Choosing a college is an important and sometimes difficult process! With so many options and so many factors to consider — like tuition costs, scholarships, program offerings and extracurricular activities — it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But, with a little time and patience, you can find the college that’s right for you. First, make a list of all of your prospective colleges and ask these 5 questions designed to help you narrow down your list to the one or few that will be the best fit for you.
1. What major fields of study are offered?
Find out what fields of study are offered at your prospective colleges. This is very important. You’ll need to choose a school that offers the major you want to study, or at least a closely related major. If you’re unsure what you want to study, look for schools with a wide range of offerings that you are at least interested in pursuing.
2. How much will it cost?
Calculate how much money it will cost to go to each prospective school. You’ll need to consider several factors such as the total amount for tuition, books, fees and living expenses minus the total of all scholarships, financial aid, college funds or other money that’s been allotted for your education. Knowing how much it will actually cost out-of-pocket to go to each school will help you in the decision-making process. Be sure to include all costs for each school so you can compare apples to apples.
3. What “extras” are offered?
Explore the additional offerings of each prospective college. Things like intramural sports, cultural clubs and fitness facilities may help you choose between two schools in the end. See which school will best meet your personal interests and needs.
4. How far is it from home?
Another factor to consider is being away from home. Would you like to live at home and commute to campus? Live on or off campus and visit home on the weekends? Maybe you’re okay coming home for just the holidays. Either way, the distance from home will determine how often you can go home and how much it will cost to travel back and forth.
5. What additional opportunities are available?
Lastly, you should consider any additional opportunities for work, internships, outings or other experiences that you’re interested in. Whether the college offers such opportunities or you could seek them on your own, see what’s available in the vicinity of your prospective schools. This may help you make your final decision.
At Admiral Farragut Academy, our mission is to provide a college preparatory environment that fosters student success. We aim to help students achieve academic excellence, leadership skills and social development while preparing for the next phase in the journey — college. When the time comes for you to begin planning for this important next step, we hope you’ll find this guide helpful in navigating the many choices and decisions that must be made when choosing a college.