There are many articles written, talks given and videos posted that are meant to help you decide where you should attend college. This is meant to be a short, fast and easy guide to making that decision. Who knows, maybe you have already decided on a college. If so, awesome! You are in the minority of future college students if you have your college plans all figured out at this point. If you have not decided where to get your college education, welcome to this blog post. Before you make your decision, there are several key things to consider. In fact, before you make a decision that will alter your life (no pressure or anything); you need to ask yourself these 3 questions.
Can I afford to attend the colleges on my short-list? Now that you have narrowed down the colleges that you believe will best provide you with your desired college experience, you need to know that you can afford to attend. In a previous post, I wrote about specific conversations you need to have about paying for college and gave some affordability tips. Hopefully you have already been working to ensure that your short-listed colleges are affordable. The cost of getting an undergraduate degree is something that demands attention. If you are worried that the college you most want to attend is too expensive, talk with your Admissions Counselor for more ideas on how to work out the financial aspect.
What is the most important part of the college experience to me? Is the social aspect of college the most important part of the college experience to you? Maybe the most important part of the college experience is the job possibilities it will open up for you. Perhaps you want your college experience to be centered on spiritual development. Make sure you have an answer to this question before proceeding with your decision. Picking a college for the wrong reasons can result in a poor college experience. Make sure you know what you want most!
Which of my short-listed colleges will help me get the experience that I am looking for in the next four years? Now that you have your priorities straight and are financially prepared, you need to ask yourself which college will best provide you with the experience you are looking to get. Every college is different and hopefully at this point in your senior year, you have visited your top colleges. If not, GO NOW! You really don’t know what a college will be “like” until you visit. Assuming that you have visited every college on your short-list, devote some time to seriously contemplating which college will get you what you want.
You have thought through the financial side of things, you have figured out what you really want to get out of a college experience, and you have thought through which of your short-listed colleges will give you that experience. You my friend…are ready to pick a college! It’s been a long road but you are getting close to the finish line. It’s a hard thing — picking a place to get an undergraduate education. It’s a hard choice but one worth careful consideration. The correct choice is different for most everyone and you, the student, are the one who needs to make it. I wish you all the best, no matter where you decide to attend. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you on campus this fall!