Ask a Collegiette: What Should I Know About a College Before Committing?

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

What is the number one thing you wish you knew about your school before committing? – Bella


Bella,

Since I am a very proactive, type-A kind of girl, I researched my college more than someone stalks a potential date on social media before I decided to commit. Because of this, I don’t think I can tell you what I wish I knew about my school in particular before committing, since I had already done so much research and planning that I knew all I desired to know. I know this doesn’t always happen for other pre-collegiettes, though!

Because I did my research, I had the benefit of not having to be surprised by anything unexpected when it came to what my college offered me. Based on all of the research and college stalking I did, I’ve narrowed down three essential topics I suggest you research before you commit to a school: rules and behavior expectations, finances and employment rates after graduation.

College may seem like a big party all of the time in the movies, but it isn’t; people do have to do work, too! Before committing to a school, read its rules and behavior guidelines to decide whether or not you think they’re too strict. Find out when quiet hours are, if your campus is dry or not (in other words, if it tolerates alcohol or not for 21+ students) and if you’ll need to sign any behavior covenant, contract or form before you begin your time at the school.

For finances, you should find out how much scholarship money your college will give you each year before you enroll. You should talk to the school’s financial aid office about your four-year plan to make sure certain scholarships will be available to you during the full duration of your time in school. Don’t be afraid to ask someone at the financial aid office about loan-related questions too, since it’s better to have your answers sooner rather than later! Remember, knowledge is power, so get all of the information and facts you need about finances now so you feel confident and well prepared.

Finally, check the employment rate for the most recent class of graduates. If it’s very high, you’ll know you’re going to a good school with a solid education and professors who care about your success. Since you’ll be spending so much time and money on your education, you’ll want some reassurance that you’ll get a job after you graduate, and a high employment rate is a great sign! Being surrounded by motivated friends is also a huge plus, so if it’s a good school, then other smart students will probably apply, and you’ll be in good company. Make sure the career center on campus is in a good state as well, since this powerful office can have a big influence on your future employment.

Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know everything you need to know about your top-choice school just yet – you’ll have plenty of time to learn the ropes! Make sure you utilize all of the resources available to you in the meantime, like admissions counselors and college websites. Best of luck!

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