As you are transitioning into adulthood, selecting the college you will attend for the next 4-5 years is one of the most important decision one will have to make. Where does one start? Obviously, you may tend to have more questions than answers.
As you go through and narrow down your list of college choices, below are 8 things to consider when you are looking for a college.
- The safety of the campus. We assume that your safety is a given; however, we want to start here. Your safety is always the most important thing. In general, college campuses are safe; yet, there are probably some campuses that may be safer than others based on location. You may want to research campus crime rates, is there campus police, and historically how the school handles crime etc.
- The graduation rate. The point of going to college is to graduate and get a degree, right? Therefore, research the graduation rate to answer questions like how long it takes individuals to graduate and from what majors are they graduating from. The graduation rate can be a measure of quality and accountability.
- Financial Aid. You can decide to go to the best school but if you cannot pay for it, it does not matter. Research the financial aid packages that are offered specifically the grant aid. Look into the average amount of loans dispersed to students. The idea is to leave college with as little debt as possible.
- Curriculum and available majors. First, if the school does not have the major you wish to enroll in you may not want to attend the college. Also, make sure you will be receiving the most current, up-to-date information by researching the curriculum. What help will it be to have outdated information?
- Extracurricular activities that match your interest. If you will be spending 4-5 years of your life at the college, make sure that they offer clubs and activities that you will enjoy. Also, this will be a great way to meet people with similar interests as yourself.
- Academic and career services. You want to make sure you get the right amount of assistance in both of these areas. As stated above the object is to earn your degree so if you are struggling academically or when it is time to start looking for jobs, you want to feel confident with their services.
- Livability. Location, location, and location. Common sense says that if you know you hate the cold, do not select a college where it snows.
- Internship opportunities. You can get all the information in the world; however, it will not get you far without experience. In today’s labor workforce the majority hold college degrees so experience will set you apart. Look into colleges with experiential learning programs.
- The alumni network. After your level of safety, the alumni network of a college is high on the priority list. The main reason one goes to college is so that upon graduating, one is able to find a position in their field of study. The alumni network will give you an edge over the competition by knowing when positions are available before they are announced, you have a professional reference available to validate your skills and character, and overall people who can help the transition from student to professional go over easy.
Selecting a college is a major deal so try not to overwhelm yourself with the process. Visit mydegreeguide.com to help you with your decision-making process. When making your choice of college you have to make the decision that will be the best fit for you.