When you go through the process of picking a college, it can feel a little bit like you are making the decision of a lifetime. Of course, it can feel this way, but you want to be sure not to think about that when you are actually filling out the application. You don’t want to be writing your essay and worry that this one writing assignment could determine your future success as this will only hold you back.
When you are making your decision to apply to various colleges, you want to have a very set number of criteria that you follow. Ideally, you don’t want to veer too far away from this criterion, because it will help you streamline your entire college application process. The last thing you want is to apply to too many colleges. Not only is this time consuming, but it may also be expensive. Here is how to decide which colleges to apply to.
Make the Rounds and Go on In-depth Tours
Of course, when you reach your sophomore or junior year of high school, you want to go on a lot of college tours. Doing this early will give you enough time to really experience a bunch of different colleges without cramming them in. The more tours you go on, the more informed your decision process will be.
Meet With the RAs of College Dorms
Another thing that is important when you visit college campuses is checking out the dorm. Sure, a college may be great, but if the living facilities are run down or dirty, you may not want to go to that college. If you really love the college, just knowing that you will need to live off campus will help you make a decision on whether to apply or not.
Spend a Few Days in the Town Where the College is Located
On top of making sure the living quarters are nice, you also want to make sure that the town is nice too. A college’s town could be crime-ridden or there may not be much to do. If you are very social, you may only want to apply to colleges that have a social environment.
Look Beyond the Name
Many people apply to a certain college because of the college’s name and assumed prestige. For instance, Harvard has a great name and a great business school program, but what about other colleges with a less known name. For instance, University of Maryland’s best online MBA degree will set you up in the world of business and will open many doors.
Confirm the College Focuses on Your Field of Study
On top of everything, you want to make sure that the school you are applying to actually has the type of program you are interested in. If a college doesn’t offer a degree program in this field, you may not want to apply. In the end, the purpose of college is put yourself in a position where you are doing something you love doing.