Academics are obviously the first thing you look at when choosing a college. You need to find a place that has great quality of teaching and offers the right classes for you. It’s worth considering your grades and the kind of schools that you are likely to get into as well.
However, studying is only one aspect of your college experience, so it’s important that you take other things into account when making your decisions. These are the vital factors, aside from academics, to consider when comparing colleges.
Campus location should always factor into your decision and you need to think about how you will cope on your own. Are you the kind of person that doesn’t mind being far away from their family or will you want to visit them every weekend? It’s worth adding up the cost of returning home too because if you study on the other side of the country, it could put a lot of financial strain on you during holidays.
As well as the location of the campus in relation to your family, you need to consider its location in relation to everything else. Are there good entertainment facilities nearby? Can you easily get to a grocery store if you’re staying on campus? It might seem like a small thing now but you’ll soon regret it if you go to a college in the middle of nowhere, especially if you’re a very social person.
If you are a religious person and your faith is very important to you, this should absolutely be a priority when choosing a college. There are some amazing institutions, like the christian heritage college, where faith is at the center of the college experience. You will be surrounded by people that have the same values that you do and you can ensure that the college places the same importance on faith that you do. You will not get this experience at a standard college so if your religion is important to you, keep it in mind when comparing schools.
Finding somewhere to live is important too and the housing options vary depending on the college. Think about what living situations you would be comfortable with and, most importantly, which ones you wouldn’t be happy with. For example, are you happy with mixed dorms or do you want single sex? How many people do you want to live with? Do you want to live on campus or not? Living in a situation that you don’t feel comfortable in can be incredibly difficult, so make sure to consider this when choosing colleges.
4 years seems like a long time but it’ll be over before you know it, so it’s worth thinking about your future prospects. You might decide that you want to move to a city with more opportunities for college grads but if you stay in your college city, what job opportunities are there? Will you be likely to make useful contacts for the future at this college? You might not know exactly what you want to do yet but you should always think about your future prospects when picking a school.
Although academics should be the first port of call, you also need to think about these factors when finding a college.