How To Choose The Right College

Determining where to go to school is not an easy decision. Aside from getting a good education, there are so many other factors that come into play. So, before making your final choice, check out some helpful tools that may give you just the insight you need.

What Should You Consider?

Picking out a college is not a one size fits all type of deal. The school that resonates with someone else may not be your cup of tea. These are some factors you'll want to think about to narrow down your decision:

  • Reputable Programs: If you already know your major, check to see if the school is known for specializing in it.
  • Proximity To Home: If you don’t plan to dorm, you probably should limit how far you’re willing to commute daily.
  • Student Life: Some schools provide more clubs and activities than others. Make sure the school you choose has extracurriculars you enjoy.
  • Tuition Prices: Depending on your financial situation, some colleges may be more feasible than others.
  • Sports Programs: If you are an athlete, this can make or break a school. Before committing, look into college coaches, training facilities, and past team performances.

This is a big decision with many things to consider, and to help you, there are tools that will match you to the best school for you.

Top College Finders For You

  • Niche is a college finder tool that offers a free quiz to students. This quiz will uncover precisely what you’re looking for in a school, from academics to living arrangements, eating preferences, area safety, and so much more. Once you complete the quiz, Niche will show the schools that are best matched to you.
  • BigFuture is another resource that lets you filter out colleges based on location, your major, type of college (public/private, etc.), and campus life. This platform also allows users to connect directly with colleges and scholarship programs.
  • CollegeRaptor offers college suggestions based on information such as your current grades, test scores, financial status, preferences, and more. The unique feature of this site is that it will separate matches into fallback options, safe matches, and reach schools.
  • CollegeData is a tool offering thousands of college suggestions you can filter through. One option that stands out is the ability to search for your ideal student body size and decide whether you’re looking for a coed university or not.
  • National Center For Education Statistics (NCES) has a college navigator that lets you enter your zip code for college recommendations. This site also has information on federal student aid.
  • Cappex will provide you with options and specific requirements needed to get accepted into each school. For example, every suggested institution included an average SAT and ACT score for students who went there.
  • CollegeConfidential is helpful because it displays each institution's acceptance rates. This way, you can gauge how difficult it will be to get in.
  • Peterson’s considers students who may want to transfer schools by showing options where credits can be transferred easily. It also provides suggestions for those interested in the military and other specialized school.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a college can be tough, but by researching, reflecting, seeking guidance, and using the right tools, you'll find the perfect fit for your goals and values. Remember, the challenge is worth the reward of a fulfilling college experience.

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