Don’t Limit Yourself When Choosing the Right College for You

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When many high school seniors begin searching for a college, they set their sights on one of the top ten state universities or an Ivy league school.

Many think that because these schools are more widely known and more popular, they will automatically provide them with a better college education.

This simply isn’t the case.

I’m not saying the Ivies aren’t excellent as well as prestigious schools, but when you’re searching for a college, finding your perfect fit is going to take you a lot further than simply attending a school that looks good on paper. There’s a balance you’ll need to strike here, between good school and “good for YOU.”

Let’s take a look:

Tips for Choosing the Best College, For You

#1. Consider Who You Are and Why You Want to Attend College –  First, examine your reasons behind a college degree. Why are you going? What strengths and weaknesses are you going to face? What exactly do you want your life picture to look like? While these may seem like simple questions, they can help determine which college is right for you. For instance, if your strengths include independence and self-sufficiency, you may enjoy attending a college across the country; however, if you need to be near home, you may truly be limited to a college in your area. Note: If you think you need to remain near home, ask yourself why. Are the reasons valid? You may be more independent than you think.

#2. Size is an Issue – The type of experience you want to have will differ depending on the size of the college you plan to attend. For instance, a smaller college may be more personal, allowing you more attention in the classroom and a stronger sense of unity. College is a fantastic place to build lifelong relationships and make connections that will help you in the future.

#3. Don’t Hang Success on a Name – While it might seem like a degree from a certain school will guarantee success, it doesn’t always work out that way. In five years, you could still be sending out your resume and working part time at the local mall. The truth is, a great education can be earned at a variety of colleges. Your future career depends on much more than the school, –it depends on you. Everything comes into play, from communication skills, problem solving abilities, if you’re a self-starter, and more. Do you see why a college away from home may be helpful?

When searching for colleges, instead of looking at the name, ask about average student outcomes. Some of those small and unheard of colleges may have better outcomes than you’d think.

#4. You Don’t Have to Know Your Major- Don’t base your college choice on your major. The truth is, a large number of college students change their major at least once before they graduate, and they still manage to do it all within four years. If you start out undecided, you will have the opportunity to explore academically and find what truly inspires you.

#5. Find that Fit- Don’t attend a college because your best friend or current love interest is planning to attend. Find out what it offers you. Visit the website, meet with the faculty, and talk to current students. Visit the campus personally to get the vibe of the school and to see what it offers as far as activities, courses, and fun.

When you begin your college quest, be sure to find the right one for you through much consideration. Consider these tips and remember to look at the college’s abilities, courses, and student outcome, not the name, when choosing.

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