Kara H.

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How did you know which college was the best fir for you?

I am asking because I am feeling a lot of pressure to make a decision and have no idea what to choose. I have a scholarship offer to run cross country at a couple smaller private schools but will still have a ton of loans. My twin sister has already decided to go to the University of Arizona where I have almost full tuition paid for in a scholarship, but I can't run there. #college-selection #college-recruiting

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Hello Kara!


Choosing where to begin your academic career is a tough question. Below are a few things I considered before choosing where I went to school and hopefully that can help some!

  • Financial Impact: We got to college to expand our horizons and hopefully find a profitable career that can sustain us and our families. Comparing return on investment for a school, while not a perfect measure by any means can greatly help to focus your search. There are many resources to view ROI for schools, including here: http://www.bestcolleges.com/features/best-roi-colleges/ . But like anything else, comparing multiple resources is wise.
  • Academic Fit: Making sure the schools you comprise your list of have the degree program you are seeking out helps to narrow the list as well : ) Not just the degree path, but depth of study you can achieve. Whether that is Bachelors, Masters or PhD.
  • Culture Fit: I think this is the true deciding factor. Different schools have different cultures and finding one that fits your personality is the crux to finding success. I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for a visit and instantly fell in love with the small campus feel, the extensive Alumni network, and attentive professors. The students were focused and driven and I felt like I could make an impact there. If you have the ability, touring multiple schools is a great compare.

I hope these helped and remember as well, if you choose a school and find that it just isn't meeting your needs as a student, there is always opportunity to transfer and try another opportunity. Good luck on your search!

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • Build a list of your most important qualifications for a school. The above items are simply a framework and you must determine your own priorities.
Last updated Feb 20 at 12:47

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Hi Kara, choosing which college to go to is a very personal decision and there are a lot of things to consider. Have you visited both schools to see which one feels right? Another thing to consider is what you want to study. One of the schools may be better than the other for what you're looking for. There might also be the option of being a walk-on or red-shirting at the University of Arizona that way you can avoid the expensive student loans.
Last updated Feb 19 at 18:09

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