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Selecting what college/ university will be best for you can be overwhelming. So many great schools are available that offer great career courses and you get to choose only one. How do you determine what college will start off your career?
You have to consider what matters to you. Don’t let anyone coerce you into going to a college you don’t like or taking a course that doesn’t interest you. At this age, you are capable of making choices of your own depending on your interests and aspirations. Whatever your choices may be, they will play a huge role in your future success.
1. Identify all colleges/universities you would like to attend
Start with the basics. What are your values or needs? What’s important to you? Would you rather attend a college close to home, so you get to live close to family or miles away? Would you prefer to attend a small size or large school? Identify your needs and focus on what you consider a perfect school. This will help you select a few from the many available.
What location would best suit you? What seasons are you comfortable learning in? Winter? Summer? Alternatively, are you an all-year-round learner? Do you want to go sightseeing during your free time, or have some me-time at home with your books?
Does the idea of a college in the city excite you, or would you rather be in the suburbs? Is the nightlife necessary for you or do you prefer the open space and grassy fields? You could choose to change the setting if you have lived in the suburbs all your life and want the bust of the city and the noises. Make sure, however, that you can stick to your choice and won’t be missing the green fields and quiet after a week in the city. If you are used to the noise, large malls, and movie theaters, make sure a decision to move to the suburbs will not have you desperately seeking noise, even in the weirdest of places. Make a choice depending on the amount of change you can handle.
4. College/ University size
Would you be comfortable in a small or large school? Make a choice depending on whether you would like a school where everyone knows everyone else or where you remain anonymous. The size of the school matters in that a small school will offer more individualized attention while a large school will offer diversity and a wide selection of student services.
5. School category
Does the school specialize in one area of study? Is it affiliated with a certain religion? Is it a single-sex school? Is it private or public? Do they offer evening classes or part-time courses?
Your comfort should be a key concern here. Consider too your preferences and the resources offered by the school.
6. School cost
Can your parents/ guardians afford the cost of a certain college? Does the school offer financial aid, student loans, work-study programs, and scholarships?
Some schools offer scholarships to students with exceptional talents outside the classroom. You should not limit your choices depending on the cost of tuition. Some private schools offer privately funded scholarships, and you could give them a try.
When you finally pick a college/ university of your choice, read our article on what to avoid when writing a college application essay. The application essay plays a big part in getting you into the college/ university of your choice.
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