Choosing the Right College
Where to Start
Choosing where to go to college is a big decision, so it is important that you take your time to consider your preferences and options. A great place to start is to have conversations with your parents, family and friends. Keep in mind that the preferences of your family and friends may not be the same as your own, but these discussions can get you thinking about what considerations are most important to you.
What's Important to You
There are endless factors to take into account when choosing a college, but here are a few you may want to consider. There’s no simple rule to rank the importance of such considerations, so take the time to decide what matters most to you.
- Type of University: public vs. private; two year vs. four year
- Location of School
- Admissions Criteria
- Academic Programs
- Student Activities
- Campus Safety
- Cost/Financial Aid Availability
- Housing Options
- Size of Student Body
Start with these suggestions and compose your own additions to this list.
A List of Potential Colleges
To deepen your search, meet with your High School Counselor to get information on college catalogues, guidebooks and college fairs. Another popular source for information on colleges is on the web. Try using a search engine, like the California College Guide at (http://www.cpec.ca.gov/collegeguide/collegeguide.asp) or take virtual tours of various campuses at (http://www.ecampustours.com). Based on the information you are able to gather and your preferences, make a list of potential colleges. Your list should include 10-15 options during your junior year, but should be narrowed down to 3-5 in the Fall season of your senior year. Use the "College Comparison Worksheet " to compare each college.