How to Choose a College?

Are you confused, how to choose the right college? Consider priorities, focus on goals and enjoy the journey. Here are few helpful tips that will guide you to the best college suited to you!

Updated by Niharika Padiga on 17th March 2020

Are you done with your high school? Then it's the right time to start taking one of the complex decisions of your life: Selecting the college. There are many colleges in the country. It's totally on you to choose the perfect college that suits your interests and previous education.

Every student wants to attend a college that is best in class in order to meet their academic goals. With so many colleges to choose from and increased competition, the admission process might be a little confusing and difficult. There are certain factors to be considered while choosing the best college for your career goals as you invest money and time.


Start Your Search Early

Right after your high school, you may have plenty of time to search for colleges but still, it is advised to look for it early as you will have enough time to research and understand the institution's culture.

Research about the institution is not just about the degree you take or the classes you attend. It's about making friends, memories and its where a student touches the most numerous


Go with Your Passion

Once you are done with selecting the college you would want to get in, the next crucial thing would be to choose the field that you are passionate about.

Keep in mind! The major that you choose here will be your career.

Never be in confusion. It leads to things that can't be controlled in the future. The best example of this is choosing the wrong major or career path with no proper hold on it.


How to Shortlist Your College?

As discussed above, choosing your college is a complex task. Here are a few things that are worth considering if you in a stage of picking a university.

  1. Make sure that the college is providing financial assistance such as scholarships, student loans, and grants.

  2. Check if the tuition and fees are under your budget.

  3. Visit the college's official website for more information about student life, culture, extracurricular activities, community engagement, and much more. 

  4. Make sure the university offers the degree that you want to pursue.

  5. If you wish to stay on campus, make sure that the college has dorms/housing facilities.

  6. Use the college finder to search for ideal colleges.

  7. Know how the community and campus life at the university. 

  8. Check for the lab facilities (Library holding and computer labs)

  9. Also, keep an eye on your education and travel expenses. The time you take to travel to the campus matters too, see to it that you are not spending all your time traveling. 

  10. Make a thorough review of the details of all the US colleges that you are about to choose, and decide which is the most comfortable for you.


Small Colleges and Large Universities

Students generally tend to choose a large university just because of the brand name. Not everyone would clear the entrance of institutions like Berkeley, California University, Yale University, or any other premier university for that matter.

It is also worth considering the school that is not well recognized but is known for providing exceptional education and personalities.


Campus Life

It's great! You choose the college you want, the major you are interested in, and the expenses you would incur. The next thing is how you spend your time on campus. A student's life is not just about studies, books, and exams. It all about exploring your interest, hobbies, involvement in community services, and much more.

Remember, there are hell lot of clubs and organizations on campus that hosts events and activities almost every week. Join the club, be an active member and meet people from different countries.

Other things you can get involved on campus include athletics, services, student groups, arts & culture, and more.


Is your college under budget?

You have to make a monthly budget for your expenses as you research colleges. These costs include books, housing, personal expenses, tuition, admission fee, health insurance, and transportation.

You have to closely check all the colleges keeping in mind your family income. Check whether the colleges you are going to apply provides student loans, grants, scholarships which might be helpful for you to pay for tuition and other educational expenses.


Investigate Scholarships and Financial Aid

Most of the colleges/universities provide financial aid support and scholarships and nearly 340 colleges in the U.S. offer financial assistance.

Listed are the colleges that provided the most financial support to their students:

  • The University of Chicago

  • Williams College

  • Yale University

  • Skidmore College

  • Harvard University

  • Amherst College

  • Wesleyan University

  • Stanford University

  • Trinity College

  • Dartmouth College