When choosing a college, what really matters?


Visit enough colleges and they all start to blur together in your mind. We asked students to share their tips for getting the most out of campus visits.

Take your time when choosing a college. Go visit. It’s really important to see what the campus atmosphere is like to help you decide whether it will be a worthy home away from home. Some colleges look great on paper, but when you pull up to the campus, you think “ewwwww.” It happens! When you find a good fit, you’ll know. Don’t get discouraged. Just make sure you are open-minded and start out with a few criteria that are important to you, like the size of the city. Don’t let where your friends (or for goodness sake your significant other) are going influence you. Do what feels right for you.

– Jessica, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Visit twice before deciding. Parents, tour guides, and boring lectures usually accompany the first visit. Try and go with another student, or stay with someone you know there.

– Kristina, Indiana University at Bloomington

Even if I’d just stopped a few students walking around and asked them about their personal experience at a school, it might have helped.

– Jordan, Johns Hopkins University

Mark Montgomery, PhD, of Montgomery Educational Consulting explains the range of curricular choices available to college students to help you make a decision about which sort of curriculum structure is right for you.

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