5 Factors To Consider When Choosing a College

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5 Factors To Consider When Choosing a College

The college you choose has an incredible impact on your future, so it’s important to consider all aspects of the school before making a decision. Let’s explore five factors to consider when choosing a college to help you curate your list of top schools and decide where to go.

Available Academic Programs

One place to start when picking a college is its course catalog. It’s important to know that the school you’re interested in offers the major you’re looking for and the unique courses you want to take. Understanding the various degrees paths and programs a school offers is crucial to understanding if the version of your degree they offer is one you want to pursue.

Student-Professor Ratios

One factor to consider when choosing a college is the campus’ student to professor ratio. The transition from high school to college, or the transfer from one campus to another, allows students to decide their ideal classroom format. If you prefer large class sizes like lecture halls and readily available study groups, look for larger ratios. On the other hand, schools like Harvard have a small ratio and often have classes of 20 students or less, making for a more intimate learning environment.

Costs and Financial Aid

One reality to keep in mind when picking out your ideal schools is the cost of attending each one. There is a higher chance to walk away with a degree but no student loan debt at schools like community colleges. Pursuing higher-level degrees at more prominent colleges and universities incurs a more considerable debt. Before setting your heart on a school, know the costs, in-state or out-of-state, and potential financial aid or scholarships they offer back to front.

Campus Culture

It’s important to decide what campus culture you look forward to in your academic career. Many older campuses have years of unique traditions, especially regarding student graduation, and participating in these rich traditions is a crucial factor for many. Some campuses have frequent social events, while others focus on competition, self-expression, or class ranking.

Visiting the campus is a fantastic way to get a feel for the school’s atmosphere.

Career Opportunities

Finally, it’s important to consider where your college leaves you when you graduate. Larger-name schools have networking benefits when you enter the workforce. Many colleges and universities also offer internship programs on campus, while some even work with local businesses to hire new graduates right after earning their degrees. Ask advisors about graduate employment rates and what programs their school offers to keep those numbers high.

As you search for the right school for you, take advantage of a variety of resources to help you decide. Online professor reviews, meetings with academic advisors, and campus visits all give you valuable information regarding what the college is actually like. Understanding as much as possible about your college options helps you find a school you love and a learning environment in which you can succeed.

Image Credits: Two young students sitting in library and using laptop FILE #:  134309285 By Drobot Dean

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