The Lance

Choosing a College

Brianna Bell-Gunderson, Writer

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We’re at that time of year again when students are beginning to choose which college they would like to attend next fall, leading to deadlines after deadlines after deadlines. Prospective students have to send in their applications, write their admissions essays, and wait patiently for those acceptance letters to roll in. But after all of the stress associated with applying to college, the hardest part is yet to come, according to some: choosing which college to attend. Some say it’s just finding the perfect college for them, but that’s harder than it seems.

Students have to decide how far they’re willing to travel to college, worry about whether or not the school size is appropriate, and if there’s a good department for whatever the student will be majoring in. And that doesn’t even include one of the biggest factors in the decisionmaking process: tuition and financial aid.  Most students worry about how much debt they will be in after college–and it’s an important concern to have. USA Today College talks about choosing a college and provides steps on how to thoroughly compare colleges. “Take a tour…spend the night…talk with alumni…take notes,” as well as other key factors to take into consideration like “cost, financial aid, work options, school rankings, graduating data, campus size, student-teacher ratio, on-campus housing options, and major availabilities.”

It’s already March and although the admissions process is winding down, prospective students should be receiving college acceptance letters. It’s a time where the stress is already getting to some students. Research shows that most high school students “mass apply,” where they tend to apply to many colleges so they have backups if they don’t get accepted into their “top school.” Because of this, they have more options to choose from out of the colleges they are accepted to. Some students apply to somewhere between three to eight colleges in hopes that they’ll get accepted into many and therefore, have a choice between them all.

But once students know what their options are they tend to do one of at least three things, Fastweb.com says:  rushing the process, being a follower, or rebellion. By rushing the process, a student will just choose one because they want to just choose a college already and “get it over with.” By being a follower, students follow and choose colleges their friends want to attend. And lastly, in rebellion,  a student will choose a college solely based on the idea of rebelling against their parents, deciding to go to a college such as a party school.

So with all this information in mind, a graduating student should find a college that is the best fit for them. Apply to colleges you are interested in going to and in the end, choose the one that has all the things you are looking for in a college, not just choosing one because of other people’s influences.

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Choosing a College