51 Best Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

Whether you are soon transitioning from high school to college or looking to further your education, it takes more than meets the eye to choose the right college.

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Luckily, this process is much simpler if you know the important things to prioritize.

In this article, we look at five factors to consider when choosing a college.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

Years of hard work and standardized tests have led you to this moment, there are already a few college acceptances in hand, and now it is time to choose which one you will attend.

Below are a few major factors you must consider to choose the right school that is fit for you.

Student support services and amenities offered

You will need to study and live comfortably while in college, which is why evaluating an institution’s amenities is crucial.

Inquire and learn about the student support services and on-campus facilities that a college offers to determine how well the school will help you to grow academically and in other aspects of life.

Along with providing essential facilities such as residential halls, libraries, dining halls, and entertainment facilities, future-ready institutions like the American International College offer excellent student support services like online library resources to make learning easier.

Academic majors

Your career choice should play a primary role in helping you choose the best college, as various institutions tend to specialize in specific majors.

For example, if you are interested in becoming a marine biologist, you are better off opting for the top-ranking marine biology colleges over a technical college.

Keep in mind that some colleges provide a broader range of academic programs and can accommodate diverse student needs.

Costs

The cost of attending college significantly varies, and before choosing an institution, it is vital to inquire about the charges you will incur over the years of your study.

Expected costs to ask about include tuition fees, housing, meals, books, and other materials you will need for your major.

You should then figure out how you will fund these costs without getting into crippling student debt. Popular options to explore are the college’s financial aid, grants, and scholarship opportunities.

Location

The location of a college plays a primary role in determining how high or low the cost of attending the school will be.

Typically, it costs more to learn in colleges in major cities as everyday expenses such as accommodation, transportation, and food will be higher than in smaller towns or states.

A college’s location will also determine factors such as the climate, proximity to family, pastime activities you can engage in, and available employment opportunities, influencing how perfect the institution will be for the long term.

College Reputation

A college’s reputation is an important metric as it reflects the school’s academic quality, overall competence, and the caliber of students it attracts.

High-ranking colleges also tend to have excellent job placement rates and opportunities, giving you a good head start in your career.

These colleges have up-to-date resources, a global appeal, and a unique culture that will make campus life memorable while allowing you to stand out from the crowd.

Complete List of Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

  • Accreditation

  • Entrance Prerequisites

  • Location

  • STEM vs. Liberal Arts

  • Course Availability

  • Admission Rate

  • Graduation Rate

  • Freshmen Retention Rate

  • Transfer rate of Students:

  • Graduating Class Indebtedness

  • Student to Faculty Ratio

  • School Size

  • Professional Schools within the university (such as nursing school, business school, etc.)

  • Quality of Department of Study

  • Course of Study

  •  Degree completion time

  • Prestige vs. Specialization

  • Curriculum

  • Quality of Professors

  • Teaching Assistants

  • Application Fees

  • Housing options

  • Cost of Living

  • Meal Plans

  • Dining Halls & Restaurants

  • Cost to Travel Home 

  • On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing

  • Greek Life Participation

  • Scholarships 

  • Work-Study and Campus Job Opportunities

  • Study Abroad Opportunities

  • Alumni Network 

  • Diversity – College is a time to learn about perspectives different from your own

  • Internships

  • Tours Aren’t Everything

  • Speakers and Visiting Professors – Check out the speakers, visiting professors, and artists that have visited each college.

  • Extracurricular Activities

  • Surrounding City

  • Weather

  • Sports Participation

  • Food Options

  • Car and Public Transportation

  • Jobs Right Out of School

  • Safety Statistics

  • Party Life

  • Demographics(gender, race, and religion)

  • Spirituality

  • Culture

  • Festivals & Fairs

  • The Library!

Endnote

One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in life is finding the right college. Fortunately, this does not have to be stressful when you can confidently make the right pick by considering the above-mentioned factors.

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