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High School

10 Things To Consider When Choosing A College

Congratulations! You’ve just been accepted to colleges, are about to graduate high school, and now, you’re about to make one of the biggest decisions of your life thus far. But what should you prioritize when picking where you want to spend the next four years of your life? I put together a list of all the things I considered when choosing where I would be going to college, and I must say, I really did end up in the perfect school for me. I hope some of these things help you in making your decision and that you end up in the best place for you!


What you want to study

Unlike high school, in college you get to study what you actually want to study! So, pick a school that has exactly what you want — I promise you’ll find a place that has it! Colleges have an excessive amount of areas of study, so even if you realize you want to do something other than what you came for, your college will more than likely have that too.


Location, location, location!

If you’re someone who like small towns or the quiet countryside, then you’ll probably not want to go to school somewhere like NYU. Whether or not the school’s amazing, setting matters. So if you’re not comfortable in the place you’re living in, you definitely won’t fully settle into your school.


Big schools can be fun and exciting, however there’s also a lot of value in going to a small school. If you like getting to know your class and professors one on one, then a smaller school with classes of 15-40 people would probably be best for you. However if you work fine in a crowd and enjoy the idea of sitting next to a new person everyday for the whole year, then bigger schools with lectures of 100-400 people would better suit you.


The people you come to meet in college will change your whole experience there. Naturally we feel more at home and comfortable amongst certain groups of people, so do some research about what the makeup of students at your perspective school is. See where people are coming from, what the popular majors are, how diverse the campus may or may not be, and get an idea of the people you’ll get to meet in your time there.


Public vs. Private

A college or university being public or private does not mean that they’re good or bad, it’s just something to consider because it determines how a school is structured. If you’re going to a public state school you’ll probably have more freedom to take classes only relative to what you want to do. Whereas if you go to a private Christian college, you’ll probably have to take some classes that have more to do with what the school stands for, such as religion and theology.


Mission and Values

Every school has values that they try to instill in their students. This will play out in how your professors teach, the core of your classes, and overall, what you’ll get out of attending the school. For example, my school’s mission is “Change the world from here.” I see this everywhere within my school and it’s something that really caught my attention when thinking about what I want in a school. We have a heavy focus on social justice, service learning, and diversity studies, and those are all things I’ve always found very important and wanted to build on in my studies.


Competitiveness of Major

Now just because you got into a school, doesn’t always mean you’ll get into certain departments within it. In most cases, bigger school tend to be more competitive when it comes to things like getting into your major or minor fields of study. So just be sure that you’re flexible if that’s the case you find yourself in, or maybe even consider going somewhere else where what you want is guaranteed.

Costs/Bang for your Buck

It sucks to remember, but costs are a huge factor. Make a plan and decide what it is you’re willing to pay for your school. Keep in mind that there are tons of scholarships out there and student loans may not be a nice thought, but they’re an option too. Also, don’t rule a school out until you get a award package back from them and know exactly where you would stand on paying if you were to go there.

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Often times schools will tell you the stats of what their students go on to do after graduation so see if those things align with what you’re hoping to do. See what kind of alumni groups your school has to network and build connections for careers after you get your degree.

Wow factors

Lastly, everyone has a few specific things that they want, some may seem silly, but those matter too. Finding a few key things that make you happy and that you’ll enjoy can make a huge difference. Maybe you want a school with big D1 sports games and tailgate events, or you may even be someone who thinks a library with a view is crucial to efficient study habits. Either way, look for what stands out to you and that you know you’ll take full advantage of in your time there because you don’t want to go through your four years without having those wow moments.


'21 University of San Francisco, Major: Communications - Minor: Asian Pacific American Studies
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