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Top 10 Factors to Consider when Choosing a College

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Posted on February 26, 2015 by Delaware Valley College.

Choosing a college is both exciting and overwhelming. There are many colleges that have a lot to offer, but how will you find the right one for you? It’s best to know what you want from your college experience, so make a list of your requirements and consider the following when making your campus visits.

Location
It’s crucial to consider location when choosing a college, as this will determine how often you’ll be able to travel home and the expense of doing so. Consider transportation as well, such as whether you’ll have a car and won’t mind putting a lot of miles on it or whether you can access public transportation if you don’t have a car. 

Safety
Most colleges have campus police and security guards who patrol the grounds, but find out more information about the school’s security services. It’s important that your campus is secure, and that there are systems in place to keep intruders out of dorms at night. Look for a campus with police who patrol at all times so you can be comfortable while you’re at school. 

Cost
Cost is a huge factor that can make or break your decision to attend a college. Determine how much you can afford to pay for college, what types of financial aid are available and whether you’re eligible for scholarships. 

Major
Make sure the colleges you’re considering offer the major you’re interested in. If you’re undecided or not completely set on a major, browse the programs the college offers to determine whether you’d like to pursue any of them. 

Program
If you’re serious about a particular major, find out where the colleges you’re looking at rank in that field of study. Some colleges have outstanding programs where you’ll be able to get the best education, possibly in the country. Take this into consideration when you’re making your decision. 

Career Services
Students go to college expecting to find a job in their desired field upon graduation, so it’s important that your college has a great career services program that will help you find a job you’ll love. 

Transfer Rate
You’ll want to consider the college’s transfer rate. If it’s high, it may mean that a lot of incoming students decide to leave. 

Student/Professor Ratio
Decide whether it’s important for you to be in smaller classes where you can have a closer relationship with your professor. Larger colleges tend to have large class sizes where professors give lectures and don’t interact as much with students. If you don’t think you’d be comfortable with this type of learning environment, you may want to consider a smaller college. 

Student Life
Make sure the student life excites you. Browse through the school’s list of clubs and see if any stand out to you. You can also find out if most students stay on campus for the weekends.

Athletics
If you’re interested in joining a sports team while at college, you should look into the college’s athletics program. Find out if walk-ons are accepted and talk to the coaches and some players on the team.

Consider these factors when choosing a college and you’ll find an institution that you’ll love for the next few years.