Deciding the Right School
Make the Best Choice For Your Education
Where to go to college? Yes, it’s a huge decision. And there’s a lot to consider. But when you take the time to evaluate the criteria that are most important to you, you’ll find the right match.
To make the process a little easier, use the list below. It will help you determine what you want most in a college so you can start narrowing down your choices. Once you’ve got a list of potential schools, visit them if you can. Tour the campus and housing facilities. Meet with students. Sit in on a class. Eat in one of the dining halls. It’s the best way to get a feel for a school and see if it’s right for you.
Found a school you love? Then check the application deadlines and apply on time! Check out our Do’s and Don’ts for application tips. And don’t forget to apply for scholarships! Check what’s available at the college, in your community, and online. Start now by visiting our scholarships links.
Before Choosing a College, Ask Yourself (And Your Potential School) This:
- What type of school do you want to attend?
- 4-year or 2-year?
- Public or private?
- Urban setting, rural setting, or a bit of both?
- Coed, all-women, or all-men?
- Religious affiliation or no religious affiliation?
- Where do you want to be located?
- What’s too close to home?
- What’s too far away?
- What’s the right size?
- What’s the student population?
- What’s the average class size?
- What’s the average professor-to-student ratio?
- What will you study?
You don’t have to declare a major before choosing a school. And many students do switch majors midstream. But if you have a few courses of study in mind, it can help you narrow down your search and ensure you pick a school that offers what you need. Consider this:
- Which high school subjects did you enjoy the most? In which areas did you excel?
- What interests you most?
- Would you consider taking an online personality or interests test to get more insight into major or career choices?
- Do the colleges you’re considering offer the majors and minors you’re considering?
- Even those you are only slightly considering, in case you switch?
- What does it cost?
- What’s the cost of tuition and room and board?
- What scholarships does the college offer?
- What other scholarship and financial aid options are available to you?
- Have you completed the Free Application Form for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? Learn more about FAFSA.
- Have you checked out our scholarship links?
- How competitive is it?
- What level of competitiveness or accreditation do you want your school to have?
- Would you prefer an extremely selective admissions process?
- Do you thrive in a competitive environment?
- Where will you live?
- Do you want to live in a dorm, apartment, or house?
- Would you like to live on- or off-campus?
- Does the school require you to live on campus for one or more years?
- Would you prefer coed or same-sex housing? Which options are available?
- Will you play sports?
- Does the school offer the recreational, intramural, and/or varsity sports that interest you?
- Does the school have the right facilities to fit your sports interests?
- What do you want to do outside of class?
- Does the school offer activities and clubs that meet your needs?
- What types of activities related to your major or career aspirations are available?
- Is Greek Life important to you?
- Are you interested in rushing a fraternity or sorority?
- Which fraternities and sororities are available?
- What’s the percentage of the student body involved in Greek life?
- What types of programs will you pursue?
- Are you interested in Honors programs, work-study programs, study abroad programs, ROTC programs, or others?
- Does the school offer internship programs, co-op programs, or placement programs to help you to prepare for a future career?
- What resources do you want or need on campus?
- Are computers available for student use?
- How large are the school’s libraries?
- Does the school have laboratories?
- What about a physical recreation facility?