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How do I know what college is best for me ?

I have found there are many options out there and I’ve been having trouble figuring out my final choice. I feel as if I will only get one chance at this so it’s a bit overwhelming #student

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Katie’s Answer

Hi Tatiana! This is definitely a hard question and one that there isn't really a straightforward answer to. It really is a personal decision and one that comes after a lot of thought. But, do not feel like you are trapped if you decide on a school and then change your mind once you get there. Transferring colleges is very common and not a bad thing at all! It is so hard to know what you want/how things will be until you get on campus.


My recommendation is to do a bit of personal reflection. This might not narrow it down to exactly one school but should help make the decision a little easier. Think about the following things:

1) Do I want to go to a big school or a small one? There are pros and cons to each. Big schools have more social opportunities but you can get lost in the crowd, small schools you might get to know people more quickly but run into the same people in your classes for the next four years.

2) What do I want to major in? If you know a major right off the bat, look for schools that have a good program for that major. If you have a wide range of interests, consider a liberal arts school as they encourage you to take classes across various majors.

3) What are my interests? As much as classes are important, so are developing interests. Look for places that offer clubs/groups/etc with things you are interested in.

4) What is the campus vibe I am looking for? My biggest recommendation is to go to the college. You learn so much just by walking the grounds and observing the students. Sit in the campus center and just watch the students and see if you think you can relate to them.


At the end of the day the big thing to remember is that college is what you make of it. All colleges have classes, clubs, sports, dinning halls, etc but its what you put into it that makes the difference. I went to a small, liberal arts school in New England and one of my best friends went to a huge state school. The two colleges couldn't be more different but when we talked about our experiences we both were involved in clubs and activities, we both had similar stories with our friends and professors, so in the end our experiences were not actually that different. That is because we both jumped into college eager to experience it and be a part of the community. Hope this helps! Best of luck!

Katie recommends the following next steps:

Think about the questions noted above.
Try websites like College Board to help with your college search (they have quizzes to help suggest colleges ) https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/?navId=www-cp
Research the schools that seem interesting
VISIT CAMPUSES!
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Sophia’s Answer

Hi Tatiana,

I have been in your shoes before! With so many amazing options it is hard to make a final decision. I would start by first seeing which out of your options has the best path for your major. Then see which campus fits your needs & life style (dorm situations, cuisine, reasonable accommodations, activities). In addition to their major programs, each school has its own social programs, reputations, communities, religious affiliations etc. that would also be good to look into. Lastly, it is important to visit the campus to see how you like the atmosphere and people! I found it helpful to make a pro's and cons list once I was able to narrow down a few schools.

I have had many friends in my life switch universities after starting since they weren't a good fit. It is not ideal, but just know you are never stuck if you end up changing your mind. Good luck!
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Shalyse’s Answer

My top questions:
What are the educational offerings? Not every college addresses its majors with the same rigor so do your research/
What is the learning environment of the school?
What is student life like?
What is the surrounding area like?
Are my mental, educational, physical, and emotional needs going to be met/ is this an accessible space for me?
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