Step 1: Determine what you might like to study or major in at college.
Step 2: Develop a list of criteria you want to use to evaluate and weed out colleges.
Step 3: Compile a list of possible colleges and universities.
Step 4: Gather all your resources and information about each school you're considering.
You can also visit the website for more information:
1. Developing a short list of colleges that you see yourself attending.
2. Prioritize your colleges from the ones that check most of your boxes off to the ones that don't.
3. Don't put things aside for later, stay on top of it.
4. Revisit the college once or twice to make sure the college is a right fit for you.
5. Focus on what you want to do at the end of your four years at this college.
6. Get familiar with the departments that you are wanting to major and minor in.
7. See how well the colleges career center is in finding you a job after college.
8. Compare and contrast financial aid packages and making sure you are able to afford the college.
9. Moving on if a college doesn't fit.
10. Listen to your gut because usually your gut is never wrong.
Visit the colleges, sit in on the classes that interest you, talk to the students and staff there, check out organizations/clubs you'd want to join, check the mute distance and ease of it, check dorms for staying on campus, check the dining area, sports variable. At the end of the visit ask yourself two important questions: 1–Do I see myself being happy here? 2–Can I spend the next four years of my life here? More Importantly, see if they have the majors you would be interested in, and lastly check the amount financial aid and scholarship packages available to you and the cost of the college.
First off, I want to wish you the best of luck during this process!
Here are some points that can guide you. When answering the below, imagine your college experience over the next 4 years
1. Attend college office hours or sessions. Many colleges host information sessions to newly accepted students. Take advantage of these sessions to hear more about what the college offers, and what students say about their school.
2. Consider location of the college. Are some that you applied to further away from where you are now? Are you interested in exploring a new city or area?
3. Type of college campus. All colleges have a unique campus feel. Some are directly in cities, while others are in more urban locations. How important is the type of campus to you?
4. Size of the college. Do you want to go to a very large college, with thousands to tens of thousands of students, a medium sized college, or a small college?
5. Extracurriculars offered by the college. Research a bit about what types of extracurricular activities that the college offers that you can participate in, such as clubs or sports related to your interests.
To figure out which college is best for you, you must assess many different factors. Some of these factors include: the amount of financial aid you receive, the majors and coursework at that college, the social aspect of that college (whether they have clubs and/or other activities you may like), distance from your home, and experiences of current students.
You must also decide how heavily these factors affect your decision. For example, the cost of college and social aspect were major factors in why I chose the college that I did. I do not regret my college decision at all.
The most important thing is to make sure that you pick the college that feels right to you. While you can consider the opinions of others, you are ultimately the one who will be enrolling.
I would recommend going on a in person tour of your favorite schools as soon as possible because it is true when they say you can feel if a school is for you based on the environment, does it feel like home? Now I know that Covid is still here and an in person tour may not be an option, in that case check the colleges/universities websites for virtual tours that they may offer.
Also, check the location (is it in a rural town?), are necessities such as the grocery store nearby, is too far from home, the perfect distance or too close to home?, do they have your intended major and is there a good program for your major?, do they have clubs and organizations that you would be interested in joining?
Answers to the last two questions can typically be found on the college/university website.
Best of luck in your future endeavors!
Check out the websites and campuses of each school. If the major(s) you want to explore are available, clubs/activities you are interested in, and you like and feel comfortable in the campus, I think those are great things to consider =). It really depends on what you feel is important to you! I know I ALMOST went to one school over another but when I went to the campus, I really did not like it! It had comparable programs to the school I ended up going to, and I ended up choosing my school based largely on the campus! It ended up being a great decision for me, and led me to great opportunities =). You can also consider if it is faith-based/more liberal, how big the student population is, the diversity, access to stores/places of worship, etc if you want to consider it more closely =).
Lauren Grzyboski, CFE, CAMS, MBA
Great question! After getting into colleges, I think it's important to do some research into the colleges you've been accepted into so that you can determine which one matches your future career aspirations, etc. While additionally considering which one you can see yourself at for the next four years, a place that has the atmosphere you'd want to surround yourself with. If possible, I would also recommend touring the colleges whether that be in person or virtually, and reaching out to alumni via facebook groups, linkedin, etc. to gain some perspective from them on their experiences there.