Top Tips on How to Find a College That's Perfect for You
Selecting a college is a huge decision, and it’s worth doing your homework before making your final choice. However there are a few simple things you can do that will help you find a college that’s perfect for you.
Deciding on the Perfect College and What to Study
Start by narrowing down your choice of college. Decide what you are going to major in, and where you would like to study. Once you have established this then you can start looking at the courses offered by colleges, and can decide whether they are appealing to you.
Although it may be tempting to stick to colleges you have heard of, be a little bit adventurous and investigate those you know nothing about, but which offer an appealing program appropriate for someone with your grades. You might surprise yourself and make a fabulous discovery. By keeping an open mind you are far more likely to choose an excellent college.
Visit the Colleges, Form Your own Opinion
Visit at least your top three or four choices of college, and try to spend a few hours on campus. It’s a great idea to take family and friends with you for this trip, as they can offer a fresh perspective on things which you may miss. It also means you can discuss the colleges with them at a later date when you are comparing one against another, and should be more able to make a balanced decision. Always remember it’s you who will be attending and not your family and friends, and while it’s great to listen to other people’s opinions, the ultimate decision should be yours.
You’ll probably find that an awful lot of people have opinions about certain colleges, but take everything they say with a pinch of salt and investigate thoroughly. Don’t make your decision on the basis of hearsay. A lot of people are very good at having opinions on an awful lot of subjects without having any real expertise.
If you find a college you really like the look of, but feel it is too expensive, then investigate the possibility of scholarships, financial aid, or tuition installment plans. Don’t just rule it out completely without finding out all the possibilities first.
College is a Great Opportunity to Make New Friends
Don’t just choose a college because all your friends are going there, as this is the worst possible reason for choosing a college course. Your college education will be the most important part of all your education, and can literally shape the rest of your working life. Make the right choice now and you are far more likely to have an enjoyable career. If you’re nervous about going to college on your own then just remember everyone else is in the same boat and will be more than willing to make friends.
Apply to the Perfect College in Plenty of Time
Apply to a wide selection of colleges, including those that you feel may be out of reach. You never know, you may get a pleasant surprise, and you have nothing to lose. It’s best to apply to two or three colleges which appeal, and which are likely to admit you. It’s highly likely that you will end up at one of these colleges. Some people choose to apply to colleges they know they will be admitted to, as a kind of safety net. If you choose to do this, then make sure you really like those safety net colleges just in case you end up having to accept a place at one of them, as all too often they can be colleges which have not been investigated thoroughly.
Make sure you apply to your colleges well within the deadlines, and get yourself a calendar and write down all the relevant dates. It’s surprisingly easy to miss applications for financial aid or scholarships, and unfortunately a deadline is a deadline, and they are unlikely to be able to extend it just for you.
Make Your Final Selection
When you have to make your final choice of which college to attend, do discuss your options with your family and friends, as they are the people who know you best and they should be able to help you make a wise choice. You can never do too much research on finding a college, especially when you remember that this is such an important stage of your life. Apart from that you want to be able to enjoy yourself during your college years and to leave with happy memories as well as a great education.