Getting into college is a big deal! Now that you have done it, how do you decide? A big factor for you may be the cost, but we want to focus on other factors in this blog which contribute to making a final decision. Your overall fit with a college is very important so that you are better able to graduate in four years. What are some of the factors that may set a college apart from another?
Factor 1: Your Academic Success
Is the college committed to your success? Colleges can go the extra mile for their students with the services they provide. Do they offer to help you with your essays for class through a writing lab? What tutoring options do they have for your math or science classes? Do they have a career services office? If you have a disability of some kind, do they offer any help to you specifically? If this is important to you, be sure to speak up.
Factor 2: Your Living Arrangement
What about the housing situation? Are you living in the dorms or off-campus? What are the policies of on-campus housing? Does your college allow you to bring a car your freshman year? A public school may allow men and women to be on the same floor in the same housing complex, while a private, religious school may not only have separate housing for men and women but even restrict visitors of the opposite sex at all in your room. Take the time to do the extra research on this matter so that your living situation is what you want it to be.
Factor 3: Your Learning Environment
Class size is another factor that can be important to some students. The classes you take as a freshman will be different from those later on in your college career. As a freshman you may have larger lecture classes. Will you have a hard time learning in a class with 100-200 people? While you may have a large introductory class of 100 students, your upper-level classes may have 12-15. This research is a bit more in-depth as you sort out a final college choice, but may help you make it to those upper-level courses.
Factor 4: Your Sense of Safety
Will you feel safe at this school? Safety is not just something for a parent to consider, it is important for students as well. What crimes have been committed on or around campus in previous years? Does the school have police officers that patrol the area? Do they offer emergency call boxes around campus to call for help if needed? A school where you do not feel safe may challenge your overall success.
We hope these questions helped you to consider other matters as you make a final college choice. CAA coaches are here to discuss these issues and more as they relate to your colleges.