It’s that time of the year, and for some, it’s that time of your life. High school graduation is closer than you think and it’s time to start deciding what colleges you want to apply to and ultimately choose the college you wish to attend. I have collected a rating system to help you determine what college is best for you! Rate every category using numbers 1-5 (1 is the lowest and 5 is the best!) and see what college rates the highest!
Majors and Programs
It’s essential that you choose a college best fit for the degree you plan on working towards. If you are ready to teach the future faces of our world, then you will want to choose a school that has a good education department. If you plan on becoming a doctor, you will want to find a school with a good bio/pre-med program. Make sure you look into schools that can support the future you have planned for yourself!
Cost and Financial Aid
College is expensive, and it’s important to be aware of what you are going to spend on your education. While looking at the colleges, you would like to attend, keep in mind the price of the university, your available financial aid, scholarships, and payment options.
Location, location, location! Some students want to go to school close to home while others want to be as far away from home as possible. Some dream of attending class with the view of a beach and others would like to see mountains for skiing or snowboarding. The busyness of a city can be exciting for some, while others may prefer a more relaxed and (or) rural environment. Location is more important than you think, so make sure you like the area that surrounds the university.
The size of the university is an integral part of your decision. One thing to consider is the physical size of the campus. Do you want to have to drive from class to class or would you rather have the option to walk everywhere in a timely fashion? Also, the size of the classes is something to consider. What is the professor to student ratio for the average class? The general number of students that attend your school is another factor: do you want a college where it’s rare to see someone you know or do want to recognize everyone around you?
Post Graduate Information
The point of attending college is to prepare you for the career path you desire. With many careers, the connections and tools that you have received will make finding a job easier. Do you want to be a Politician? Look for a college that has produced senators or presidents that can supply you with the proper training and connections for you to succeed.
Do you like college sports? Do you want to be part of a fraternity or sorority? These are all things to consider when looking at a college. If you want to go to the big game every Saturday in the fall, then a big school might be a better option for you. Do you like a small and home-like atmosphere? Then a smaller school could be a better choice. What is the dorm life like? Is the living situation more community focused or separate living areas and what do you prefer?
There are good and bad professors in every college and in almost every department, but the overall quality of professors is something to consider. I would suggest checking out the website Rate My Professor. It is a fantastic tool to see what students think of their professors. This can also relate to the desired size of a college. At a smaller school, it is easy to build a relationship with your professor so that they can help you when you need it and truly understand what you need.
I personally chose to go to a Christian University, but with that decision comes specific rules and values that I have agreed to comply to. I don’t drink while in school because of the rules we are given. I also attend chapel three times a week. Know what your school believes and decide if that is something you like in a university or if you would prefer more or less freedom.
The best way to get to know the good, bad and the truth of a university is to talk to the students that attend that school. Check out Rate My Professor (there is a section where students rate the school as a whole) and read student opinions. Find a student you know or meet one when you visit and ask everything that you would like to know about the university. Ask as many people as possible to get the best opinions of the school.
Trust your instinct and visit the school. I was still unsure about where I wanted to go until I visited my school. I have always been one to depend on my intuition, and it has very rarely let me down. Trust how you feel! You have to spend about four years of your life attending this school, so go somewhere you love!
TOTAL SCORE: / 50