As the school year is slowly coming to an end, high school juniors and seniors are faced with another great challenge; college applications. Going to college is usually the main reason why students work so hard during their 4 years of high school. Therefore, narrowing down the thousands of schools to only a few is a very important process when trying to determine a college that fits with a student’s needs. College is the next chapter of a high schoolers life, so it is crucial to attend a school that helps one to grow and prepare for the real world.
Before researching and applying to colleges, it is important to ask oneself “why am I going to college?” The answer to this question may vary; one may bring up the idea that college helps educate oneself further or prepares one for more professional social interactions and relationships. These answers may be different for everyone, as individuals have different goals and interests. Students should spend time to truly think about this question, as it can be beneficial when trying to choose suitable colleges.
A few factors that many students consider when applying to colleges are location, cost of attending, social environment, and education. These four aspects of colleges greatly influence whether one should or should not consider applying. First, location is extremely important when selecting a college. According to the University of South Florida, the old real estate mantra of prioritizing location holds true for colleges as well. A student may prefer living farther away from their family or going to college where the climate is sunny. Knowing if the college is in an urban, suburban, or rural area can help determine if transportation is easy or difficult. Another aspect to look for is the cost of attending. Costs differ drastically and mostly group into community, public, and private college. It is important to keep options open and compare how much financial aid numerous colleges can provide a student with. In addition, the campus environment or social life is another significant aspect of college. Because students will most likely live on campus, the environment and services open for students is another factor to observe. Residence halls, dining halls and restaurants, recreation opportunities, and clubs are a few specific examples. Last, but often most important for students, is the education they receive. Many students go to college to further their education, so looking at colleges that can give you the best experience with learning is vital. A first step may be to go to the college’s website and find programs or majors that best suit your interests. These four factors are just a few from many to be considered; however, examining every one in detail will help you formulate the best college list that fits you.
I hope this has helped high school students that are applying to college or are trying to decide which to attend. Applying to colleges that best fit your needs is crucial to having a healthy lifestyle when attending one’s first away from home schooling.