After The Envelope: Unigo's Guide to Deciding Between Colleges

How to Choose the Right College

By Jessica Gross

For months you’ve been biting your nails and holding your breath, waiting to find out which colleges are going to give you the big “YES!” Now, you’ve got a stack of thick envelopes from all the colleges that want you to say yes to them. Of course, you can't spend too long relishing the role reversal: after all, a four-year, thousands-of-dollars, life-altering decision is on the line. How will you choose?

Don’t panic: Unigo is here to help! Whether you're wondering if you can squeeze more financial aid out of your top choice, calculating which school can get you furthest from home, or reconsidering your tolerance for sub-zero winters, we’ve got everything you need to pick the college that’s right for you. 

Find out what it's really like to go to the schools on your list

You've already gorged yourself on guidebooks and perused the admissions pamphlets; wouldn't you rather find out about colleges directly from the students who attend them?

  • First, take an inside look at the colleges you're considering: you'll find comprehensive overviews of hundreds of colleges, all based on what students have to say about their schools.
  • Then, dig deeper and find student reviews written by people like you at each college. 
  • You can also browse thousands of student-created videos that show you what life is really like on campuses across the country, including dozens of interviews with students explaining how they chose their colleges.

Join the conversation

Still have questions about any of your top choices? Ask them on our College Forums.

And if you need a place to vent, look no further than our College Search Forum.

We also recommend The Choice, a college admissions blog hosted by New York Times education writer Jacques Steinberg.

Get advice from recent grads

Before you pack your bags for admitted students' weekends and make your final call, get advice from recent grads to put yourself in the best position to make an informed decision.

  • Where should I start? Eight questions to ask when deciding between colleges 
  • How can I enhance my financial aid package? Is there anything I can do to get more money from my top choice school? Budget Student's Guide to Financial Aid 
  • What should I do if I got waitlisted? How to Handle a Holding Pattern: What happens if you're waitlisted or deferred 
  • How can I milk campus visits? Making the most of your college visits 
  • What questions should I ask on campus? Getting the Most out of Campus Tours, College Fairs and Info Sessions and The College Visit: What to ask on your overnight stay 
  • Should I take a gap year to wait til the economy perks up? The Gap Year: When it makes sense to take a year off 
  • Is there anything else I should consider? Little Things Can Be a Big Deal