9 Non-Academic Things to Look for in a College

7. Places to Get Food

Avoiding the freshman 15 can be a bit tricky, especially if your only options for a late-night dinner after a night of studying are pizza, Chinese takeout or ramen noodles. Make sure the dining hall system works for your preferences. Some dining hall meal plans are buffet-style, while others are based on a point system. Most schools offer everyday foods like pizza or sandwiches and usually offer different stations for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but some dining halls are better than others. Check out College Prowler to see how your potential college’s dining hall stacks up to the rest. You should also find out if there are restaurants nearby that accept your meal plan or are collegiette budget-friendly.

8. Greek Life

Emily Kate Mitchell, a junior at Rutgers University and sister of Sigma Kappa, thinks that joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to get involved on campus, meet new people and serve your community. “I would say that joining definitely gave me more confidence in all aspects of my life,” she says. “I gained new friends and new opportunities that I don't think I would've done on my own.”

Greek life can help you meet friends as well as help you network and make lasting connections. Joining Greek life also provides leadership opportunities for students. If you’re not interested in becoming a part of Greek life, fraternities and sororities also host lots of fun events (including parties!) that you might want to attend.

However, if you’re not interested in Greek life, there are plenty of schools where sororities and fraternities aren’t as big of a deal (or don’t exist at all).

9. Diversity

Diversity can refer to a lot of different things: people with different majors, religions, ethnicities, backgrounds and hometowns are just a few examples. Interacting with people who are different from you will prepare you for life after graduation and will teach you how to work with others. You can learn about different cultures, try new things and gain new and alternative perspectives. Looking for a school with a diverse student body could be very beneficial to your college experience.


College is going to be your new home for the next four years: the place where you study, hang out, go on dates and grow up. So for the ultimate learning experience, be sure to take these extra factors into consideration when choosing the right college for you.