10 Steps to Picking the Right College

U.S. News & World Report put together a list of 10 steps your students can take to pick the right college. These tips can help them narrow down their list and pick the right fit school for them.

  1. Revisit their list: Were they accepted to more than one of their top choices? That’s an enviable position to be in, though it might not feel like it. As they weigh several appealing options, think back to why they applied to each.
  2. Rank their priorities: Make an extended list of pros and cons. Identify several aspects of college life—the size of the school, for instance, or the strength of the athletic program—and numerically rank each by importance.
  3. Go back to school: Students and parents should have no unanswered questions by the time they send their deposit to a school, experts say. While an initial campus visit is a good time to check out the dorms, sample the food, and get a feel for campus life, students and parents should take a list of 10 to 15 additional, in-depth questions with them on a second trip.
  4. Focus on the endgame: Your student should keep their eye on the end: where they want to be in their career [and] where they want to be financially.
  5. Delve into the departments: Students and parents may look to college rankings to help make a decision, but don’t forget that academic prestige can be examined on a smaller scale. A school that excels in biology, for example, may have a less regarded history department.
  6. Investigate the job connections: Developing a four-year plan to land a job is easier with a robust campus career services center, a vital tool for students that can differ widely by college. Try to glean specifics about job fairs, on-campus interviews, and even the number of students per career counselor at the school.
  7. Compare financial aid packages: Though many schools have yet to release full financial aid offers, parents and students can begin to explore their financial options through free tools like the one offered by SimpleTuition. By inputting tuition and sources of aid, loans, and cash, the tool shows users what a monthly loan payment will look like after graduation at up to three schools simultaneously.
  8. Compromise: As the deadline nears and tensions rise, students and parents may butt heads over a college decision. Parents should have some influence but ultimately it should be the students decision on where they ultimately attend college.
  9. Don’t take rejection personally: You shouldn’t dwell on a rejection letter, even one from a dream school, counselors assert.
  10. Don’t procrastinate: The end of the school year will be here before they know it. If you have all the information needed to make a final decision don’t procrastinate. A lot of stress will be lifted once the decision on which college your student plans to attend is made.

Here is a link to the original article: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/04/04/10-steps-to-picking-the-right-college