How to Choose a College: Everything You Need to Know

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The choice to attend college can truly revolutionize your life. This is the very beginning of your adult life, and these years play a big role in shaping the rest of it.

Making the right decision among your many options for colleges can affect your earning potential, social life, and so much more. Here are some tips that can help you choose a college that’ll give you the best 4 years and beyond.

Choose A College Based On Its Degree Programs

Make sure the school is ideal for the career that you’re interested in. Consult the college majors list to see what degrees subjects and types they offer.

Look through the course catalog to see what classes are offered in your chosen degree program. Research the deans and professors, and find out about alumni that have graduated from these departments.

Research whether they have Bachelors of Arts or Bachelors of Science degree paths that lead to master’s degrees if you need one for your career track.

Research the state of the industry or career path you’re interested in. People who majored and gain employment in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) earn about $101,100 per year, on average. Going to the right law, business, or pre-med program can also set you up with the best education and alumni network to draw from.

Consider all of these sorts of implications as you decide.

Consider The Total Cost

Comparing college costs is essential during your decision-making process. Students generally pay roughly $35,000 per year on tuition and room and board.

Many people spend years of their adult life paying back student loans. Your choice of college needs to be affordable, or you need to have a plan for paying for it.

Find out what scholarships you’re eligible for and look into different loans and other types of financial aid.

Look Into The Culture And History

The college you attend will also have its own distinct culture, history, and traditions. Consider whether it’s a public or private school, and what historical matters led to its founding.

Perhaps you’re looking to attend a military school or a historically black college and university (HBCU). Maybe you have religious leanings and would like to attend a faith-based school.

Of course, there’s a measure of prestige that comes with attending an Ivy League school.

Do your research and spend your senior year in high school researching these matters. Becoming part of the high school honor society can help expose you to more college options, in addition to arranging for visits and tours.

As you go through the college application process, learn about the competitiveness of the school and what requirements you’ll need to satisfy. Learn the minimum grade point average (GPA), along with the average GPA of the students that get admitted. Consider the SAT score requirement and other factors as well.

Find Out About On-Campus Life

Going to college affects you socially and culturally as much as anything else. This is where you’ll be spending the next four years of your life, and building bonds that can last a lifetime.

Perhaps you’re interested in Greek life organizations or are in love with the football or basketball team that a school fields.

The campus life is something that you’ll need to witness for yourself, which is why visiting college prospects is so crucial. Consider visiting during a special event, such as a game or festival, to truly get a feel for what to expect.

Check out the dorms, visit the student center, and gauge the personalities of the students that choose to attend.

Start Researching The Best Colleges

The tips above will help you choose a college that you’ll be happy to attend. With such an important decision on your hands, leave no stone unturned.

We’ve got you covered with information as you set out on your college journey. Check out our other articles for career and education advice that’ll help you out.

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