How to Choose the Perfect College for You

Katie Wertheimer

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All seniors know the painful feeling of figuring out what the next chapter of their lives has in store. An essential piece of that puzzle is trying to decide where you want to go next academically.

With so many different schools out there, it is hard to figure out which one is going to be the best fit for you and take you to the places you want to go next. Here are some criteria to consider when picking the perfect college for you. 

Size 

Everyone becomes accustomed to different feelings and levels of comfortability. A big part of feeling comfortable is how many people you are around. Some people are used to being around a smaller group of people and transferring from a tiny school of 87 to a university with a student population of 500,000 might be a bit of a culture shock. 

That, of course, depends on your attitude towards your current situation and how many people you can see yourself around in the future. If you see college as an opportunity to expand your horizons and strive to see diversity in your day-to-day life, then a larger college might be for you. Overall, when looking at the size of college, don’t be too scared to step out of your comfort zone, but don’t try jumping into a situation where you lose yourself in the process. 

Finances

Although your dream school may be in reach, without the proper funds to finance it, it may not be a possibility. Remember that life after college will come with lots of finances and although student loans are an option, they might not be the best one for your specific situation. 

Today, many will attend a community college for the first two years before transferring to a bigger university. This strategy has been known to lower the cost of education significantly while still getting the university you want to be recognized for attending on your diploma. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you get accepted to your dream school but are not sure if its a financially available option, remember that applying for scholarships and financial aid are good step to ensure that your goals are reachable. 

Location

College is the first part of your life where you have the opportunity to be completely independent, meaning you get to choose where you are. Many people can picture themselves in different areas, but it all depends on personal preference and comfort levels.

Some students may want to stay close to home while others might seek adventure and new experiences. Despite which option pertains more to you, one should always try to be in a place where they are going to feel safe and confident. 

When thinking about which area you would like to be in after highschool, take a look at your current independence level and truly analyze your skills to see where you think you would be best suited. Whether that is on a beach in Florida or a couple miles away from your house, it is important to think about where you feel you truly belong. 

Vibes

Although all of the criteria listed is very important to consider, they all can be summed up into how the school makes you feel. Before you commit to your school, you must go visit the campus, meet people, and experience life there to see what feelings it gives you. 

It is impossible to know how one will feel about a university before they see it, and your feelings can change over time. In the end, when choosing your dream school, you should make your decision based on your gut and leave the opinions of others and the rest of the niceties on the backburner when it comes to making your final decision. 

Sources https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/10-steps-to-picking-the-right-school

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