There are many reasons to choose a college. Majors, activities and personality of the colleges should be things you are considering when you are thinking about college. Whether you are just starting your college search or choosing between the colleges that sent acceptance letters, choosing a college can be difficult. You want to make sure you’re finding colleges that are good fits academically, socially, and financially. However, many students choose colleges for wrong reasons. While some of the reasons are good to consider, they should not be the sole reason to choose a college. Below are nine reasons to not choose a college.
1. Following prestige
The top colleges in the country provide excellent academic opportunities. However, colleges with less well-known names also offer wonderful and unique opportunities and provide outstanding outcomes for alumni. Just because a college has an outstanding reputation does not mean it is the best fit for you.
2. Following others
It can be scary to go off to a college where you know no one. It can also be easy to follow a friend or significant other. However, college is a great place to start over and meet new people. The beginning of the school year always has a lot of opportunities to get students out of their dorm rooms and get to know other people. Plus, a college that is a good fit for a friend may not be the best fit for you.
Sometimes staying close to home is important for a student. However, choosing a college that is close to the beach or a city you love is not a great reason to choose a college.
4. Going away to get away
Teenagers are notorious for wanting to move out of their home after high school graduation. Many students think they have to go far away to get the full college experience. However, if there is a college close by that meets all of your requirements, you can still get the full college experience. Living on campus is an option for all students at most colleges, even if the student lives a block away from campus.
5. Sticker price
Sticker price is the published price to attend a college. However, many students do not pay the sticker price because of financial aid. Therefore, before putting a college on your list or not putting a college on your list because of the sticker price, do a little more research into the financial aid possibilities. Some students might be surprised to find that some more expensive colleges could actually be within reach financially after financial aid.
If you’ve lived in a cold climate for your whole life, it could be easy to put warm areas on your list because you’re sick of the snow. Or, you want a cold climate because you’ve never seen snow. However, the weather should not be the determining factor when choosing a college.
7. Letting family dictate college choice
Some parents who went to college may want their child to go to their alma mater. In addition to sharing this with their child, the college may have an extra incentive for their student – an additional scholarship because they are a legacy. However, the college may not be a good fit for the student. In addition, the college may be a different place years after parents attended the college.
8. Not taking a chance
Unfortunately, some students do not have confidence they will get admitted to a college and won’t take a chance. They may think they can only get into a college that may seem like “safety” school and will only apply to safety schools. While safety schools can be wonderful, students should take a chance on a few colleges that might be a little harder to be admitted. Choose a few “match” or “reach” schools as well.
9. Being too confident
Just like students should not only have safety colleges on their list, they also should not be too confident and only apply to reach colleges. Make sure you have a good mix of colleges on your list.
Many things go into choosing a college. However, many items should not be the sole reason for choosing a college. Instead, they should only compliment colleges that already meet the other big requirements a student should have, such as majors, activities, and college personality.