Choosing a College: Myths, Mistakes, and Tips
Choosing a college can be difficult. This week we will be discussing some ways to help pick which college will be be the best fit for you. We'll discuss some myths and mistakes as well as some tips and advice for selecting a college.
MYTH #1: Ivy League schools are always the best.
TRUTH: Ivy League schools are great, but that does not mean that they will be the best for you. You need to pick a college that feels right to you and an Ivy League may not always be the best option.
MYTH #2: You have to know your major before you go to college.
TRUTH: Many people go to college and change their major while they are there. You don’t have to know which major you want before you pick which college to go to. Many people do not decide on their major until Junior year, so there is so much time to decide what you want to do.
MYTH #3: If you have never heard of a college, it must not be good.
TRUTH: Just because you haven’t heard of a college, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good school. Some great schools aren’t as well known which is why you need to research to find schools you may have not even heard of yet.
MYTH #4: Bigger schools are always better.
TRUTH: Bigger schools aren’t always better. Some people want to go to a large college while some would prefer a smaller one. Everything is based on your preference and just because a school is bigger than another doesn’t make it better.
MYTH #5: It’ll always be a quick and easy process.
TRUTH: For some people picking a college is a very easy process. Some people have had their college picked since they were kids. For others it is not so easy and can take a while. Everyone’s journey is different, don’t be discouraged if it takes you a while to figure out which college is the right fit for you.
MISTAKE #1: Only considering the colleges your family/friends want you to.
Pick the college that is right for you. Just because your friends are going there or your family went there does not mean it will be the college for you. Keep an open mind.
MISTAKE #2: Rushing the decision.
This is a big decision. Take your time to figure out where you want to go. Make pros and cons lists to help you decide. Don't just jump at the first college that accepts you.
MISTAKE #3: Picking a college without visiting first.
You need to visit the college campus before you decide if it is where you want to go. Being able to go tour the campus and see if you could picture yourself there as a student is a big help when deciding. If you don't visit first, you run the risk of hating it when you get there.
TIP #1: Check out the extracurricular activities provided. If you are looking to be involved in a particular extracurricular activity in college, you need to research the colleges to make sure that they have that activity on campus.
TIP #2: If you're leaning towards a certain major/field, make sure the college offers that program.
You need to ensure that the college you pick has the program of study that you want.
TIP #3: Compare financial aid packages.
Don’t base your decision primarily off which colleges gives the most money. If you are in between two schools and there is a major difference in how much money you will receive in scholarships that can be a big influence in your decision.
Pick the general location you want the college to be in. To help narrow down the colleges you look at, you need to figure out in what area you would like to go to college.
Figure out how big of a college you want to go to.
Do you want to go to a big or small college? This decision will also help narrow down which colleges you look at.
Make a short list of colleges.
Once you've narrowed down your options, make a short list of the colleges you would like to look at and research.