The college you attend determines the type of the post-graduate life that you will have. College builds you to be the person that you will be for the rest of your life. For this reason, choosing the right college can be the biggest step you ever made in life.
Before you start drafting admission essays or scholarship essays, you first have to think of colleges that you want to attend. This is, however, not an easy task. There are numerous of options to choose from and only one you to consider them. It is, therefore, understandable if you find it particularly hard. Here are some tips to help along the way.
Factors that you should consider
Geography is a primary concern since it is indirectly related to your health. Research the location of the colleges that you want to apply to. Is it cold all throughout the year? Is it sunny? Do you have issues with the weather? Will you have to fly or travel a long distance each time school breaks? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before deciding to apply to a college.
- Location and environment
This concern is based on the location of the campus. If you have been living in an urban area all your life and want to explore the great outdoors, you could consider applying to a campus located in a rural setting. If you like the bright city lights and the high life that is associated with it, your campus choices should be in close proximity with a city.
- Type of college
In as much as all colleges are similar, there are some subtle differences that should ultimately affect your choice. Some colleges are mainly art-based while others excel in math and engineering. Moreover, some colleges also devote a lot of resources in research and projects. This could be a blessing in disguise if you are an innovative person who needs funding for the next ground-breaking application or system.
- Educational costs
College education in the US is at an all-time high. America is at a place where student loans are a massive burden to the post-graduate population. Colleges can be ordered according to tuition fees. Ivy league schools are bound to ask the most from your coffers. State schools and community colleges will require less tuition fee. Another financial cost you should consider is the miscellaneous costs. These include food and sustenance – bills, rent and upkeep. Some areas have cheaper food and rent rates than others. This should also be a factor.
If the financial burden seems too great for your family to bear, you can seek schools that offer partial or full scholarships. This could significantly ease that financial burden.
Pitfalls you should avoid when choosing a college
- Don’t follow your best friend, girlfriend or boyfriend – this can be detrimental since your interests might not be aligned. Furthermore, very few relationships survive the transition to campus and you would be wise to rethink jumping into the campus express with the “love of your life”.
- Don’t apply to a campus that your parents attended in order to maintain a legacy. Explore your options, diversify. Your parents’ alma mater doesn’t have to be yours too.
- Avoid attending a college because your parents don’t want you to. Spite can only lead to discontent and regrets.
- Your parents should not push you into a college you do not want to attend just because you want to please them.
- Rushing the process is the biggest pitfall you could fall into. Start early, analyze your options and make an informed decision.
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