Most students have chosen where they are going to college, but there are those who are biting their nails as time winds down. Each day I speak to another confused student: “Should I pick the school that has the better curriculum or the one where I feel more comfortable socially? The one with the better dorms or the one with the better science labs?”
There are hundreds of points of comparison between institutions. Here are some questions to ask to help you pick:
1: Curriculum: Does the school have the course of study I might want? If so, do they have enough other options should I change your mind? Have I looked at the requirements? (Often students fail to do this and are surprised that they need a lab science or two semesters of a foreign language.)
2: Financials: Can my family afford the cost of the school for four years? Are any scholarships dependent upon keeping a certain grade point average?
3: Location: Can I live with the setting? If the school is in a city, does it provide the campus life I may want, and if it’s suburban or rural, am I comfortable in that setting?
4: Advising: Does the school have an advising department or a program for advising? You might want to call and ask who will help you to pick your courses and make sure there is someone to answer your academic questions.
5: Expectations: Are you realistic in your expectations for the school? Are you clear on the number of students that will be in your freshman classes? Can you learn in a larger setting? Are you going to college for the right reason: To learn? Do I feel comfortable socially and do I see kids I think I can be friends with.
6: Level of Rigor: Am I willing to put in the time needed to do well at any school, especially the one I’ve chosen? Is there enough balance for me between work and play?
7: Independence: As silly as this sounds, are you ready to go? Do you take care of your own academic problems, get yourself up and out the door and make your own plans?