How to Pick a College
Don't pick a college only because it looks impressive in the viewbooks and catalogs.
Do pick a college based on a campus visit where you felt comfortable, met interesting people, and enjoyed your experience.
Don't pick a college because your parents went there.
Do involve your parents in the college search from the beginning. Sit down and talk about what you hope to gain from a college education and what things are important to you in a school.
Don't rule out a college based on its sticker price.
Do make sure you understand the financial aid process. Explore your options with your high school counselor and admission counselor.
Don't rule out a college based on how close to (or far away from) home it is located.
Do pick a college that will become a home to you, where you can be an active and involved member of the community.
Don't pick a college just because it offers the major you have your heart set on.
Do research the strengths of each college in the general areas that interest you. Select a school that will meet your needs even if your major changes.
Don't pick a college because all of your friends are going there.
Do select a school where you will have opportunities to connect with all kinds of new people and form lasting friendships.
Don't pick a college just because it has a good football team.
Do pick a college that offers many different activities to enhance your growth and enjoyment outside of the classroom.
Don't panic if you are undecided on a major.
Do take a good look at statistics that will point to academic success: advising, retention, average class size, four-year graduation rate, and placement.
Don't make the assumption that a larger school offers more opportunities and choices.
Do explore the many benefits of smaller colleges: personal attention from professors, no teaching assistants, individual academic advising, internship programs and research opportunities, ease of participating in campus activities, and, most importantly, access to these resources.
Don't rule out a college because you have never heard of it.
Do pick a college that is the best fit for you. After thoroughly researching programs and opportunities, visiting campuses, and talking with parents and counselors, you may have found a buried treasure.