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What do I consider when choosing a college?

I'm in high school hoping to go into either a health or law profession after college. I am currently undecided about which university I want to go to and what my major will be. #college


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Angela D.’s Answer

Hi there! Henry L. in North Carolina had a similar question. My answer is below. Wishing you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B

Great question! My son went to the University of California, Davis and received dual degrees in Biology and Genetics. He felt very prepared for medical school at the University of Virginia and is currently finishing up his residency in Denver. One of the reasons he chose UCDavis was because it had a medical school and, as an undergraduate, he was able to join medically related campus-based organizations, research, activities, open presentations, etc. He also chose UCDavis because the degrees he wanted to pursue were applied vs. more theoretical. You have to balance the pros and cons of any college/university. Opportunities will vary as do majors, costs, size, location, academic quality, on/off campus housing availability, etc.

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Jason’s Answer

Hi, Harry!

There are many factors to consider when choosing a college. Are you interested in a large university, or would you feel more comfortable on a smaller campus? Do you want to "go away" to school and live on campus or stay at home and commute? Do you prefer larger classes or smaller class sizes? Since you have an interest in health or law professions, it is important to look at what majors are offered at the universities you are considering. You want to make sure to choose a university that has programs of study that interest you. Cost of attendance is something else to consider. You'll want to compare the costs of attending the universities you are considering. If you are planning to live on campus, you'll want to consider housing and dining costs in the total cost of attendance.

Another thing to think about is the clubs and extracurricular activities that the campuses offer. Look at what opportunities there are for you to be involved on campus. After considering all these factors, it's important to try to gain a sense of whether or not the university is the right fit for you. If you haven't had the opportunity to do so yet, you should see if you can schedule campus visits (once it's safe to do so again). You might want to see if there are any virtual campus visits you can do right now.



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Richard’s Answer

You should go to the college where you feel you would be the best fit. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of all potential schools. You should weigh these factors based on how important they are to you. Make sure you get rid of the biases you have regarding specific colleges. For example, although many people at certain universities may partake in a lifestyle with which you do not agree, you will surely be able to find different groups of students who share the same values as you do. It's also good to spend time with different types of people who can teach you lessons you would not learn being around those who you are most comfortable with.

Consider academic factors (specific majors and programs) and non-academic factors (like clubs). You should also look into on-campus job recruiting opportunities.

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Riley’s Answer

The most important factor that I considered when choosing a college was the location. I knew that I wanted to stay close to home enough to be able to drive home for a weekend, but far enough away to live on campus. I think this is a pretty important thing to consider when you are choosing your college. Furthermore, it is always helpful to choose a college that has a good program for your chosen major.

As for choosing your major, you should start thinking about what subjects in school you enjoy the most as well as what hobbies you enjoy, then you can do some research on possible career paths that this could lead you down! For example, I went into software engineering because I enjoyed video games and technology and I knew I was good at math.

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Estelle’s Answer

I agree with Jason. Decide if you fit into a large university versus smaller setting better. Consider cost of private institutions versus public. How convenient is travel to and from your home if you plan to spend holidays at home. Some colleges specialize in engineering, some in liberal arts, and some are large enough to be more diverse. It's hard to visit college campuses during the COVID pandemic, but use the internet to learn about schools then visit later.

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