5 Tips for Choosing a College

Applying to college can be very stressful. This stress can be heightened if you are a first-generation college student. If you are in the midst of applying to college, try these tips to help you during this time.


1. Find a mentor

If you are a first-generation college student or if your family isn’t much help, find a mentor who can help you through this time. A lot of information can get thrown at you and sorting through it all can be extremely difficult if you aren’t sure what is actually important.

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2. Ask for letters of recommendation ASAP

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Some schools require them and others don’t. If the school you are applying them asks for them, try to ask individuals who know you very well and ask them immediately. Giving people ample amount of time to write your letter of recommendation ensures that it will be written with care.


3.  Tour

(Photo by Victoria Heath)

You never know how well you may fit at a school until you are actually there. When I toured IUP, I fell in love with the campus atmosphere and how beautiful it is (when it’s not raining). Touring a school allows you to see whether or not you want to spend the next four years of your life here.


4. Find out about fee waivers

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If you come from a lower income family, it is possible to get your application fee waived. While it may not seem like much, if you are applying to multiple schools that fee can add up. Talk to your guidance counselor about fee waivers.


5. Ask questions as you have them

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When it comes to your future, there is no such thing as a dumb question. If you aren’t sure about something, ask someone who has gone through this before. Your future is dependent upon the decisions you are making and you should never make one without all the necessary information and clarity.


College is an amazing experience and where to attend is not a decision that should be made lightly. When choosing where to spend the next four years of your life, remember to focus on what works best for you and what will ultimately make you the happiest.