Be ready for the future

Choosing the right college

Step 1: Select criteria important to you


This step will help ensure the college you chose is the right fit for you. Explore what you might like
to study or major in at college. Undecided? No problem. Most colleges have resources to help you with career planning, but if you have some idea of a career or a major, that information can help in finding colleges that offer that major.

Talk to counselors, teachers, family friends and your parents. Listen to their recommendations. These recommendations are a good way to generate a preliminary list of schools.  As you research these schools, you will discover what is important to you.  Below is a list of criteria to help you get started.

Type of institution: ​

Academic requirements vary from school to school. Make sure the school has the curriculum
that suits your goals.


Choose a location that will enhance your overall experience.

Use rankings as a guide, but do your own research and have concrete reasons for applying.

Student body:

Larger schools usually have more classes and activities – they also have larger classes, so you may receive less one-on-one time with teachers. Small schools offer more individual attention, a better chance to get to know your professors, but they may not offer the same amount of courses or activities.

You do not want to be burdened with excessive bills and accompanying stress, so make sure you
can afford a college in advance by considering all potential costs. 

Campus resources (quality and availability of labs, libraries, computer access, etc.):

If a lot of students drop out after first term, this may not be a sign of a college’s quality or student satisfaction.


Look for a college that offers activities that interest you.


Whether you are looking to live off campus or on, room and board is a significant expense. Make sure there is affordable housing that meets your standards.

Campus and community safety:

You can request this data from the college (generally from the Public Safety Department or Campus Police Department).
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