ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog

Tips for Choosing the Right College

Posted by mark sko on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

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There comes a point in time when those seeking a higher education have to make the decision on where they want to go. This decision is very crucial, as it can have a lasting impact on everything that follows. Fortunately, this hectic process does not have to be a sole journey. Below are several tips geared toward helping prospective college students find the right college:

  • Know Yourself- Identify what matters most and what qualities the ideal college should have. This individualized task should be done prior to looking at different college options or seeking advice from others.  The reason being is because outside factors usually alter how people feel deep inside.
  • Talk to Friends and Family- Sometimes we need help coming up with ideas to consider when making important decisions. Consulting trusted associates can bring new ideas and viewpoints to consider. Remember choosing what college is best entails a lot of thought. Getting advice from others in the same predicament or who have already been there can prove quite valuable.
  • Choosing a location- The wrong location can really hinder the overall experience received from attending college. Don’t be afraid to go out of the comfort zone or try new scenery. Just because an institution’s location is close to home, doesn’t make it the right place to you. Conversely, choosing a location just to get away from being home isn’t the best solution either. Instead consider what is around the college. Is there transportation? What does their location have to offer?
  • Visit Schools Personally- Don’t rely on pretty pictures, pamphlets or hearsay. Be sure to actually go out and see the campuses on the top of the list. Being able to get a one on one feel of the institution as a whole gives great insight into what lies ahead. Nothing is worse than having to spend years in a place because of misguided or poor information that was given.
  • Consider Pricing- Tuition costs should not make or break a decision, but it should be factored in. Budgeting is one of the most valuable tools needed to get through college. If money is measured ahead of time, than college life proves to be more enjoyable. Also during this time make sure accessing scholarships, grants and financial aid take precedent.
  • Choose a Major- Knowing ahead of time what major or minor is most interesting and beneficial makes all the difference in the world. Just because a school is highly praised, doesn’t mean it’s the best school for every concentration. In this case, colleges should be gauged by their academic success in the fields individuals seek degrees in.
  • Choose Quality Fallbacks- Fallback schools should go through the same scrutiny as cream of the crop schools.

Jake Alexander is a free lance writer who loves to blog about education. For information on colleges in New Jersey, contact him @JakeAlexander17.

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