5 Things to Consider When Choosing a College
Academics are usually the first thing you think of when choosing a college and while they are important, there are additional factors to consider as well. Here are five things to take into consideration when choosing a college.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but consider the location of your college choice beyond the campus. Are you in a major city or a rural town? If you decide to go off campus, are there places to enjoy downtime? Is the surrounding area safe, and does your school have safety measures in place when you go off campus?
If you decide to go out of state, your school will be your home for four years, so be sure you’re comfortable with the housing options offered. Are you required to stay in a dorm? Will you have roommates? How many people will you be expected to live with and what common areas will you have to share? Can you arrange alternate housing options?
If you can, schedule a dorm visit or even an overnight visit to the campus. You may have to wait until you receive acceptance letters to do so, but visits can help you compare schools and housing options.
Most schools offer one or more cafeteria options and meal plans. These work well for most students, but what if you have a food allergy or dietary restriction? Make sure you address these needs and consider asking a few additional questions. For example, are you required to be on a meal plan? What kind of meal plan options are there? Do all the classes eat in the same dining hall or are there multiple dining hall options?
4. Campus Community
You’ll be on campus for four years, so it’s important to get a sense of what that will be like on a daily basis. It’s important to consider things like where the student body does most of its studying, and where students hang out during down-time. It’s also worth looking into the extra-curricular offerings on campus and how the college engages students beyond the classroom.
5. Student Body
A diverse student body means that there may be many perspectives and opinions, but as a student, you should feel that you share at least some similar values with your peers. If your political beliefs or religion are a strong factor in determining the right school, you may want to make sure they are aligned with most of the student body.
Although you should take each of these points into consideration, the most important factor in choosing a college is whether you can picture yourself as a student there. Don’t forget to trust your gut! Your InTuition Works!
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