When I was in high school, my number one concern was college. I wondered how to choose a college basically every day until I made the decision! The choice of which college to attend for four whole years of your life is definitely a big one. There’s so much to consider – location, price, reputation…it can definitely be overwhelming! Now that I have a full year of college under my belt, I decided to write about how I chose my college and my tips for anyone currently trying to decide.
There’s a lot of factors to look at when it comes to choosing a college, so I broke my tips down into three categories. I’m going to look at the importance of price, reputation, and location. Obviously there’s plenty of other reasons to choose or reject a school – these were just the most important to me! But before I get into my tips for those of you who are looking at colleges now, I’ll give a brief overview of how I chose my college.
I currently attend the University of Central Florida, and to put it simply, I love it. I couldn’t be happier with my school! It definitely wasn’t an easy decision to come to though! Overall, I’d say I was pretty successful in high school. I had a 4.3 GPA, tons of AP classes, and I was president of a club! As a result, I was accepted everywhere I applied (except Berkeley, which was a long shot anyway). I narrowed my choices down to two schools: the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida. In the end, UCF won out for all three of my categories:
- Price: UCF gave me a better scholarship than UF.
- Reputation: UCF has the most successful graduates in the state!
- Location: Orlando > Gainesville (in my humble opinion!)
That’s the short story of how I chose my college. Of course, I toured both campuses as well, and I also took into consideration the people I knew going to each school. However, the most important considerations were definitely the ones I listed above. Now that you know how I chose my college, I’m going to go into some more detail about how you can choose yours! It can definitely be an intimidating decision to tackle, but rest assured: you can handle it. Let’s jump in!
The costs of colleges are a huge part in deciding which to attend, and rightfully so. For many people, it’s one of the most important things to take into consideration, if not the most important. There’s a lot of questions to ask yourself: are you okay with taking out loans, or is that out of the question? Are you majoring in something which could potentially pay off your loans within a few years? Whatever way you slice it, price can play a huge role in your college decision. However, if the price tag of a school is the only thing holding you back, it’s definitely worth looking into scholarships, both from colleges and from other websites. You never know what you might find! Here’s a few links where you can get started searching for scholarships:
Reputation definitely plays a huge role in deciding which college you should attend. Different schools have different strengths depending on the degree program you’re looking at. Luckily, you can find information on reputation pretty easily! Websites like U.S. News and Niche make it easy to see the rankings of colleges. You should also consider the opportunities offered at different colleges. For example, one college may have a better study abroad program than another. I recommend making a spreadsheet of the colleges you’re looking at and assigning scores for different areas, such as ranking, study abroad, and alumni employment rate.
Last but not least, I would consider the locations of the colleges you’re looking at. Attending a college in a metropolitan area could open the door to more internships. On the other hand, a college town can have plenty of perks of its own! You might feel more comfortable being closer to home, or you might want to experience a brand new city, state, or even country. Although the location of a college isn’t its most important attribute, it should definitely be on your list of considerations! Staying in Orlando was a big plus for me, so that helped me be completely sure about my choice to attend UCF.
I hope these tips were helpful for you if you’re currently looking at your options for college! If you’re already in college, do you agree with what I chose as the most important college attributes? Do you have others that you think I missed? Let me know in the comments – I’m sure anyone considering their college options would appreciate it!
In other news: this weekend I’m reuniting with my friends Emily and Becky at Disney Springs, and I’ll definitely be bringing my camera. Keep an eye out for my next post which will definitely feature some cute Disney photos! Until then, thanks for reading!