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I am struggling choosing between four colleges. How do I know which one is right for me?

I have been debating between four colleges for a while now. I have been accepted to two, I am pretty sure I will get accepted to another one of them, and the last one I am unsure whether I will be accepted or not. They all have so many pros and cons, and I am a terrible decision maker. I just want to know if there are any tips that you could give me on choosing the right college for me. #indecisive #choices

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7 answers

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Velma’s Answer

Hello Mallory,

First of all I would like to congratulate you on your candidacy for four different colleges! Great job! Second I would like to tell you it is a big decision to make, so take your time. I searched for two years before I found the right program at the right university for my masters program.

Make your decision using your pros and cons list for the process of elimination between the four choices. Choose from the ones that fit best to your lifestyle and needs. Are they close to home or do you have to commute and how much time would that take? Do they have dorms or off campus living and is that included in tuition pricing?

Do any of them come with scholarships for tuition? How many offer scholarships for transfer students and who are the other colleges they are affiliated with? What do their articulation agreements with other universities look like? What does the financial aid look like?

Make sure they have the career path you are looking for. Check to see if they have accreditation and if the career path you are looking for has to be accredited, and if so do they offer that accreditation.

How long will the program you are looking for take to complete? Compare the curriculum for each one, (one may require courses you do not want to take, others may not).

If you are social, find out about the social life on campus, what opportunities for leadership are there for you on campus, what types of clubs or honor societies can you be a part of?

I hope you find these helpful and you are able to make a better informed choice for your college career. I wish you luck in your future endeavors and hope you find your dream college soon.

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Abby’s Answer

Hi Mallory! I’m sorry no one’s answered your question yet. We're working hard to get it answered by Professionals with the best insights, but in the meantime I've included a link to a relevant Q&A here on CareerVillage.org that should be super helpful for you to read through.

Britny asked: How do I choose between colleges?, and one of the Pros who answered it said:

One important factor is cost. I don't think colleges do a good enough job of talking through the details of education debt and how that might affect your career/higher education options down the road. The reality is that education is very expensive in the U.S., so depending on your career goals and your financial situation, your search for the perfect college should include proper consideration of what it will cost you and if it is worth it. Obviously this largely depends on the profession you choose, but do your research and I would caution you against relying on what the school says is their "average salary" upon graduation--these numbers are notoriously inflated...

Click the question to read more of what this Pro and others had to say!

Good luck! 


Community Management Intern at CareerVillage.org

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Amy’s Answer

Hey, Mallory.

First: CONGRATULATIONS! Such a major accomplishment to be accepted to a college you like, let alone three times! Good on you!

Second: This is a big decision and it's normal to be overwhelmed, anxious, giddy, terrified, etc. The fact that you're struggling to choose proves you are a thoughtful human. Well done. :)

Third: Here's the part of the answer I don't like, but it's real and honest and brimming with optimism (believe it or not).... Deep breath. Okay. There may not *be* a correct answer. Yikes, right?

You can run cost analyses and risk/benefit matrices that tell you College A is the clear winner over College B. But there are factors you can't determine like inspiring mentors, awesome friends, and where you are in your head. Whether you like your college or not is up to YOU. Optimistic, right?

So, yes, weigh the cost and the graduation rates. Ask how many graduates are employed full-time in their fields of study 6 and 12 months after graduation. How do their incomes compare? Good data.

But here's the heart of my advice: how many clubs are there? Are there events and activities coordinated by the college (this will indicate how much they care about student engagement)? What do students typically do on the weekends? Join a Facebook Group for alumni and ask for their favorite Saturday memory. If they were having fun, you probably will, too. If their memories are tinged with boredom or frustration, it might not be a campus that fosters engagement. And that's what you crave.

So take a tour, if you can. See if there's an overnight visit for prospective students. Ask Admissions to connect you with a student leader who can answer your questjons. Find out which campus will feel most like "home," because THAT is what matters.

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maryam’s Answer

Read the details of all four colleges,

see which one is good providing good skills in studying!

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Simeon’s Answer

I'd say to choose a college with smaller class sizes and that you will need less debt to go to. If you are able to at some point, I'd recommend doing a campus visits. It's much easier to get a sense of a college's campus life, amenities, and culture when you're there in person. Plus, you can keep an eye out for flyers that will give you a better idea of what is happening on campus beyond what's advertised on their website.

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Noah’s Answer

Hey Mallory,

I'm sorry you're feeling indecisive. Trust me, I face the same problem all the time. But to find the college that suits you best, you have to know what you're majoring in. Search up which school is ranked the highest in what you're majoring in and go with that. There's also other deciding factors like do you want a good sports program, are fraternities and sororities important to you, is cost or tuition a huge deciding factor, things like that. Find out what's most important to you, write that down and choose the best college out of the 4 that best suits your interests.

I hope that helped!

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Clint’s Answer

I would suggest you go to the college and hang out in the common areas to get to know the people. That was a determining factor for me. I received a scholarship to two colleges and it was hard to decide. One was close to home (about an hour away) and the other was out of state (8 hours away). Both were very similar in degree programs and size. I spent a day at each of the schools in the cafeteria, gym, and library. It gave me the chance to meet people. The reason I chose the school I did was because of the people being so open and friendly, compared to the other school. You will get a good education at any university, but the people make the difference.