Deciding where to attend college can be a difficult task. You have thousands of different schools to choose from and several factors to consider before making a final decision. To help make that decision easier, we will outline some specific guidelines that you can follow to assist you during your college search.
We also offer our free Specific College Search Tool which allows you to search for colleges and universities by name, or to select certain criteria you desire in a school to help narrow down your available choices.
For many college-bound teens, deciding which college they will attend is not a difficult decision. They simply want to go to the school closest to home, or the one that their friends plan on attending. Choosing the right college is not always that easy, however. It is important to take other factors into consideration to help ensure that the college or university you select is the “right fit” for you. Here is a list of such factors:
- Major available
- Financial aid available
- Private college vs. public college
- Campus demographic
- Extracurricular activities
- Religious affiliation
- Student-faculty ratio
Some factors are of more importance to college-bound teens than others, and before you begin your specific college search, we recommend you determine which of these factors is of most importance to you.
Location, Location, Location
A great way to start your specific college search is by first deciding where you would like to attend college. Do you want to remain close to home? Would you like to go to school out-of-state? As with most of the factors available for consideration, the desired location of a college will differ from person to person. For some, it is important that they remain close enough to return home for an occasional weekend visit. Cost can also be a factor. Public colleges are often more expensive for residents who live out-of-state.
By determining the location of your school of choice, you can significantly reduce the number of options available and make your search feel less overwhelming. To help you narrow down your list, use our free college locator tool to perform a specific college search by location.
Another important factor to consider when performing your specific college search is the student body size of the school. Colleges and universities range in size from only a few hundred students to several thousand students. Often times, those who come from small towns feel overwhelmed when they attend a large university and may eventually transfer schools to find a better fit. Other small town students, however, enjoy the abundance of activities and diversity and fit in well at larger campuses. Determining the student body size of the school you wish to attend will also help to condense your list and make your specific college search easier.
Before you can decide whether you would like to attend a private college vs. a public college, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each. Private colleges tend to be smaller and more expensive than public colleges. The advantage, however, is that private colleges typically have less disparity in their student-to-faculty ratio and are able to provide students with more individual attention. Public colleges, on the other hand, tend to be larger and less expensive than private schools. While they generally offer more activities and a greater diversity, they also tend to have larger classrooms and are less capable of accommodating students on an individually basis. For a free list of both types of schools, use our specific college search tool to perform a private college vs. public college search.
Going Beyond the Request for a College Prospectus
Finding the perfect college often means going beyond the request for a college prospectus. In order to find out what a school is really like, we recommend you perform a specific college search to narrow down your list of possible schools, and then take a personal tour of the campuses you are considering. Campus tours allow college-bound students to request information about the school that may not have been included in the college prospectus. Not only are they extremely informative, but campus tours are also very exciting! If you do plan on visiting one or more of the schools you are considering, it is important to make the most of your visit.
Because students are often limited on time, we recommend using our specific college search tool to first find the schools which are of most interest to you, and then make a request for a college prospectus from those particular schools.
The Key to Your Specific College Search
Selecting a college is often one of the most important decisions for a young person to make. To help make this decision-making process feel less overwhelming, it is important to begin your specific college search as early as possible. While you may not necessarily feel ready choose which college you will attend during your junior year in high school, it’s not too early to start narrowing down your list.
College can serve as the gateway to a very bright future. Make sure you start planning early. Begin your specific college search today.
College-Bound Student Information
CollegeView offers an extensive amount of valuable information and resources for the college-bound student. Please follow these links to discover how our article can help you in your choice for an educational pathway: