Before accepting a college offer, it’s critical that you consider all of the factors that build a dream college. In the thrill and excitement of actually getting accepted to a college, you may recklessly go with your first gut feeling. But deciding on a college is a huge decision, probably one of the most important decisions you’ve had to make in your life so far. So before accepting a college offer and potentially paying tuition to a college you wouldn’t actually be happiest at, consider these important factors.
Are you looking for a big school or a small school? Do you prefer intimate learning environments or classes where you can simply blend in? These are a few questions regarding the size of your university that must be considered before accepting a college offer. In a small college, you’ll get more one-on-one time with your professors, and for some people that’s conducive to their learning. But other people crave fast-paced learning where you simply take notes then hightail it out of class. You should carefully consider what type of learner you are and research the student:faculty ratio of your prospective schools before you accept any offers.
After you receive an acceptance letter in the mail, you’ll briefly be overjoyed! But within a few days, you and your parents will have to tackle the issue of tuition. If you have a few college offers on the table, that means you’re lucky enough to negotiate and walk away with a sweet deal! Before accepting a college offer, you should discuss tuition with all of the colleges who have accepted you, and decide whether or not your top pick is worth digging a little deeper into your pockets for.
Location, location, location! It’s so important when you’re considering a college to keep location in mind. Find out whether the college in the middle of nowhere or right in the heart of a bustling city. Different personalities thrive in different settings, so you need to figure out where you fit in best. Some other factors that tag along with location are weather, safety, and fun things you’ll have to do. If you’re going to spend four years in one place, it better be a great one!
The distance your college is from your family and friends will play a huge role in how much you enjoy your college experience, even if it doesn’t seem like that now. You may think you’re ready to spread your wings and fly, but you’ve only barely gotten used to the idea of freedom during high school. So to save yourself unnecessary heartache, you should consider the distance from your loved ones here at home. That being said, don’t let your fear of independence get in the way of your chances to attend a fabulous college! Simply evaluate your feelings before saying “yes.”
Before you accept a college’s offer, it’s important that you investigate what their strongest major is. If you’re studying to be an engineer, you probably shouldn’t go to a liberal arts school. Likewise, if you’re a music major, a heavily research-based science school may not be the best for you. At a school better molded to your major, not only will you likely have a more enriching learning experience, you’ll also meet like-minded people. While it’s important to have friends from all different paths of life, the most long lasting relationships are usually built upon common interests.
Some schools have a prestigious reputation, and jaws will drop when you tell people you went there. Other schools are “party schools” that no one will really take seriously. You shouldn’t let people’s perception of your education sway you away from a certain college, but you should definitely consider that school's reputation. Rumors are often exaggerated, but they’re usually built on some piece of truth. So before accepting a college offer, ask around for people’s general opinions of the school or do some research online to find out more about a school's good or bad reputation.
College isn’t all studies all the time; your university is bound to offer extra curricular programs just like your high school- and then some! Before you accept any college offers, you should check out what programs they offer. Do they have any stellar sororities? What about recreational sports teams or outdoor adventure clubs, as well as competitive teams? You’ll get really bored really fast if you only eat, sleep, and breathe school for the next four years. You should only attend a college that has amazing programs you know you’d like to try!
College offers are going to start rolling in any day now, if you haven’t already received yours. But you shouldn’t blindly act on an impulse when you decide where you'll be studying for the next few years. You need to think this decision through and take your time making it so that you won’t regret anything! What traits does your dream college possess that make you want to go there?