Choosing the Right College

May 17, 2020

Now that the 2019-2020 school year is wrapped up, most of the students in the Class of 2020 know where they are going to college, if they are attending college. Now it is the Class of 2021, and maybe even 2022’s, turn. But, with COVID-19 causing many visits and resources at colleges to be cancelled or shut down, many of you are wondering what the first, or next, step is in finding a college that is right for you. Luckily, in today’s time we have many resources online. “I was supposed to go on three college visits over spring break this year. They ended up getting cancelled,” explains junior Ellie Huisman, “I was really looking forward to visiting those schools because I’m really interested in them! Since I’ve been at home, I’ve been researching more about those schools and others to hopefully narrow down my search.”

The first step in finding the right college for you is to make a list of what you are looking for in a college. “The most important thing to look for in a college is the location, educational programs, and making sure the athletics are good so it isn’t embarrassing.” states junior Maizy Criss. On this list you create, you can start with student life. Think about what kind of things you would want to do, whether it is something like joining a fraternity or sorority, or sports you would like to play or watch. Then list off what you want the campus to be like. Keep in mind the wanted distance from home, the size of the campus, and the amount of students on campus. Then, if you know what you want to study or major in, make sure that is listed as well. Junior Meghan Smith believes, “A college is right for someone if it has the right classes and stuff for the career they want.” Once you have a good list, you can follow the next steps to finding the perfect college for you.

There are many apps that you can fill out a questionnaire to give you some options. The app that is probably the best for this, is called myOptions. After signing up for this app, it gives you a checklist of things to accomplish in high school during each season in your sophomore, junior, and senior years. After that, you can answer questions they ask to do a college search. They ask questions about distance, sporting events, walkability of the campus, size of enrollment, and many other things. Then, you are given a list of matches to colleges that mostly match your answers. After matching with those colleges, you can read a little bit about them, and then do deeper searches on the college or universities websites. 

While looking on the websites, some of the things to highlight are the dorms, the clubs/activities on campus, and other things that you find important. Then, because of COVID-19, many colleges have put out virtual visit options where you can talk to a current student and be given a tour- all over video chat. There are also many colleges who already have pre recorded tours that can be found on their websites or youtube pages. 

After researching and watching videos from some potential colleges and universities, hopefully you have a better sense of some colleges that you may attend in the future. If you google the name of the college/university along with Request Information, you can join the email list to get more information about admissions to that college, or get in contact with an admissions counselor. Junior Brady Turpen explains, “I am on the email list for a lot of colleges, and they are constantly providing me information regarding changes to upcoming admission requirements which is very helpful.” Now is the time to start looking forward to the future! Good luck with your searches!

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