How to Pick Your Perfect College

Jenna Ranney, Feature Editor

As Junior and Senior year approaches for some, it is time to start thinking about college and make decisions that will be the best for you. There are many factors in choosing a college or even knowing how to narrow it down. It is important to not narrow down your decisions too much unless you are positive because what you want in a college might change over time. Whether you are learning how to pick colleges to look at or deciding between colleges you have gotten into, here is a list of factors to help with your decision.

  1. Area of the college/Size

The factor that can affect your decision entirely is the area of the college. Choosing whether you want to go far away, stay close, or stay in the middle. Also, the size of the school you want, which could be a small campus or big campus which effects the amount of people who attend. This effects how easy it is for your family and friends to visit but can also be a change of pace to be in a completely new area. Narrow it down to the area you want to attend college, whether it is in Florida or still in Maryland, there are many options. Certain weather and jobs could be a factor in staying close. Pick whatever you will feel the most happy and comfortable with. Picking something that you are unsure of that could be a problem.

  1. “How it Feels”

When visiting a college, you will get a certain feeling as soon as you step on the campus or see it. You know if the college is right for you or not, and it’s easy to tell if it’s a definite no or yes. You could feel comfortable or uneasy about the college.  Sometimes there will be a feeling in the middle of those two so keep the college on your list and pay attention to the other factors.

  1. Majors

Another important factor is finding a college that has your major or has a reputation for the major you want. If it’s important to you to attend a college that can get you a job in your field right away, then it is a good idea to research your major and what university’s can offer.  Many schools specialize in some subjects and the faculty could be more engaged. Being interested in the school and your major but also considering the opportunities that can be offered is a key factor in assuring you are comfortable and set up for your future. Certain goals and jobs could be reached at different colleges. Picking a college because you like it, even though they don’t have your major, is not the best choice.

  1. The Financials

Even though loans can be taken out in order to attend college, it is a deciding factor whether you want to be in debt and pay back the loan for a long time or you want to have it paid right away with little loans to pay back. Some people may choose the long-time loan in order to attend the college they love and that’s perfectly fine if it is okay with you and you have an idea of how you’re going to pay them back. Looking at just the price in general is not the only factor. Many colleges have tons of grant money, scholarships, and financial aid packages to offer depending on what you do or what grades you receive. Research and apply to scholarships that can help you attend your college without the long-time loan.

  1. Extras

The factor that many probably look at the most is what the school has to offer. Having certain sports teams or clubs is important to consider so you feel welcomed to the college you attend. Choosing a school then not having anything to do around campus for you could be a huge mistake. Ask the students when you go on a visit or watch videos of the campus life to learn more about each college.

Picking where you feel most comfortable and most happy can be very stressful. Every school may have pros and cons but deciding what you’re willing to give up can vary. Some find a college with no cons which would be the perfect college for them. Make a pros and cons list and recognize all the factors of choosing what is best.