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choosing a college
There is not necessarily a perfect college, but there are many that can make you perfectly happy.
How do you find one for you? Focus on fit.
Find a good match for you based on your academic, social, financial and personal goals.

College self assessment

  1. What are your academic interests, strengths and weaknesses?
  2. What kind of a learner are you? Do you enjoy discussions or would you rather listen and take notes?
  3. What kind of a student are you? Do you like a challenging curriculum?
  4. What activities do you enjoy?
  5. What kind of environment are you looking for in college?
  6. Do you have any special needs or concerns?
  7. Do you have any special talents you want to pursue in college?
  8. Why do you want to go to college?
  9. Are you ready for college?
  10. Have you considered careers or majors?
  11. Do you like being with students that are similar to you or are you looking for diversity?
  12. Where do you want to live for the next four years?
  13. Do you enjoy going to sporting events? Theater? Music?

Choosing the right college

  1. Academic Environment and Offerings
  2. Size
  3. Type of Institution
  4. Location
  5. Cost and Availability of Financial Aid
  6. Student diversity
  7. Specialty Programs
  8. Admissions selectivity
  9. Rankings/Prestige
  10. Academic Atmosphere and campus culture

Choosing the right type of college

Liberal Arts Colleges
These colleges are usually small and offer a liberal education across the arts, humanities, English, philosophy, history, psychology, music, science and math. Their mission is to provide students with a comprehensive undergraduate education with faculties that focus on teaching with small discussion-based classes.

Research Universities
These universities range in size from small to extremely large and their missions include research, public service and teaching. They offer a full-range of programs in undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs. Their faculty are often involved in cutting-edge research. The classes may be large and they usually offer a wide-range of degrees.

Comprehensive Colleges
These include master's universities, which provide a full-range of undergraduate programs along with some master's and doctoral degrees. Baccalaureate colleges offer programs in the liberal arts as well as pre-professional programs.

Specialized Programs
Schools that have a specific focus such as fine arts, engineering or business can be designated as specialty schools. Students are usually committed to their particular emphasis before committing to one of these schools.

Special Affiliations
Some schools identify themselves by specific affiliations such as religious, historically black, women's colleges, or military academies.

Community or Junior Colleges
These 2-year colleges are often more affordable paths to a degree. Students may spend their first 2 years at a community college and then transfer to a university to earn their bachelor's degree. They also often offer certificate or specialized training in fields that do not require a bachelor's degree.

building a list of potential colleges

  1. Research schools using guidebooks, college websites, and college search sites. See our resources page for suggestions.
  2. Plan to visit colleges. There's nothing like an actual campus visit to really get a feel of the college and determine if it is right for you.
  3. Have a balanced list: Include 2-3 schools that you have a high chance of admission, 2-4 target schools that fit your profile, 1-2 schools that are a reach.
Make sure ALL of the schools on your list are good fits for you.
College Journey Consulting, LLC - Located in Sienna Plantation near Houston, Texas
Phone: 281.778.0928 • Email: cindy@collegejourneyconsulting.com
 
Disclaimer: Given the nature of the admissions process and the selectivity of many educational institutions, we cannot guarantee admission to any institution.