Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to several different colleges and universities, and now it all comes down to choosing one. Where will you attend? Selecting your future alma mater can feel like one of the biggest decisions of your life. While choosing a college is a major decision, it isn’t one that should cause undue stress and worry. Here are a few considerations to help you narrow it down and pick your school, feeling happy and peaceful in the process.
When it comes down to it, choosing the school that gives you the best deal financially may end up being the best option. There are always trade-offs for every factor, but if you have two schools which are comparable in size, offerings, and reputation, it may be best to stick with the one that will leave you with the smallest bill.
Location can play a large part in helping you make your final college choice. Consider what a location can offer you. Were you initially seeking a large school in an urban setting? If you aren’t accepted to a big-city school, you may want to go with one set in a medium-sized city, as opposed to selecting a small town college where your options may feel more limited.
Location is a less important factor to some students, who are seeking institutions with certain majors or programs. If this is you, you will want to carefully weigh your options between schools. Look closely at the courses you’ll be able to take, but also take note of the internship possibilities, future industry connections, and potential for related extracurricular activities. Remember your experience at a “big name” school may be less personalized than a smaller school with a great program. If you’re looking for more one-on-one attention and opportunities to be “a big fish in a small pond” the latter option may be ideal for you.
Take Your Place
When making your final college choice, don’t simply consider the schools, consider yourself. Pretend you’re a friend: which school might you recommend for yourself? You can also ask for the wise opinions of others such as your parents or guidance counselor, but ultimately, the college decision is yours to make. Looking at a college, think about how you will fit into the environment? Is this a place you’ll feel comfortable? Do you think this is a place where you can grow? What will you contribute to the school’s community? Pondering such questions can help you look at the bigger picture.
Make the Journey Your Own
Ultimately, your college experience is what you make of it. This may be a cliche statement, but nonetheless, it is true. Knowing this, however, can make the decision process so much easier. Wherever you choose to attend, the important element in the experience is not the college, it is YOU. So take a breath, take the pressure off, and go ahead and send in that deposit. Your adventure awaits!