5 Steps to Choosing the Right College for YOU

Neyat is an Eritrean-American girl who is an aspiring writer. She enjoys reading teen fiction, looking up obscure music artists and celebrities on Wikipedia, and traveling. She hopes that one day when you teens are tired and middle-aged, you will walk into your local bookstore (to get away from your spouse and kids) and you will notice a book on the front display with her name on it as the bestselling author.

As a senior in high school, I know first-hand how stressful the college search can be. There are so many factors to consider when making the decision, and there’s so much work that goes into making sure you actually get into whatever college it is that tickles your fancy. Here are five things to keep in mind when deciding what college is best for you!

1. Location, location, location

Remember, this is the place you’re planning to basically live at for the next four-eight years, at least, of your life. If you’re a Cali-girl and you can’t handle the snow, or if you’re an East-cost man and can’t take the heat of Texas, then, think about reconsidering certain schools. Also, decide whether you’d like a big city, mid-size city, small town, etc. These are just a few of the numerous aspects of a location to do research on.

2. Size and Type

There are schools out there with 40,000 plus students enrolled, and conversely, there are wee-little schools with just under 1,000 students. Which do you prefer? Additionally, what type of school would best fit your individual needs? There are public schools, private schools, liberal arts schools, technology schools, trade schools, etc. Choose the sort of environment that best suits you, and you feel you’d learn best in.

3. What’s Offered

If you’re into sports, does this place have a strong athletic record? If you’re passion is Journalism, how sound is the department? What majors are most popular at this school and why? Are there study abroad opportunities? Try to get as many questions like this answered as you can by logging on to the site of your particular school of interest.

4. Getting the Green

What’s the financial aid like at this school? Are there any scholarships or honors programs offered? Never turn down a school due to its high price tag, if there’s a will there’s a way, and if you work hard, there are quite a few ways to get a hold of some cold, hard cash…..well, probably in the form of a check, but, you get the picture. Be realistic when going over costs, but, don’t ever give up!

5. Prestige

Just because a school isn’t an ivy league or a UC doesn’t mean it’s no good. There are plenty of great schools out there that may not be well known in the specific area you live in. Be adventures and search schools you might not have thought of or considered, when you check out their rankings, honors, and alumni, you might be surprised!

Well, there you have it. Five things to look for while searching for the school of your dreams. Now, these aren’t the only things to keep an eye out for, but, they are sort of umbrella terms for other, smaller things to check out. Happy college hunting! Good luck!

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One Response to “5 Steps to Choosing the Right College for YOU”

  1. Cierra L.
    November 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    I think this is a very accurate guide for what teens need to look for when it comes to college! It’s what I try to advise when I mentor other teens now, even though I myself am only a freshman in college. Another thing to consider would be the comfort when it comes to culture!

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