5 Practical Tips for Choosing a College
College life is supposed to be fascinating, productive, and full of new opportunities and experiences. But for things to be so, it’s important to pull up your socks and make a well-considered decision. Being stressed out about the upcoming graduation, exam preparation, and responsibilities of the adulthood that shimmer in the near distance, high school graduates often struggle with taking a careful decision on choosing a college.
Have we once again reminded you how complicated and stressful things are about choosing a school? We didn’t mean to bring you down! In fact, what is done without haste is done well, so you need to settle down and pick several colleges that will work best for you; these tips will be very much to the point.
Figure Out Your Search Criteria
You need to have a clear idea of features that your future college should have. So before starting to make a list of colleges, consider key search criteria that you will be guided by. Does a location matter, and you want to stay close to your family, or you’re ready to get your stuff and go overseas? Are you focusing on a prestigious diploma or the gained knowledge is of paramount importance for you? Money is not an issue, or high tuition fees may become a stumbling block? Will your GPA and SAT accompany you straightway to Harvard, or it leaves much to be desired?
Give yourself some straight answers, and it will be way easier to sort out your potential places of study. Side note, if academic performance poses trouble, you can improve your situation using custom essay service to tackle complicated assignments.
Take a Closer Look at Your Options
While choosing the future alma mater, your search should go beyond corny Ivy members (unless it’s your lifelong ambition), mainstream institutions everyone is talking about, and the one your mom’s friend’s son graduated from. In this case, an online college finder may help you to select some potential schools. As you’ve already sorted out the main search points, you can add your preferences to the filter to narrow your search down.
At the first stage of the search, stay open to various options, and go cherry-picking while revising places you’ve spotted earlier. After you have an extensive list of potential schools, you may start viewing their profiles and screening out.
Learn More About What You’ve Found
Let’s say you have an approximate list of schools that impressed you during a search phase. Now it’s time for research. It means you need to find out more about potential colleges you will apply to (unless your list comprises a hundred of nice colleges ― narrow it down before researching). You may contact professors or other department staff to learn more about the programs and courses that interest you. College fairs are also helpful as you will have a chance to talk to school representatives and ask important questions.
The other thing you can do is to catch up with current undergraduates on campus or text them on Facebook to ask about their impression of the college they go to. Also, reading students’ reviews may spark some thoughts, though sometimes be ready to run into very subjective opinions as some reviews are written on emotion either extremely good or negative. But when you are armed with all the available information, it is much easier to make a choice.
Ask for Advice
Your preferences and capacities should be given primary consideration. Still, suggestions from people you trust and those who revolve around the field you are interested in should also be taken into account. These may be your relatives, friends, or career advisor in your school. As for college admissions committee members, sometimes it’s better to take their words with a pinch of salt as their main goal is to attract more high school graduates and showcase their academic institutions in its most palatable form.
Another good strategy is to consult current employees or managers in the field where you see yourself in the future. You can find a particular place you’d aspire to work and contact them to ask what college they would recommend. You should be creative as much as you can to find those who can give you relevant information.
Narrow Your List
After careful research and consultation, you have a broader picture of potential schools you will apply to. Now you can shorten the list. There is no such thing as the right number of schools you should apply to. What you should do is to proceed from the time you have to devote enough attention to every application and your financial situation as you can spend a lot on all application fees. While choosing colleges, you should also pick an ‘ambitious’ school that you would love to get into but have a small chance, and a ‘back-up’ school that you are the most likely to be accepted.
When you think of what college or university to pick, try to be patient and consistent in your actions but do not procrastinate as your chances to make it into a wished-for college will fall flat. Focus on your preferences, consider the suggestions of trusted people, and be ready to accept the offer of admission!