As those college acceptance letters start to roll in, now you’ve reached the final phase in your decision process. Which school will you choose? As you complete your final semester in high school, use these tips to review your top choice colleges and decide where to enroll for fall semester.
Check out their Facebook page or other groups related to the school. Observe student comments, and don’t be afraid to dive in and ask questions. Most current students will be happy to help you out.
Check out review websites. Princeton Review is a great place to gather stats on different schools, like class sizes or graduation rates. If you’re interested in more personal accounts of college life, head over to Unigo for first-person reviews.
Browse the course catalog. Read descriptions for classes in your intended major field, but also explore electives or possibilities for a minor. Which school’s course catalog makes you feel excited about learning?
Look for first-year programs. Programs specially designed for first-year students can provide terrific social experiences for Freshmen. Their emphasis on interdisciplinary learning will show you what college is really all about, and help you get acclimated to a new academic atmosphere.
Compare financial aid packages. Ultimately, you will hopefully end up at the school that is truly the best fit for you. But finances matter too; there’s no point in taking on way more debt than necessary if you’re torn between two colleges that offer roughly equal opportunities. If finances are the deciding factor, then you will likely feel satisfied with the more affordable option.
Go for one last visit. Before you officially enroll, head over to your chosen school for one final visit. Make sure you’ve covered all the bases: Check out the dining halls, tour a dorm, sit in on a few classes, explore the library, and attend a campus event. By now you will have a pretty good feel for the school, and you’ll know whether it’s the right one for you.