Choosing a college can seem like a game of Russian roulette. What happens if you choose the wrong college and wind up feeling stuck and resentful? When you are a sophomore or junior in high school, it can be hard to know what you should be looking for in a college. Do you just choose a college from a list, or is there a systematic way of choosing?
If you are a college student reading this article, you have come to the right place, because the reality is that there is a wrong way and a right way to choose a college. If you do it the wrong way, you may wind up making a mistake that could haunt you. Indeed, if you want to find the right college, all you have to do is avoid a series of mistakes. These mistakes are usually simple and innocent enough, but come from inexperience. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when choosing a college.
Neglect to Visit College Campuses
One of the biggest mistakes college students make is not visiting their college of choice. Indeed, it is important that you actually visit various campuses. A college will look very different, and feel very different, then it does online.
Doing Minimal Research
On top of visiting colleges, you also don’t want to make the mistake of not doing your research. Sure, a school may look great on paper and it may have a great study program, but what if you dig a little further and realize that it doesn’t have some key aspects of what you are looking for in a college experience? If you don’t do your research, you may find this out too late and not be very happy.
Choosing a School Based on Popularity
There are a lot of party schools out there. These are schools that are known for their social life, the spring break getaways and more. Some of these colleges are located in prime spring break locations, so it is almost like living in one giant frat party. If you feel like you can moderate yourself, then one of these colleges will be fine, but keep in mind you’re supposed to get an academic education and not just a social one while at school.
Enrolling in a School Without a Concentration in Your Intended Field of Study
Some schools have some great degree programs, like UAB’s online masters in accounting. If you have a specific field that you want to enter, or if you know what you want to do with your life, you want to confirm that the college you plan on attending actually offers that field of study with a strong track record of excellence.
Only Paying Attention to the Dollars and Cents
At the end of the day, you may get a lot of offers from different colleges. If you excelled in high school, you may actually be recruited for some very attractive scholarship programs. Considering how expensive a college degree is, it could be very tempting to select the school that offers the best scholarship or will cost the least to attend. However, if you select a school that is not the best fit for you or your academic pursuits, then you’ll wish you considered other factors in your decision-making process.