Whether you are in the beginning of making a list of schools to apply to or you have been accepted and need to make your final decision, choosing a college, university, trade school, or any post-secondary option can be very difficult. There are many things to think about and consider, and this blog will help you begin to narrow down the list!
Academics is definitely one of the most important aspects of post-secondary education. When looking at academics, it is important to consider your major and your goals for the future. If you want to become a journalist, it is important to go to a school that provides a good right programs and communication opportunities to further you and prepare for your career. Look on your school's website(s), social media, or ask alumni and counselors for what the school can provide to further you.
Type of College
Many students have different desires for their futures. As a student considering different schools, it is very important to consider what type of school you want to go to. Does your future career require a Bachelors degree and therefore a 4-year college? Do you only need or want an Associates degree or trade school for 2 years? Do you want to go to public or private institution or a historically black college or university? These are all great questions to asl yourself and consider as you are trying to pick schools.
The location of a school is very important both for the opportunities and for you. For some future jobs, being in rural cities allows you to be closer to more opportunities while it may be the opposite for other jobs. Along with that, would you rather live near home and commute or on campus? While considering the location, consider the campus life and culture. Are there clubs that you may enjoy or pertain to your major? Are they big on sports or Greek life? Yes, education is important but you also want to be somewhere you will enjoy for the next few years!
The cost is always important! Will you be able to pay this out of pocket? Scholarships? Loans? A little bit of all? Does the school have a promise or possibility on a return on your investment? Money is an important aspect in the whole process, but also try not to let it deter you!
Acceptance rates, graduation rates, retention rates? These are important to look at for your longevity at a school. Do you have a good chance of even getting in if you are in the application process? If you are accepted, do they have a good graduation rate? A graduation rate can be a representation of how well the schools helps their students to get to graduation, and therefore how well they would help you. It is also nice to look at job placement after graduation. Are a good percentage of the graduates able to obtain a job, especially in their major?
The college process is difficult and long, which is why it is good to take your time and look at all your options, along with reading blogs like this and videos like the ones linked below to aid in your process. Good luck!