Kayla's Tips for Choosing a College

choose college

Now that it’s the beginning of April, many high school seniors are deciding on colleges to attend come fall. College choice can depend on a variety of factors and can feel stressful at times, but it’s also a fun and exciting time. Kayla, one of our amazing Class Tracker Ambassadors, is sharing how she chose a college in this week’s blog post. 

I had no idea where to start when I was beginning to look for a college in high school. All I knew was I wanted to study either science or English. That was it. Looking for colleges can be daunting, but there were a few things that helped me narrow the search!

Location

Do you want to stay close to home or go across the country? Are you looking for something rural or in a city? When I was visiting colleges, I was adamant that I wanted to go to a big city school until I visited one and changed my mind. I have friends who are going to big state schools and friends who are going to small private schools. Think about where you will be happiest. In a city? In a small town? 

Price and Scholarships

One of the biggest stressors when it comes to college is finding a way to pay for it. I went to one school that offered me little to no scholarship money, and another that gave me more. Make sure you look into how much tuition and housing is, and then look into what scholarships the school provides. 

Programs

Before I switched to an English major, I was studying Food Science. Not many schools had that major, so I had to make sure that every college I visited or looked into had that program. This is a pretty basic one, but make sure the schools you are looking at have the specific programs you’re interested in!

Extracurriculars 

Do you want to play sports? Join the band? Are there certain clubs and organizations you’re hoping to be a part of? Most college websites have easily accessible lists of their extracurriculars, so don’t forget to see if they have any that interest you. It’s always nice to have something to do on campus that isn’t related to academics!

City Life

The first college I went to was in an incredibly small town. I wasn’t within walking distance of a grocery store or most restaurants, and the only place I could walk to was a coffee shop (an amazing coffee shop by the way). If you aren’t planning on having a car with you on campus, I would make sure you have an accessible way to get groceries and go out (because sometimes dining hall food just won’t cut it). 

I had a pretty crazy college search. I visited three schools and picked the third school I visited, ended up going to community college for one year, then transferred to the school I had visited, then transferred again to a school closer to home. The most important thing to remember is that you can transfer at any time if the school you pick isn’t right for you. There is a lot of pressure when it comes to picking a school, but don’t worry. There is definitely a school out there that is perfect for you!

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