5 tips to choose the best college for you

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Ingrid Hofmann

Choosing a college is hard, but these 5 tips will guide you to choose the best school for you!

Ramya Subramaniam, Student Life Editor

With Spring coming up many seniors will finalize their plans for post secondary education. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, use these five tips to make sure you make the best college decision.

 

1- Choose a major

This may be the toughest decision that you will have to make before choosing a college. It is good to explore a variety of classes in high school. Even if you are set on a major, it is important to look at other options to make sure that you are choosing the major that you will enjoy. 

 

2- Create a list

Everyone looks for different characteristics in a college. Sit down and think about what you are truly looking for. Things like distance from home, opportunities available and rigor of the education are aspects that should be considered here. It may even be helpful to write down where you see yourself in the next 10 years and how you want a college to help you get there.

 

3- Consider financials

This is a conversation that every prospective college student should have with their parents. Even though it’s hard, financial limitations have a heavy impact on the college decision. But don’t worry because there are many places where you can get money to help you pay for college. Creating a plan early on how you want to go about financial aid and scholarships will help you in the long run. Some documents to think about are the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile). Colleges will also have additional scholarships applications. Also consider applying for the PV Educational Foundation Scholarships!

 

4- Check rankings

Even though there are big name schools like Harvard, Princeton and Stanford, it is important to check the rankings for your major. The former schools have well-rounded programs but you may be surprised to see other universities on the list that you may have never considered. US News is a great place to find these rankings. On a web browser, just type your major and look for the undergraduate rankings (ex. electrical engineering undergraduate rankings). Remember that rankings are not the most important part of choosing a college. You need to make sure that wherever you choose, you will be able to fit in and thrive in the environment. Do not get caught up in rankings.

 

5- Take tours

Many students do this before applying to colleges, which is very useful, but it is most important to visit colleges when you have been admitted. Visiting after you are admitted gives you the opportunity to truly envision yourself at a college. There are many virtual college tours that can give you a good idea of what a campus may be like but going there in person will help you understand the atmosphere of the school.