Choosing a college to attend is never easy. There are so many out there and so many that offer great educational opportunities. Yet you want to make sure that you’re not being making your college choice for the wrong reasons. There are a bevy of things that either might sound like a good reason for choosing a college or appeal to your fun-living side that can ultimately mean that you miss out on a college that’s really a better match for your needs and goals. So why shouldn’t you be using to decide what college to attend? Here are some of the biggies.
Name recognition. Can the prestige of a college play into your decision to attend? Sure. Should it be the only reason you want to go to a school? No way. While going to a big name college can be great, it doesn’t always ensure the best match for you as a student. Do your research, visit schools and learn what you really want before making any decisions.
Your parents went there. Students can often feel a lot of pressure from parents to attend their alma mater. While it might make mom and dad proud, it may not make for the best decision for you as an individual. Evaluate your school choices from a logical, not emotional, standpoint. Your parents will understand if you choose another school.
Proximity to your home. Whether you want to get far, far away from your parents or stick close to home, don’t make this the exclusive deciding factor when choosing a school. While shaking things up can be great, if the best school for you is only a few miles from your home, don’t discount it for that.
Your best friend or significant other is going there. While relationships can be an important part of college, they shouldn’t be the reason you’re choosing or not choosing a school. Your best friend will still be your best friend even if you choose different schools and you might be pretty upset if you choose a college because of a SO and you break up the first few months you’re there. Choose a college for you, no one else.
The scenery. It can be tempting to choose a school that’s right on the beach or in the mountains, but the scenery shouldn’t make or break your college decision. You should love the school and its educational offerings just as much as where the college is located.
There are a lot of factors students need to consider when choosing a school to attend for the next four or more years, but obviously some should be more or less important than the others. Push these to the bottom of the list when you’re making your decision to help you get the right match for your needs.