Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you'll make as an adolescent. Everyone wishes to get into a reputed college to pursue a fancy major. But how do you select the right college, when there are hundreds of options to choose from? Here are some guidelines you can keep in mind while choosing a college.
Tips to Choose the Right College
Thanks to the information age, the Internet is the best resource you have at your fingertips to aid you in your search. Make a list of colleges that offer the majors you like. Visit each college's website and explore it thoroughly. It's possible that you're yet undecided about what you want to major in, and that's all right. You can talk to a career counselor who may be able to guide you, plus take some online career assessment tests, which can help you decide what your interests are. If you know what you would like to major in, it makes looking for a suitable college a lot easier.
Here are some important aspects every aspiring student must evaluate before he or she applies to a college:
•Accreditation: Accreditation is the most important aspect. The reason you are going to college is to get a degree, which will help you get a job. Degrees from non-accredited colleges are not recognized and accepted by employers, so make sure you aren’t applying to a diploma mill.
•Tuition: Money is a very important factor when it comes to choosing a college. Remember that tuition is not just what you pay for the programs offered; factor in the cost of textbooks, laboratory supplies, commuting/gas expenses, and room/dorm charges. It's true that some colleges have exorbitant tuition, but don’t forget to look into what kind of monetary assistance is available. Find out all you can about student loans and federal aid programs when you consider tuition as a factor.
•Background and Credentials: Evaluate the college's background and credentials. Read up on student reviews and testimonials, and visit social networking sites, which can provide a good insight into what type of institution it is. Take CollegeAmerica for instance. If you Google CollegeAmerica complaints, you will see that the college has resolved all complaints registered against it, which shows that it's concerned about the welfare of its students. It also has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, which is an unbiased, third-party review.
Apart from the above factors, evaluate student life, campus facilities, campus size, class size, faculty and staff, safety, geographical location, graduation rate, placement assistance, college resources (labs/libraries), and extracurricular activities. Also remember to check with the college about any entrance requirements they might have.
Choosing the right college can seem to be a momentous task. Give serious thought to your goals, requirements, and preferences. Once you've narrowed down your choice of colleges to two or three, if possible, visit the college and get thefeel of things. Chat with students and talk to the admissions staff. If you feel good about it, it probably is a good fit. But if you don’t feel right about the college, think twice before applying to it. Trust your instincts. Starting college is a big turning point in a teenager's life, so put a lot of thought in making your decision. Don’t rush into it; don’t hesitate to ask for guidance from elders, and once you know what you want and what to expect from a college, it'll make your search for the right college easier!
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