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  Step 3: Choosing a College
Choosing a college that meets your educational/career goals and individual needs is not an easy task and is an important decision to make. When choosing a college you must consider the quality of education, reputation, admission requirements, costs, and financial aid. The process of choosing a college typically involves: knowing what you are looking in a school, researching those schools, and making a final decision.

Select a topic to help you choose a college:
Determine your career goals
Select College Characteristics
Research Options
Request College Applications and literature
Develop a Short List of Schools.
Visit the School(s).
Make a final decision.

Determine your career goals
There are many questions to ask yourself before choosing or applying to a college.

Consider the following questions:
Why do I want to go to college?
What do I hope to achieve in college?
Do I have some idea of what I want to study?
What are the educational requirements (i.e. Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree) for my planned career?
What type of school will I attend?
What schools offer programs specific to my career choice?
Which school do I really want to attend?
Do I want to live at home or go away to school?
Do I prefer an urban, suburban, or rural environment?
Do I want to attend a small college or a large university?
What matters most to me in choosing a school: location, cost, reputation, and class size?

Now that you have identified your career goals, you may have to attend a postsecondary school to attain the appropriate certificate, license, or degree required for that career. Your next step is to identify college characteristics that match your educational and career goals.

Select College Characteristics
The first step in selecting a school is to know what you are looking for. Select several characteristics that you consider important in your search for a school from the list below, and then start gathering information about schools that match your selected college characteristics.

Consider the following characteristics:
Type of School (i.e. Public or Private School, college, university, etc.)
Graduation and Retention Rates
School and Class Size
Admission Requirements
Location (i.e. urban, suburban, small town, or rural)
Distance from Home
Religious Affiliation
Ethnic Composition
Single Gender or Coed (i.e. women's/men's/coed)
Curriculums and Programs
Certificates, licenses, and degrees offered
Quality of education
Facilities (i.e. computer labs, libraries, restaurants, shops, and health clubs, etc.)
Campus Environment and security
Housing and transportation
Social Activities and Clubs (i.e. special interest groups, activities, fraternities/sororities)
Athletics (i.e. intramural and varsity sports)
Financial Aid
Job Placement (i.e. internships, co-operative education programs, etc.)

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Research Options

Written by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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