It’s Black Friday! That annual day of shopping madness where people get up way too early to stand in line way too long just to get a great deal on a video game console that will be obsolete in a few months.
Only in America.
Today is also the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season, and millions of people will be heading out to the local mall, shopping list in hand, and ready to take advantage of all the big sales. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a “shopping list” of 5 Things To Look For When Choosing A College:
Colleges come in all shapes and sizes. From large universities that enroll tens of thousands of students, to smaller colleges that aren’t much bigger than your high school. When it comes to school size, it really depends on your own personal preference. If want to go somewhere where you can literally meet someone new every day throughout your four years of college, you might want to go with the bigger school. Then again, if you think you need a little more personal attention, a smaller school that offers smaller class sizes might be the better option.
Are you a city person who craves excitement or do you feel more comfortable in a quiet, rural setting? Do you want to be across the country or do you want to be able to drive home on the weekends to have mom do your laundry? It really depends on what type of environment you feel the most comfortable in. If you’re the adventurous type, a cross-country school might be right for you. On the other hand, if you’re worried about being homesick, you might want to stay a little closer to home base.
It’s not the most exciting thing to think about, but cost just may be the most important factor in what school you choose. College is a huge investment that will affect your life for years down the road. So it's important you make sure you understand exactly how much financial aid you can get and how much you’re going to have to pay out of pocket. And don't forget to see what scholarships and grants are available to you as well. Because, when it comes to paying for college, every penny counts.
If you’re absolutely certain what you want to do with your life — congratulations! You’re in the minority. If you’re like the rest of us, however, you’re probably still trying to figure things out. That’s why you might want to choose a school that offers a lot of different majors to choose from. After all, you may start out in computers only to discover that you’re more interested in journalism (just a random example, of course). Do your homework and find out exactly what majors a college offers. Then make sure there’s at least a couple different options that interest you.
5. Athletics and Extracurriculars
You’re going to college to study prepare for your career. But, let’s face it, you’re not going to be studying 24/7. Attending your school’s athletic events and cheering on the home team can be a great way to let loose and show your school spirit. So you'll want to look into your chosen school's sports scene. You’ll also want to find out what types of extracurricular activities and events are available. What types of clubs and activities does the school offer? What types of entertainment do they bring in each year? The student life office should be able to provide a comprehensive list of these types of offerings.
Of course, in addition to all of the above, the most important thing on your list just might be your gut feeling. Pay attention to how you feel when you visit a particular school. If you’re not getting a good feeling, there’s probably a good reason for it. Just trust yourself and your instincts and it will go a long way in helping you choose the right college for you.