Where to Attend College

Things to consider when deciding what college to attend.

Deciding on what college to attend can be overwhelming. After all, there are hundreds of them across the country, all great schools for different reasons. Of course, with the price of application fees and entrance essays to write, you need to narrow your selection down to just a few.

What factors should you consider when applying to colleges?

College Costs

The price of tuition goes up every year so it's best to take cost into consideration when looking for a college. Usually public schools within your state of residence will be cheaper colleges because a discount is given to in-state students. If you decide to go to an out-of-state school, you may end up having to pay more in tuition. However, if the school decides to offer you a scholarship, you should certainly that that into account.

College Location

You should take location into account when deciding on a college. If you want to be near family, you may want to consider colleges closer to home. If you are a student who wants to try something new and is not afraid of getting homesick, then go ahead and check out schools further away. Just be aware of travel costs to come home for visits.

It is also helpful to check out the major cities surrounding the college. If you think you may want to relocate to that area after you graduate, then you can check out the job market ahead of time and see what the area is like before you commit to a certain school.

Family Alumni

Is your mother or father an alumnus from a certain college? Colleges usually like to see a family legacy in the making and are more open to admitting the children of former students.

Friends

Are most of your friends going to one specific school or are they all branching out? Although you shouldn’t solely base your decision on where your friends are going, it may be something to consider so you have a friend already there when you start your freshman year. You will of course meet new friends, but it would be nice to see a familiar face on campus.

College Reputation

Have you checked into the reputation of your intended schools? If the school you had your hopes on is ranked as one of the top academic schools in the country, then consider it as a definite option. If the school you want to attend is known as a top party school, you may want to think twice. You can still attend the “popular party school” as long as you are not easily distracted and can still focus on your studies.

Major

You should have an intended major in mind before applying to different colleges. Some colleges are known for their business programs while others are famous for their education programs. It would be helpful if you researched different schools and found out what majors are offered so you have your options open.

Remember, it is also wise to apply to enough schools so that you have a first choice, second choice, backup, etc. In the end, you are not bound to whatever school you choose. You can always transfer. Make sure you do your research so you are content with your decision on where to attend college.

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