For those of us on the hunt for a place to land an undergrad or graduate diploma, we are well aware of the countless possibilities and options available to us.

Sometimes, though, it seems like all the options and possibilities are just a bit to overwhelming, making it difficult to narrow it all down.

As I see it, there are 4 things every student MUST do when looking for a college in order to secure the right school which offers the right stuff. Check out my list and see how it compares to your own and find the right balance for yourself!

 

hints and tips

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1. Do your research

Glazing over the website and looking at the list of successful people who went to the school is not “research.”

Research is an in-depth investigation of the ins and outs of where you plan on spending four years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars.

Take a good look at the program you’re applying to, the professors teaching the classes and the atmosphere of the school itself.

You can even read student reviews of the school online from a plethora of reputable websites like CollegeProwler.com.

2. Visit the college

Last year, I went to visit a prestigious university and before taking the tour of the campus, one of the guides gave those of us on the tour great advice: If you cannot envision yourself walking these halls, living in these dorms and living in this city, then don’t even bother applying here.

How right she was! If you can’t imagine yourself living and thriving in that enviornment, chances are you will be very miserable there.

3. Take into consideration the size of the school

I too am looking to transfer next year and I am surprising myself at the broad differences of the three schools I’m applying too.

One school has less than 4,000 students, another has about 8,000, and the last has around 16,000 students.

What size works best for you? Do you want to be at school where it will be easy for you to blend in or one where it seems as though everyone will know your name? In which type of atmosphere will you learn best? Do you like individual help and small classes or do you enjoy the challenge or anonymity of a large class?

4. School is for learning, not partying

My friend is currently applying to schools this coming fall and when I asked him why he was applying to one particular school, he replied, “It’s kind of a crummy college, but the parties are amazing.”

Ladies and gentleman, do not think like my friend. You are going to college to learn, not get drunk and make poor life choices.

Do yourself (and your parents) a favor and pick a school that you are ensured the best education for your major, not the best parties for your weekend.

The process of picking, choosing and applying to colleges is not easy or stress-free, but it’s the beginning of what will hopefully be the best four years of your life. Choose the college/university that best fits you, your hopes, dreams and aspirations.

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