Choosing which college to attend can be a hard decision. Possible career path, future salary, and professional success—it can feel like so much is riding on one decision. With lots of things to think about, including the academic programs available, size, campus location, online options, cost, and more, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed. To help you make the best choice for your future, it’s important that you explore all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of each school that interests you. If you’re struggling to pick the university or college of your dreams, consider our top five tips for choosing what college to attend.
Focus on whether the school is a good fit for you, your personality, and your goals
Finding a college with a program that interests you is important, but finding the best fit is about more than whether a school offers your academic program of choice. When comparing your options, consider factors like whether you prefer a large or small college, what kind of learning experience you’re hoping for, the types of students organizations and events offered, the diversity of the student population, the student support staff available, the cost, and whether you’d like to stay close to home or explore new places. Make a list of all the things you’d expect out of the perfect school and narrow down your list to the ones that match your expectations.
Speak to an admissions representative
Once you know what you’re looking for in a school and have selected your top choices, now is a good time to speak to an admissions representative. Admissions representatives are highly trained professionals who can answer your most pressing questions regarding the application process, where to apply for financial aid, academic programs, and opportunities available to students outside of the classroom. They can also help you learn more about the culture of a school. To facilitate your conversation, make a list of all the questions you have before you speak with an admissions representative.
Consider how debt will affect you later in life
College is a big investment. While you might think that the cost of an expensive, faraway school is well worth it now, you need to prepare yourself for the reality of paying back student loans after you graduate. Before selecting a school, carefully evaluate your financial situation. What kind of financial aid options are available? What will your payments look like once you graduate? What kind of debt will you incur if you attend a school far away and what could you save by staying in your current location? Will your potential salary be enough to offset the cost? By seriously tackling these questions, you’ll make decisions now that will set you up for success in the future.
Explore the school’s website
A college or university’s website can be a great way to learn more about them. Here you can learn what kind of student activities and academic programs the school offers, as well as find helpful information about career services and alumni networks. You should also ensure that any schools you’re interested in have been appropriately accredited. Why is accreditation important? When you invest in yourself with a college education, you want to be sure that your university/college offers quality academic programs and course work! Accreditation bodies exist to verify that institutions are offering the education you need and deserve.
Trust yourself and go with your gut
Deciding which college to attend is hard enough, but it can be even harder when everyone else around you has an opinion on what you should do. While your parents may want you to attend their legacy school or your friends are nudging you to follow in their footsteps, at the end of the day, the decision is yours alone and will shape your life for years to come. When narrowing down your choices and talking with school staff and faculty, you’ll know in your heart which school is right for you.
Still not sure where to start? South College is a regionally accredited institution focused on serving students who want a personalized, career-driven education that will have a meaningful impact on their lives. With 60+ academic programs, multiple campuses, online programs and course offerings, and affordable tuition, South College just might be the right fit for you. Contact an admissions representative to learn more about our programs, admissions process, and financial aid options.