Choosing the Perfect College

Applying to college and getting accepted is only part of the process in choosing the perfect college. Now that you have options, how do you choose?

Some students think they know where they want to attend, while others are overwhelmed by their choices. No matter your situation, there are some important things to consider before you make your final choice.

  1. Location - You’ve probably visited potential campuses at least once, but it’s important to determine the following for each college on your list: closest major city, international airport options, transportation options, grocery stores (on and off campus), and entertainment options.

  2. Research two crucial statistics: what percentage of freshmen transfer or leave and what percentage of students finish their degree in four years. If a high number of freshmen students transfer, this could be a red flag.

  3. Make sure you understand the role of Greek life on campus. If you are planning to pledge and Greek life is very popular, this might be a good fit. If you have no interest in Greek life and most people pledge, this could be an issue for you.

  4. If you have attended a relatively small high school and are used to small class sizes, carefully consider the size of the college campus you choose. Some students choose a college because they love the sports teams, but they walk into a lecture hall and feel completely overwhelmed.

  5. Visit the campus again, but this time not on a group tour. Try to imagine yourself as a student. Eat on campus. Watch the students interact. Try to get past the image of the campus and focus on the reality of the college life.

Choosing a college is exciting, but it is also a big decision. Some students think about the fantasy of college life and even of the college itself, rather than the reality of attending class at a specific school. Before you make your final decision, try to get past the fantasy and embrace the reality. Though it might not be the most fun way to make your decision, you could save yourself some regret.