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Find the Right College

Once you decide to go to college, it’s time to find the perfect campus. Empowering yourself with important information about each college you’re interested in, will help ensure that you make the best decision.

Sometimes, people have a hard time finishing school, simply because they didn’t pick a university that fits their lifestyle, personality and finances.

Young woman on college campus

Here are some things to consider

What type of college are you most interested in?

  • A 2-year community college?
  • A 4-year college or university?
  • Private, public or no preference?

What size college do you want?

  • A large state university with 15,000 or more students: Larger schools have larger class sizes, especially in your first two years, which means that teachers give you less individual attention. They usually have more classes and majors to choose from and more activities on campus, such as sports and music.
  • A mid-sized college or university with 3,000-15,000 students: Mid-sized schools usually have smaller class sizes than larger state schools, but may have fewer courses and activities to choose from. It is important to make sure a mid-sized school offers the kind of courses you are interested in.
  • A small college with 3,000 students or less: Small colleges often feel a lot more like highs schools-you tend to know almost all of the students and teachers and everything is very close together. You will likely have fewer courses to choose from, but will receive a lot of individualized attention from your teachers.

Where do you want to go to college?

  • Do you want to go away to college or commute to a local school?
  • Do you want to come home often or just on the holidays?
  • Would you rather go to college in a city, suburbs or rural area?

What do you want to study? The type of program is very important. You should get answers to these questions:

  • Which colleges have majors I might be interested in?
  • Which are the graduation rates?
  • What are the sizes of the classes in a particular major?

What type of activities do you want to participate in?

  • What kinds of extra activities do they have/do I want? (like sports, fraternities/sororities and the arts).
  • What type of housing is there? How are dorms assigned?
  • Is there anything to do on the weekend or after school hours?
  • How diverse is the school? Would I be welcomed there?

How much can you afford?

  • What are the total costs of tuition, books, room and board?
  • What types of financial aid does the school have?
  • Is the school located in an expensive town?
  • Would I need a car if I went to this school?

To get help picking the right college, visit these college search websites:

Don’t let this be your last step. Get empowered and TAKE THE PLEDGE! Connect with people just like you and share stories about applying for college.