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Important Factors when Choosing a College

Updated on December 17, 2011

Why Decide?

Why do you have to decide on a college? Can't you just randomly pickthe first one that accepts you? That would be a sad choice. What if a college across the ocean accepts you but you have no money or way to get there?

When it comes to picking a college, you need to think of a few different questions.

  • Do you want a place to travel to or to live near?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What is the GPA possibilities?
  • Where is the location?
  • What is the college known for?
  • Do they have what you desire in an education?

Near or Far?

Do you want to go to college near where you live now? You can stay in a similar environment. Everything will be familiar. Few things will change. Going to college will be just another thing to do. Just like high school, just like work. You will know where everything is around the college. Which neighborhoods are good to live in? Where can you go to get cheap books?

Do you want to go to college over seas? You can learn and live in a new place. You might have to know a new language, but there is some joy in living in a new environment. There are a few sad moments, like learning the right hand movements. (The finger in American means the same as the peace sign in another country.) If you do desire to live and go to college overseas, choose the location wisely.

Cost possibilities?

Cost is a major factor in this economy. Going to a high paying institution demands being a slave of loans for years after you have received your degree. And if you get married, your partner might have thousands more in loans just waiting to be paid. However, do not always say that the highest priced college is the best. Sometimes a $40,000 a year college has the same education as a $15,000 university.

Which one will make you more satisfied after your degree? Which one will not kill your pockets? What is more affordable? What will you not be ashamed of later?


When getting into a college, you have to focus on your GPA. But not only yours is important, what are the normal GPA's of the other students attending the university. This might tell how difficult the classes will be. Also it answers the question of what would be expected of you. Typically classes with higher student GPA's tend to cost more.

Not only does your GPA matter, but important as well are your SAT and ACT testing grades. These can make or break your chance to get into a university. Most unisverisites have an average for who they accept. It can be a combination of the three or each one individually.

Keep your eyes on the scores. They might help your choise.

Location, Location, Location

I don't mean how far or if the university campus is overseas. I'm talking about the campus neighborhood. Where is the university in the state? What part of the country? If you live in the south all of your life, will you attend a university in Alaska? It would be a rather dramatic change. The transformation might harm your scholastic possibilities. Say you cannot unfreeze your car in time to get to class and miss an exam.

Also, where is the university in the main city? Is it near the mall, businesses, or police station? You might have to drive an hour for a job or to go shopping for clothes or healthy food. Is the university on the sidelines of the city or in the center? Is the university in a bad part of the city? I know of a few universities that is in the center of the bad area of a main city. In the surrounding couple of miles, there are fights and drug raids, constantly. It all depends on where the university is.

Did you hear?

Another good factor to focus on consists of what the college is known for. Some universities are known for their technology, psychology, education, biology, medical, english, or criminal justice. Which area are you going into? Focus on just the main one, your major. Try to choose the college fitted for your major. More specifically, which college is focusing on what you intend to study in your major? One college known for english might have a wonderful program in english majors but will not have a creative writing program to match.

Also focus on what the colleges overall ratings are. There is a list that has the top 100 universities in the United States. The list rates everything. Dorms, number of students, student/teacher ratio, the average student GPA, and average tuition.


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      8 years ago

      Great article! There are so many factors to consider when looking at colleges - I especially thought your poitn about GPAs was really smart, it's not something I thought to look at when I was applying to schools but it is defintiely a great factor to look at in the application process.


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