For the last several weeks I have been talking about what high school juniors need to do to be ready to be the strongest applicant for college. But there is something else that is critical to your chances of finding and getting accepted into the best college for you.
You must think about what you want from a college.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Most students choose the wrong way. The wrong way is to choose a college for a stupid reason. Following a boy friend or girl friend to college is stupid. Following your best friend to college is stupid. Going to college where mom or dad went to college is stupid. Only considering colleges 50 miles from home is stupid. Considering only highly rated colleges is stupid.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you look at a number of colleges and determine what you want from a college it is possible that the right college is where your friends are going or where mom and dad went. But those factors shouldn’t be how you determine what is a good college for you.
So what is the right way to find the right college for you? Think about what you want from a college. Not what someone else wants from a college. Let’s take a basic example. What size college do you want? Why did you answer that way? The key here is to think about your options and think about why you like one option more than another. Wondering what things you might want to consider? Take a look at this page on What to Consider to Find the Right College for You.
I have often said that I favor small liberal arts for many students because you get more personalized attention in class, often learn better and get to know your professors better. But they are not right for everyone. I often have students that I recommend look at mid sized research universities as well as large public universities if that is the best fit for that student.
The most important thing for you to consider? What do YOU want from college? It’s as simple as that. But you have to be honest with yourself because this is such an important decision. So get out there and get to know the person who is making this decision.