Author: David Dabney with Firefly Tutors. Aug 18, 2021
Choosing a college is more than about prestige. The school a student attends affects numerous aspects of his/her life, from studies to social life and beyond. It is important to note that college may not be a prerequisite for certain trades, and the restrictions and challenges that we face in the age of COVID-19, traveling to the college of your choice is no longer as straightforward as yesteryear. Given the importance of this decision, prospective students should ponder carefully about the school they decide to enroll in. Here are 5 essential steps to help you choose the right college.
Develop Your Shortlist
A lot of thinking should go into developing a shortlist of schools you wish to attend. You should think about factors such as enrollment size, location, programs, majors, opportunities outside of the classroom, the people on campus, selectivity, and cost.
Rank Your Schools
Take time to rank your schools, by weighing the pros and cons of each school. Take into consideration your needs and wants when thinking about where you'll spend the next four years or longer. Start by writing down a list of these needs and wants.
Go Back to Schools
Once you have applied for the schools, it is time to ponder deeply about which school you want to attend. This may result in another visit. Although you may have gotten a general feel for campus life during college tours taken initially, go on another trip to each school and ask 10 to 15 detailed questions. Know what to ask on a college visit, and do not leave with any questions unanswered. Considering travel costs, going for a campus tour may be expensive. If it’s too much for your budget, an alternative is going on a virtual tour and contacting college officials with follow-up questions.
Focus on Your End Goals
Try to think about where you want to be in four years. If you can find a job that is reasonable and with a financial outlook you can accept, think about which college might be the best to aid you in reaching those goals. One factor to consider is tuition fees. Although private colleges tend to be more expensive, there may be more financial aid, which means students may not have to pay all the tuition fees. Also, compare financial aid awards. Another factor is college rankings and rankings based on subjects a swell.
Investigate Career Centers
One reason you go to college is to prepare yourself for a job, so consider each school's career center. Students should ask questions about interview opportunities on-campus, job fairs, and even the availability of counselors. Make sure that the resources are enough for all your needs. Career centers offer a smorgasbord of services, promoting internship leads, aiding students in cultivating soft skills, explaining hiring processes, providing employment and salary data, conducting mock interviews, and more.
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