How to Choose a College

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How to Choose a College

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Each time you open the mailbox there is a new pamphlet or flyer advertising happy college students on campuses. In the photos, they always have lots of friends and do cool extra curricular activities that spark your interest. You might be torn since you want to leave the state to get away from parents, but it’s expensive. College is one of the biggest decisions you will make in life. Earning your degree opens the door to higher paying jobs and helps you learn independence for the first time. It’s a good idea to look at all of your options before moving forward with a quick choice.

College Application Deadlines

If you are planning on starting school in the fall the sooner you apply the better. If you are applying for your choice college ask during the spring of your senior year in high school. It’s most likely that you will be applying during May or June, but it’s better to know the exact cut off dates. Each school varies in how they deal with the application process. The schools that require an entrance exam, high school GPA, and essays, need more time to process your application. College test prep in Short Hills offers options to prepare students for college entrance exams. Most college student’s sign up for classes during the previous semester and the longer you wait the harder in might be to get into certain choice classes once you are accepted.

Finding the Right Location

It’s important to think about what is important to you. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a college.

  • Do you want to commute while living at home?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you studying abroad?
  • Is living in a dorm okay?
  • How safe is the campus?
  • Do you want to attend school with existing friends?
  • Did you a parent attend this school?

These questions greatly impact your decision to choose a school. Ultimately, you must sort the questions by importance. Safety might be at the top of your list if you are planning on going away for school. If you want to spend your first year studying abroad, look at your budget. So many students want to attend the same school as their closest high school friends, but you need to do what is right for you. Be honest and realistic with your goals for choosing a location. The same school that is good for your friend might not be a good school for you depending on your choice of major. If you already have a working idea of what you want to study look for schools that specialize in that field.

Rank Your Priorities

It’s important to merge your questions about school location with your priorities. Create a list of schools based on your location requirements, then write next to each school why you are considering attending. The best reasons should find themselves at the top and should include future goals not short term. A future goal would be your choice of major. A short-term goal would be rebellion from parents. Look at colleges with good intentions; this can be difficult if you have an idealized view of college. It’s not a party place to have fun on weekends without parents. Skipping class to have a good time on campus is a bad reason for going to college and is a colossal waste of time and money. If you are serious about attending college you will find that your choice schools will be reasonable and worth investigating. It’s okay to want freedom, but be a responsible adult about your future during this time in your life.

Acceptance Requirements

There are many schools that require a good GPA, high scores on entrance exams, or a college essay. This could limit your search right away. If you are an exceptionally good student, finding a college will be easier than someone who has struggled. It’s important to know that if you did not get the best grades in high school you can still go to college. With that being said, schools that don’t have requirements for GPA might place you on academic probation at the start of school. You need to prove that you are serious about committing to school. Your scores on entrance exams and your high school GPA determine where you might be on that scale.

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