Questions to Ask When Deciding Which College to Attend

Post by: COYD Staff

finding the right collegeSo you’ve received 4 acceptance letters and now you have to choose which college is the best fit. The questions you must ask yourself when deciding which college to attend and which college to apply to are slightly different. When deciding to apply, you consider their academic program, the school’s focus, the school’s ranking, your chance of getting in, social life…etc. However, when you pick which school you are going to attend once you receive the acceptance letters, you have to ask a few more questions like:

1. Which school will help me get the best job after college?

A few things you need to investigate that will help answer that question:

a) Career services: Visit or call the career services department at the school. Ask them about campus recruiting, resume critiques, networking contacts, workshops…etc.

b) Hands-on experience: This point doesn’t pertain to everybody. Some students go into college not knowing what they want to do and want to explore a liberal arts degree, others know exactly what they want to do and want college to be an experience where they are equipped with the hands on skills by the time they graduate and perform their job. The only way to know is to ask. Call the dean of that department and ask questions about how they teach their students. Some colleges are more theory based, others aren’t. Get all the experience up front so you can make an educated decision when choosing your college.

c) Location

-Many times, companies that attend campus recruiting programs in the fall of the senior year are companies in the surrounding geographical areas. Especially with the down economy, companies are less and less likely to fly recruiters out to the different colleges for recruiting. They will much rather just have their recruiters drive to the surrounding universities to find their new first year employees.

– Jobs/Industry location: This point is best illustrated by an example. If you want to work in the film industry, location is important. If you don’t attend a college in Los Angeles or New York, you will have a hard time getting a valuable internship in those areas while you are in college or during the summers. Without internships, you are several steps behind those who went to school in those cities and worked during their college career.

d) Alumni Network: You need to find out if this college not only has reputable alumni but also if alumni have a history of helping out other alumni in professional circles. Alumni network is key to finding your first job out of college. Many times, alumni will give you your first job, internship, or referral.

2. Will I be able to handle the climate at a certain school?

Some students are naive to think that this question doesn’t matter. I have seen time after time, students flunking out of college because of depression and loneliness. Students from sunny states sometimes have a hard time going to school in the East Coast where it snows 1/2 the year. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real. Symptoms of SAD are difficulty waking up in the morning, morning sickness, tendency to oversleep as well as overeat, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on certain tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family and social activities. **¬†All of these symptoms are a formula for flunking out of college.

3. What do students really think about this school?
– Get feedback from the students and alumni themselves. There are several sites out there where you can connect with other students like Unigo or Collegeprowler.
– Knowing the campus culture beforehand can save you a lot headache and heartache the first semester. Below are several things you should research before choosing your college:

  • Town Life
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Quality of Life
  • Extracurriculars
  • Greek life
  • Social Scene

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