Most teens want to go to school based on how close it is their home or where all their high school friends are planning to go. While these are legitimate reasons for choosing a school, they are not the only things that should come into consideration. Things students should consider when looking at colleges are their location, academic reputation, availability of financial aid, job placement success, the college size.
When shopping for the perfect college, most parents and students consider the location of the college first. This is especially important if the student is planning on staying at home while attending college. If a student is not planning on living at home, the location may not seem as important but should still be taken into consideration.
Students should not go to a college or university where they might experience culture shock as soon as they arrive on campus. If students have a disability, they should make sure the campus is assessable. If a student would like to visit their parents on the weekend, is it close enough to home for this to be feasible? Is the campus at a location where the student will be able to work in a part-time job to help finance their education?
When students and parents look at the size of colleges and universities, they should not just look at the overall number of students attending the college. Instead of the overall student body, it is important that parents look at the student-teacher ratio. Will the student be able to get enough one-on-one time with the professor to be able to succeed in their classes?
Parents of students often forget to ask about what academic support services the college or university offers. This is often overlooked because most students preparing to go to college are just leaving the high school world and don’t consider the fact that the more difficult classes offered in college might require some extra tutoring. Will this tutoring be available if the student needs it?
If a student is lucky, before entering college they will also know what degree program they would like to pursue. Does this school have a good reputation for academic requirements in this major and what is their job placement rate in the desired field?
When it comes to the social life at potential colleges, parents and students are split. Parents would like to believe that their students are going to school to simply study. Students often would like to go to school to party. Before a student leaves for their college, parents and students should sit down, look over the social activities offered by the university or college, and discuss what is and is not acceptable.
Last, but not least, students must consider the cost of the college. Not every college is created equal when it comes to the cost. Often location also factors into the overall cost of the college. What is the standard cost of living in a given area? How does it differ from what the student is accustomed to?