How to choose the perfect university or the perfect college for you and this, of course, is one of the biggest decisions you are ever gonna make might be the biggest decision you’ve ever made up to this point in your life you are likely going to be spending four years at this college that’s a huge commitment and it’s going to be some of the most important years of your life.
So it’s very important that you make the decision to go to the right college and in this post, I’m going to tell you what I believe to be the most important factors and then after I go over the most important factors I’m going to leave you with two tips on how to choose the best college for you.
How does location affect your choice of college?
The first thing you want to consider is of course the location. location is extremely important for so many different reasons, first of all, a lot of people it’s going to be important for you to either be close to your family or in some cases you might not want to be close to your family,
you might want to kind of go off on your own leave the nest so to speak and get as far away from your family as you can know there’s a lot of advantages to staying close to your family you know you can live with them that means your rent and probably your food costs are going to be covered that’s going to save you a lot of money so there’s a lot of advantages there.
But it’s also really nice to get out on your own move-out and start to you know to become your own person and take on more responsibility but on top of those things location is important for other reasons first of all maybe you really like a certain place like maybe you really want to live in new york or you really want to live in l.a
If you really want to live in whatever random city then you would want to pick that area and by the way, you should probably go and visit the area before you decide that you want to live there you know just saying but after you’ve picked an area then you can start looking at which schools you would like to attend and you’d probably be surprised.
You know in a place like new york there are likely dozens if not hundreds of different colleges that you can attend location is also going to somewhat determine how expensive your rent is in a place like new york or san Francisco rent is going to be very expensive whereas there are many places around the country where rent isn’t very expensive.
Is the whole college Experience important to you?
So yeah location is super important super underrated uh something very similar to a location that’s kind of a little bit difficult to explain so I decided to put it in its own separate category is the experience.
Now this is something where you can look at all the pictures you want online you can do a bunch of research online and that’s good I highly suggest you do that but until you actually go to the place and visit it you’re not going to understand what the experience is like.
And the experience could also be described as like a vibe right so you know is it a vibe is it not a vibe what do you feel like when you’re there and this is going to be extremely subjective there might be one person who goes to campus and they just love it they love the way the people are there they love the weather they love everything about it and then another person might go to that campus and they just don’t like it very much.
And you’re never really gonna know until you go and visit so yeah highly recommend if you can visiting the campus spending some time there and figuring out whether the town and the campus is something that you want to invest four years of your life in.
Do you want to be in a well-recognized University?
Brand Recognition Value
Brand recognition value now this is something that is incredibly important but you know I wish it wasn’t that way but it’s just it’s super-super important and basically what that is certain colleges that are more well-known than others are going to be recognized by people around the world and especially people around the country.
There is a huge value to that it’s kind of just human nature the fact that people recognize the college is going to make it to where they’re slightly more likely to hire you, for instance,
This is actually very similar to one thing I talk about when it comes to applying to different companies if you’re able to get into like a fortune 500 or a fortune 50 or just a very prestigious company hiring managers business owners, etc are going to recognize that.
They’re going to be much more likely to hire you for their company in the future so just because of the fact that you were able to get a position at a prestigious company means that hiring managers and business owners are more likely to hire you in the future for other companies.
It’s kind of the same although probably not quite as important when it comes to colleges now when it comes to brand recognition value it’s going to differ depending on a lot of different things so for instance you know maybe a college has a really good alumni network but only if you stay in a certain area or maybe a college is really well known within a certain industry.
So, for instance, it’s known that Princeton is really good if you want to go into finance so if you’re somebody who wants to work on wall street it’s a good idea to go to Princeton but it’s not just Princeton it’s not just ivy league schools in many cases it’s random schools you never would have even thought.
So for instance in the pharmacy world, the University of Florida is one of the best colleges out there university san Francisco is also another really good college of pharmacy and there is definitely some brand recognition value if you attend one of those schools.
So this is something you really have to research attend a public state school and that is going to have some brand recognition value you know pretty much everybody knows like the University of the Kansas University of Kentucky you don’t necessarily have to go to like Stanford or Harvard or MIT.
Do you know who you want to work for after you graduate?
Pipelines to Different Types of Companies and Industries
The thing to consider is very closely related but it is that some schools are pipelines to different types of companies and industries and what I mean by that is a lot of the time colleges will work very closely with different companies and if you are one of the good students if you’re one of the top students there’s a very good chance that you will be able to get hired by that company.
So an example of this is in Seattle, for instance, the University of Washington is a pipeline school to get into the tech industry so if you get a computer science degree from the University of Washington and you plan on staying in Seattle that is probably going to be a really good choice because there are lots of different tech companies in Seattle and you will likely get a job very easily.
This is why knowing what career you’re going for before you choose your college degree actually makes things so much easier because it’s just so easy to reverse engineer the steps that you need in order to get into that career.
Does every penny count for you?
The right price is super important in my opinion it’s not worth it to go to a school that is going to leave you deep, deep in debt and when I say price it’s not necessarily the sticker price because you know there’s a lot of colleges out there that are I think 76,000 a year which is absolutely ridiculous it’s like three hundred and ten thousand dollars for four years so basically 310,000 for a bachelor’s degree.
But many of them offer a lot of grants and scholarships etc so really what matters is the price after you factor in grants and scholarships and in my opinion if a college is willing to invest in you by getting as close to you know you paying nothing as possible then that is a very good sign and the reason for that is because they are showing you that they care about you.
And that likely means that they will show you in other ways that they care about you as well because they are investing in you so you probably won’t be punished for investing back into them now this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go with the cheapest possible choice but you should definitely go with one that is not ridiculously expensive.
Other miscellaneous things that may or may not be important to you for some people prestige is very important I get it not only the school’s prestige itself but maybe you are somebody who wants to get the best possible education and you think for instance it is going to give that to you the weather can be very important to some people the party scene the difficulty of the school that’s another thing to consider the vibe in general whether or not your friends are attending the school.
What is other stuff you need to consider?
Do they accept ap ib clep and transfer credits also do they run on the credit system or the block system another thing that’s important is the distance from family and then other things might be you know do you really like the sports team right.
What is the most important factor for you?
So, for instance, I went to ku I’m a huge fan of the basketball team you know the Jayhawks so that can be extremely important for some people so number seven basically takes all the ones that I just mentioned there and also make categories that I didn’t mention maybe there are some things I didn’t mention there that are just as important for you and then what you want to do is rank them from the least important to the most important.
And then after that, you want to look into all the different schools that meet the criteria of what you are looking for and after you’ve made a list of schools let’s say it’s like 20 schools for instance then you want to start ranking those schools from your favorite to your least favorite and you want to rank them based off of the criteria that i was talking about before again it’s subjective it’s going to be what’s most important to you.
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After you’ve gotten that list down to a manageable level maybe 5 or 10 then you can start actually visiting the schools themselves now obviously it’s going to be pretty difficult for you to visit like 20 different schools some people do but something like five visits is probably possible for most people and then at that point, once you’ve whittled it down to maybe like three schools or so.
I really think at that point you’ve kind of made a logical decision like these three schools logically make sense and you should just go with your gut go with the one that deep down you know you really want to attend so that’s kind of how you balance the whole logic versus emotion thing you probably want to think logically first.
But when you’ve whittled it down to just a few schools go with the one that you’re really passionate about and the one you really want to attend so yeah that is how I recommend choosing a school hope it helped you.