Top 6 Considerations for Choosing Your College: Part Two
Welcome back! In my the last blog entry, we chatted about the college decision process. Hopefully, after reading the first 3 factors for your college considerations, you’ve done some soul searching and narrowed down the list ever so slightly. Here are the final features to add to your university wishlist:
Whenever I hear the word “prestige” I think of suits, cigars, brandy, and gray haired men with gobs of money. When used in reference to the world of higher education, however, a school’s prestige is their major areas of study. (Hopefully, the major areas of study will avoid the smoking and alcohol). Seniors, be sure to consider the accreditation of the programs you’re interested in before making a final decision. Different schools are generally recognized for different specialties, so be sure to do some research before deciding where to study. (For example, if a school is recognized for their education program, don’t attend the school seeking a business degree).
The other reputation that you need to be aware of is the university’s social atmosphere. Professionals are aware of which schools to avoid hiring from, and they take degrees more seriously from prestigious institutions. Moral of the college reputation story? Avoid the notorious party schools. In the long run, staying clear of the booze will pay off by.
2.) “This is my temporary home.”
I couldn’t help but turning to Carrie Underwood lyrics for this next factor: Housing. College freshman don’t start college thinking about living on campus. Their first thought is “what do the dorms look like?” Fair enough. The freshman housing is the first home-away-from-home for a lot of students, and it’s important that it’s livable. The housing I’m talking about is the options located on and off the campus. When students enroll at their universities, generally they have decided to attend for the 4-year duration. After your freshman year, however, many colleges start “suggesting” moving off campus. (College campuses are only so big, and each room they can house freshman in is another dollar in their pocket.) However long your degree takes, you’re going to need to be within close proximity to your campus. It’s crucial to take a good look at your housing options off campus and make sure they’re sufficient and practical for your upper classman years.
There’s nothing worse than completing those first years of school then running into the speed bump of “Oh crap! Where the heck am I gonna live!?” after you’re college tells you no more rooms are available.
3.) And we’re rolling…
Seniors, if nobody told you this, I hate to be the bearer of bad news: some colleges do not allow freshmen to have cars on campus. (There’s a whole list of reasons why that is, but just realize it sucks). When you head off to college, you need to be able to get around, whether that’s by way of your own car, bussing system, or subway.
If you were already planning on saving the gas by choosing not to bring your vehicle, this point is even more applicable to you. It’s true that college campuses have almost everything on the planet. But be aware that all of the campus stores full of your necessities are screamingly overpriced. On top of that, most electronics (say you needed a new phone charger) are not going to be in the local campus store. That’s where the transportation talk comes in. Exploring outside of your campus and having the freedom to come and go as you please is a great perk. Other than having the option to run to the local grocery or department store for any goodies you need, access to local transportation let’s you get out once in awhile. If you and your friends want a night on the town, or you and a special someone want to go out, having a set of wheels or rails is kind of important.
There ya have it, 6 tidbits of info that have the potential to slim down your college list. The key is to not get overwhelmed. You’ll figure it out Seniors. Good luck and congratulations in advance on your college decision. Be sure to check back for more college advice!