Searching for college has never been easy for most students, and the pandemic is making the process extra challenging. After college decisions were released recently, many prospective students are struggling to decide which college they should commit to without having a chance to visit campuses in person. If you are lost, here are some factors you should consider before you pick the college that is right for you.
Score Your Options
The most important values to look for in a college are different for everyone. It can be academic quality, size, reputation, proximity, finance, availability for research and resources, etc. It’s crucial to line up your values and score your options for college accordingly. By scoring categories on a point scale, you will get a better idea of each college as a whole and its closeness to your ideal college.
If you did not have the opportunity to visit colleges and tour campuses pre-pandemic, researching online is a must. Visit college websites to learn the basics of their campus life and undergraduate studies. Don’t ignore emails from colleges. They often send out information about how you can attend virtual tours, events, and information sessions online. Personally, I think seeing the campus, even if it’s online, can help you feel closer to its unique ambiance and character.
Watching YouTube videos is the easiest way to quickly gain information about student clubs, organizations, residential life, and many daily experiences college students go through. Search videos about your potential colleges, and hear thoughts and advice directly from the people who actually go there.
College decision is definitely a huge decision in your life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contacting current students or alumni at a college you’re interested in is the best way to answer doubts or questions you may have. Make sure you are communicating your future plans with people who can support you.
Finally, consider if you feel a sense of belonging to a particular college. After research, ask yourself if this is a place where you would truly feel comfortable staying for the next few years. Do you like the student body and atmosphere? Does this place offer the right amount of help you need to proceed with what you want to study? If you keep these questions in mind, you can’t go wrong with your gut feeling.