How to Pick the Right College to Go to
Choosing the right college for you is crucial to your future. Now, the college that may be most suited for you could be a nightmare for another. The “right” college is subjective. There are a few common steps that everyone can follow in order to make the right choice though. Here is a handy guide to help you pick the right college to go to-
- List out your priorities – Every college comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Figure out which are absolute “must’s” for you in a college. Maybe you want a college with a strong sports program or one that offers interdisciplinary studies. Assess the colleges on your list based on these criteria and rank them in order. It will help you figure out which college is more suited to you.
- Interact with college alumni – If you already know which colleges you’d like to attend – seek out their respective alumni. Talk to them about their college experiences. It will give you a clearer idea of what that college is like.
- Consult those around you – Speak to your friends, family, and acquaintances for college recommendations. They will be aware of the person you are and be able to direct you to colleges that will fit your personality. You do not have to base your end decision on them, but it doesn't harm you to personally check out the colleges that they've recommended to you.
- Narrow down your shortlist – Perhaps, you got lucky with those acceptance letters and made it to multiple colleges off your shortlist. Revisit your shortlist and think back to why each college made it to that list in the first place. It will give you some perspective on choosing the right college for you.
- Visit the schools you’ve narrowed down – It is important to visit the colleges you have your heart set on to know what they're like first hand. They may seem great on paper, but you may not feel comfortable in their atmosphere once you reach there. The weather could be not to your liking, or the neighborhood could be too rough for you. If you want the college to be near your hometown, it would be good to drive down there and get an idea of how long it takes to travel to and fro your home to the college.
- Research the faculty – Professors make the college. At the end of the day, you’re going to a college to study. Sure, the college experience and the special programs offered can be added points that make or break a college for you. Nothing overrides the importance of a good faculty though. Compare the faculty of your chosen department across colleges to conclude which college has the most distinguished faculty.
- Find out the job opportunities – Some colleges have campus placement cells which help graduating students land lucrative job offers. You don't want to spend four long, expensive years in college and still be unemployed. Find out about whether a college offers the services of a career counselor or organizes job fairs before selecting which college you'd like to attend. Reputed organizations flock to some campuses while giving others a miss. If there’s a specific company you’d like to work for in the future, find out which colleges they recruit from.
Invest time and patience into choosing the right college for you. It is one of the most significant and difficult decisions you will make in your life. Choosing the right college will provide you with a robust college experience without compromising on the academic front.
Run a phone book search on alumni to find their current contact information