With so many colleges and universities to consider, many excited high-school juniors and seniors wonder how to find the best fit for them. TestPrepScore is eager to offer our best tips for narrowing down your list of target schools. Additionally, we offer some guidance on how to make the final decision of which college to attend and begin the next chapter of your life! Below are the top 5 tips to consider when applying to college.
Before starting your college research, think about what major or career you would like to pursue. If you already have a few in mind, write down a list of every potential major you would like to study. Based on this list, search for colleges with reputable degree programs in each of your fields of interest. This way, if you want to switch majors after a few semesters, you will not have to worry about transferring to an entirely different program.
Students and their families must consider the cost of tuition during the college search. Research or talk to a financial aid representative to get an idea of your financing options. To avoid unnecessary student debt, students must consider how their potential income compares to the cost of the degree. To help students afford tuition, most universities offer a variety of scholarships. Take into account what kinds of scholarships you may qualify for.
Many students underestimate how the size of the college will impact their overall experience. The size of the student body and campus are both personal preferences to consider. Do you perform well in lecture halls, or would you prefer a more intimate classroom setting? Would you love the opportunity to bike across a large campus, or prefer walking to class a short distance from the dorms? Are you great at seeking out a group of friends in a sea of students, or would you prefer seeing familiar faces every day? The size of the university determines how you will best succeed academically and socially.
Each student is different, and you want to make sure your school addresses your most important needs. Write down what is important to your experience. For example, students may want to participate in sports teams, Greek life, academic clubs and associates, religious groups, or want to be in a specific location. Make a list of what is most important to you and assess how each college meets your needs. Then, students can weigh the pros and cons accordingly to make an informed decision.
Ask yourself where do you want to be in four years? Does the university have a decent career center, internship programs, networking opportunities, or on-campus clubs that will help you get closer to your career? Is the cost of tuition affordable with your potential career’s salary? Be realistic about how the university can help you reach your long-term goals. For example, if you are looking to graduate with less debt, consider attending an in-state school that offers a strong program in your desired major.
Making a college decision involves many moving parts and careful analysis. If you need extra guidance in the college admissions process, it is best to hire the help of a professional college counselor. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more helpful tips that will streamline the college application process.