Finding the right college is an extremely important decision for many high school juniors and seniors. It is a big life change, especially if you decide to attend college out of state, so it's important you take the time to research your intended colleges and make sure they will be a good fit for you. This will reduce your likelihood of transferring.
Decide on a Major
It can be hard to decide what to major in this early, but knowing your major may help determine the college you attend. Students with common majors, such as psychology or business, can attend almost any college as those areas of study are offered at most schools. However, students with an interest in education, medicine, or law should research the best schools available for those majors. If you are going into one of these specialized fields, you want to make sure that you attend a school that has the curriculum that will help you succeed when you are ready to hit the job market.
When choosing a college, make sure you are alright with the surrounding area. Is the college located in a city where you will have to use public transportation to get around or is it in a suburb where a car will be necessary? If you are a student who may want to come home often, you may want to consider a college close to home. This way you won't be spending too much money on airplane tickets; you can commute home by bus, train, or even car if you are able to have one on campus.
Check into extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations that your intended college offers. If you plan on pledging to a sorority or fraternity then check to see which ones have chapters on campus. If you play sports, check out the popularity of the teams on campus. This is all helpful to do since joining clubs and organizations on campus will help you be more involved with your college as well as make friends.
Other Tips on Finding the Perfect College
- Check into things such as size and student-to-teacher ratio. If a class of 200 students does not appeal to you, then you may want to stay away from large public universities.
- Check to see how much the tuition, room and board, and other fees total. You may have found the perfect college but if the tuition is expensive, you may have to take out additional student loans and/or apply for scholarships.
- Make sure you apply to more than one college, just in case your first choice falls thorough. Try to find at least two to three “perfect” schools so you have a cushion in case something doesn't work out with the first school.