What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college?

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Our counselors answered:

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college?

Jane McClure
Partner McClure, Mailory & Baron Educational Counseling

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college?

Here is my video response to the question.

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college?

Would you be happy there...that is the only question.

Lin Johnson III

It's all about fit!

Choosing a college should be a reflection of who you are and what you hope to become. In a way, the real purpose of college should expand beyond receiving a quality education, but also growing as a person and a leader. Hence, the most important factors in choosing a college depend on your own interests, values, goals, beliefs, views, strengths, and weaknesses. I could list the usual suspects such as graduation rate, diversity, class size, reputation, professors, extracurricular activities, etc. However, what you might deem as a top priority someone else might not. Also, the tradeoffs among the different factors that each individual is willing to make may vary. Our advice is to construct a list of your goals, views, interests, values, etc. that are important to you, prioritize these factors, and check off which colleges harmonize with the highest numbers of these factors because each college will have tradeoffs. For example, Harvard is known for its innovative research, which may come at the cost of large class size and less access to certain professors. When you establish what is most important to your future, the right college will fit like a glove. You will have the feeling that this college is right for me!

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

balance between academic enviornment and social opportunities

students shall understand what each college has to offer and what they are looking for. many colleges will not work for students trying to find answers for four years. rention rate and career placement are the two most important facts for many students.

Ellen erichards@ellened.com
Owner Ellen Richards Admissions Consulting

The following guidelines will help you avoid common mistakes and keep you focused on what's importan

Location. Make sure your preference of school location will offer academic advantage otherwise, it will not benefit you in the long run. Affordability. If you have limited funds to use for college, and you haven't received any scholarships, you should definitely make a financial plan. shortcomings to avoid wasting of your money. Academics. It's helpful to have at least a vague idea of what you'd like to study, so you can choose an institution tha has programs related to it. It's improtant to remember that, first and foremost, you're at school to learn. Size. Know how many people you'd like to be surronded by - will you learn better when you have small classes and personal attention from professors, or do you work more efficiently when you're independent and can blend into the background of large lectures. Just remember... it is not good idea to go to a school just because a bunch of friends are going there... Always consider the academic advantages.

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

Will you optimize your experience?

The best way to determine what factors will be important considerations is to begin by visiting a variety of college campuses. Students who visit a broad range of schools are able to tease out aspects of campuses that appeal to them. This is the process of learning the elements of a good fit school. Students should feel good on campus. A campus should be able to stretch the student to enable growth while providing comfort. The three elements of fit are academic, social and financial. A good fit will encompass all three components.

gail meyer
Educational Consultant Indpendent

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college?

Students and their families frequently focus on admission to brand name colleges and universities rather than schools that meet academic and personal needs. My role is to guide students and their families through the challenges of preparing for and gaining admission to a college or university that will support their academic, social and personal goals. As an Educational Consultant my objective is to simplify the college search process and maximize educational opportunities. I assist families in identifying a student’s strengths, interests, talents and goals to identify a range of colleges most appropriate for their child. By educating families about the range of educational options available, families learn that there are many colleges which will offer an excellent academic and extracurricular experience for their child.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

There's An App For That Too

Download Collegeapp if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It's a free app that enables students to create an avatar using fit attributes such as size, location, Greek life, geography, climate, cost and selectivity. These are among some of the most important fit factors.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Factors to Consider

Choosing a college is such a personal experience. It can be challenging to not succumb to the influences of family/friends, marketing tactics and financial factors. It is important to determine that the school offers the course of study that interests you. It is equally critical that you feel good about the extracurriculars as well. Distance from home, size of school, location of the campus, and financial aid are all valid points to weigh in the decision making process.

Trevor Creeden
Director of College and Career Counseling Delaware County Christian School

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college?

This is a very important question that should be different for most students. You obviously can start with location (close to home or far way), do you want a school in the city or suburbs, number of students (small or big school or is class size important), Christian vs. Non-Christian, Cost or the major you are interested in pursuing among others. Once you pick the one (or more) of the factors above that are important you can start talking about more on campus factors like the dorms, the food, the facilities, library, etc. These are factors that will be decided upon after a visit on the campus. When visiting you can also ask about real specific factors that may be important to you like placement in jobs after you graduate in the major you are interested in, campus safety statistics, study abroad, etc. There are a lot of factors that you can consider but it is up to you which ones are the most important and then what colleges match those factors.