these tips will make the transition to college, and the biggest decision of senior year, a little less stressful.