The Inevitable College Search

img_9335

I recently went on a college visit to one of my top college choices for the first time and I absolutely loved it. However, it’s often difficult to find the best college for you. Here are some helpful tips on choosing a college and some other tips in the selection and application process that I wish I had done a better job of these past couple years.

  • Start planning for college in your junior year. Something I wish I had done better as a junior was to have looked into colleges more. Sure, it’s not the most important thing as a junior, but starting the process sooner could help you in the future.
  • First, it’s important to know the basic stats of what you want in a college. There are many different factors that you need to consider. Sites like mycollegeoptions.org can help you to find a school that most closely relates to what you want. But for now, here are a few important things to decide.
    • Do you want a big or small campus?
    • Or do you want co-ed or all-girls/all-boys?
    • State or private?
    • Near or far from your home?
    • In-state or out of state?
    • Do you want to play sports or do intramurals?
    • Liberal arts or professional school?
  • Next, it’s important to ensure your school has your intended major/minor. It’s very likely you are unsure or may change your major while in college, but if you do have some sort of plan, it’s crucial that your desired college follows it. You might like a school a lot, but if they don’t have major programs that you are interested in, or have plans to major in, this obviously won’t work.
  • I think it’s also really important to pick your top schools without price as a factor. It is very possible to get the cost of any school down with scholarships, so don’t be too worried about price in the beginning. I think it’s most important that you like the school first before you decide if it’s too pricey for you.
  • College visits are helpful, but most are set up in the same style format. Going on too many could get boring because of the same stats, tour, and repeated questions. A college visit is the college’s opportunity to sell their school to you, essentially, so they’ll do everything they can to get you to like it. This doesn’t mean you should skip visits entirely because going to the campus gives you a better feel for what the school might be like for you. I sometimes wish I had done more visits, but I also think it’s important to have a decent number of visits.
  • As I previously mentioned, scholarships are helpful! Most schools will give you some sort of merit-based scholarship automatically, but this often isn’t enough, especially for private schools. It’s important to find different scholarship opportunities in opportunities either through your community, work, school, NHS, or other organizations you affiliate with. Most of the time, local scholarships are not a lot of money, but if you can get a few or more, they’ll add up.
  • Take opportunities your prospective school offers. For example, if one of the schools you are interested in offers an overnight stay with a student, I advise you to take the opportunity. This will give insight what your college life might be like there and will help you get to know the school on a more personal level. This might give you an opportunity to sit in on some classes, see a typical practice or rehearsal, or experience a meal time.
  • Meet with current students, professors, coaches, directors, or other people on campus to get a feel for the types of people you’ll be seeing daily and to ask any specific questions. Everyone there is more than willing to help you decide your college career, even if it won’t be at their school.

I hope this was helpful for you in your college selection process. Remember not to get too stressed about this. In the end, you’ll be at a college and everything will work out.

Author: Hannah Borgh

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *