Choosing the Right College for You

Sep 23, 2020
Sydney Hencil

Choosing the right college for you can be a difficult decision. But, fear not! Here are a few helpful tips to consider and put you on the right path.

Figure out what YOU want to do
Having an idea as to what you would like to study in college can definitely help narrow down your search.  For example, if you would like to get into mechanical engineering, going to a technical college may be the best option. If you would like a career in art, choose a college with a great art program. “I always knew I wanted to do something in the art field.  This is what drew me to the college I am at now,” said Robert Laws, a Studio Art major and Graphic Design minor at Brenau University, “Brenau has a very good Art program.”

Decide what YOU want from the college
Here are some things that can help you decide:

  • Location – This is one of the biggest decisions.  Would you like to stay local, go to another state or even travel abroad? “I lived in the USA for a year as a youth exchange student, exposing me to a lot of potential opportunities that made me feel it would be exciting and beneficial to study here,” said Elizabeth Banda, a Health, Behavior and Society major at the University of Rochester. 
  • Size – Normally public universities have a larger student population.  Private colleges will have a smaller population, therefore, will have a smaller student to faculty ratio.  E.g.  Brenau University has a 11:1 student faculty ratio, which allows students to have a better understanding of the course. “When I heard Brenau has a smaller student population I was a bit hesitant, but I changed my mind when I heard about the smaller class size.  I preferred this as it’s easier to engage in class and ask questions,” said Destiny Clay, a Mass Communications major at Brenau.
    Robert Laws, Studio Art major, Graphic Design minor, carving out an art piece.
    Robert Laws, Studio Art major/Graphic Design minor, carving out an art piece
  • Majors and Programs – There are many major options available at most colleges.  Check out college websites  to see if the colleges you are looking at have majors that interest you. “Brenau University’s nursing school is reputable in the state of Georgia, so I knew I would get a quality education” – Christina Hogg, a nursing student at Brenau.
  • The people on campus – Looking at how diverse a college is can aid you in your college search. “As an international student myself, I decided to go to a school with a high international student population.  I knew it would be easier to fit in,” said Cerise Dingiswayo, a Biology major at Salem University.
  • Opportunities outside the classroom – College can be a very social experience which can come in the form of sports teams, clubs, Greek Life and even internship placement. “I wanted to continue playing Squash in college, and studying at Mount Holyoke College gave me that opportunity,” said Kuziva Madungwe, a Chemistry major, Biological Sciences minor.
  • Cost – the most common final factor in deciding which college to attend iscost.  Aside from tuition, you need to look at other costs such as average cost of books, housing, food, gas and accommodation.  Then look at financial aid and scholarship opportunities that are available to you and weight in your options. “I was awarded a Merit Scholarship, a Hope Grant and Art Department Scholarship, which brought down the cost by a significant amount,” said Robert.

I hope these tips will be helpful as you are trying to decide between the numerous colleges and universities that are out there.

Good luck! College is an exciting chapter in your life – enjoy the journey

 

Further reading:
Find a college that best suits you
Top 15 mistakes to avoid when choosing a college