How should I decide what college I want to go to?
I'm stuck between two good colleges in North Carolina and I told my parents I would wait to decide until I got to see them both in person. But I'm not sure what questions to ask or what to look for. #college #college-advice #college-selection
This is a great question, and I live in North Carolina myself! North Carolina is home to amazing schools and programs, so you are not going to be able to go wrong. What helped me was visiting the campuses, meeting the administration, shadowing classes, visiting the buildings, and walking the campus several times over. One will give you a better feel and will lead to a good gut reaction.
From a more practical standpoint, research the two universities and see which has a stronger program for your interests. I ultimately decided on my university because they had a very strong Business program and it helped me hone my skills to be prepared for the working world. Determine what is important to you to get out of a college experience, research both institutions and go with the one that aligns with your goals.
I know it can be hard choosing which college to attend, but narrowing it down and weighing the pros and cons of each based on your own personal goals and interests is a great start. I think it is great you are visiting both universities, as this will give you the opportunity to get a better feel of each environment and meet people. You should, though, base your questions off of your career goal. For example, I personally could not choose between two universities at first, but what helped my decision was the opportunities and programs that were offered. Because I wanted to get my CPA license after attending 4 years of college and having a bachelor’s degree, I chose the university that offered a dual program, as this gave me the 150 credits needed to graduate in 4 years and be eligible to take my CPA afterwards. Also, even though choosing the university that best suits your career goal is imperative, it is also important to realize that college is what you make of it. Once you choose which one to attend, I would focus on making your college experience a great one.
When visiting, I would ask the following types of related questions:
1). Academics (in relation to your career goal)
· How many students participate in this program?
· What opportunities and training are available to the students?
· What percentage of students in this program get a job out of college?
· What types of activities and clubs are offered?
3). Financial Aid/Costs of attending
· What financial aid packages are offered?
· Which types of scholarships are given?
· Costs of commuting/living expenses
I think visiting both colleges before you make a choice is a very good decision. It's important to have some evaluative criteria prior to visiting campuses. You should base your questions on things you want to get out of your college experience. Some items to consider are:
- programs you might be interested in
- faculty to student ratio
- extracurricular programs
- study abroad opportunities
Many schools will give you the opportunity to talk to students during your visit. Ask your tour guide or students you're introduced to what things they took into consideration when they made their choices.
I know the decision seems daunting. Do thorough research about the schools online before visiting and ask questions while you are there. Don't be afraid to ask silly questions - I volunteered in the admissions office when I was in college and I honestly don't think I ever heard a bad question; chances are, someone else nearby has a similar one.
At the end of the day, there probably isn't just one, perfect school for you. You have a lot of control over how much you get out of your college experience. Do your best to make a sound decision now and don't look back - focus on having the best four years you possibly can.
Jacob recommends the following next steps:
The questions on campus are pretty straightforward. One I would add is - where do I go if I am sick? I severely twisted my ankle in college. I also needed to get some shots before taking a trip. It was a bit challenging with my parents' out of state insurance.
I would also recommend driving around the city where your college is. What places are important to you that you would want in a new city? I lived in a small town with no car, so I struggled without public transportation. There were not a lot of places of interest to me, like museums, etc. Whatever your interests are important when you are away at school.
1) Do they have the major you want?
2) Will be happy? Does the social situation fit your personality?
3) Does it fit your financial situation?
4) Do they have clubs that fit your interest?
5) Do they have resources to get you summer internships and eventually a job or graduate school
6) Is it a desirable location? You may end up living in the city in which you attend college.