Identify What You Want in a School

Before you explore and compare different schools, first decide what you're looking for in a school. Ask your parents to do the same thing. Then compare your answers and come to some agreement as to what you want in a school. Search for a school that fits you well academically, socially and culturally:

  • athletic offerings
  • campus safety
  • campus setting (urban, suburban, small-town or rural)
  • diversity of student population
  • extracurricular organizations and events
  • faculty experience and expertise
  • financial aid availability and deadlines
  • geographic location
  • housing availability and cost
  • length, time and location of classes
  • number of students enrolled
  • percentage of graduates employed within one year
  • percentage of students who graduate
  • percentage of students who return the following year
  • programs of study, majors, and course selection
  • school facilities and equipment
  • school or program reputation
  • student-to-faculty ratio (class size)
  • support services (meals, counseling, job placement)
  • transportation availability and cost
  • tuition and fees

If you're still having trouble deciding, ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to go to college?
  • What do I want to get out of college?
  • How will college help me work toward my goals?
  • Which college will best/least help me work toward my goals?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of going now rather than later?
  • Does it matter how many students are enrolled with me?
  • Do I want to be with students who have diverse ideas, viewpoints and backgrounds?
  • In which type of campus setting am I most/least comfortable?

Don't eliminate a school solely because it's outside your comfort zone. The challenge of dealing with the unfamiliar can help you grow as a person.

Article provided by: Minnesota Office of Higher Education