It’s almost that time again – time to start on college applications! But how do you choose a college? How do you know which university is right for you?You need to think beyond name brand colleges that have an admission rate around only 5%!
Here’s a roundup of free articles and resources to get you started on your college search. And when you finish with those, don’t forget the important last step to choosing a college at the bottom of this post!
How to choose a college – start thinking about yourself and what you want out of college
How To Choose A College That’s Right For You – A good general article to get your brain in gear to think about choosing a college.
What College Should You Go To? How to Choose a College – This article covers a lot of general questions about self-reflection to think about. Then it narrows things down, covering things such as basic differences between public and private universities, urban vs. rural, and large and small schools.
Not sure if you want an urban or rural college? Here’s an article about Pros and Cons of Rural, Suburban and Urban Campuses.
Liberal arts college or a research university? Consider a Liberal Arts College – how to choose a college
The 25-question checklist for choosing a college – Twenty five questions to answer about a college your thinking about, or to help you find new ones to consider.
How to choose a college – start looking at college data
50-50 College Listing – Is your head swimming by now? Are you overwhelmed with choices?No idea where to start? Start narrowing it down by looking at colleges that admit at least 50% of their applicants AND graduate 50% of their students in four years.
How to choose a college – how to understand price and control student debt
Paying Attention to College Prices – Will help you figure out the cost of going to different colleges. You can’t just look at the sticker price.
Upside Down College Search – Finding Your Deals – Don’t waste time finding the perfect college only to realize you can’t afford it.
2016-2017 College Salary Report – What is your degree worth if you can’t get a job to pay back any debt? Look at how much alumnae of different colleges and universities earn.
LendEDU’s 2018 College Risk-Reward (CRRI) Indicator – Find out how the average debt of graduates compares to early career pay (which determines how fast you can pay back loans) for 994 private and public 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. This would be more helpful if it were broken down into majors, but it’s a start!
How to choose a college – data base searches
There are many websites that will help you sort colleges and universities according to different criteria. A good one is Cappex. You can input your data, and then select colleges and it will predict your chances of getting in from low to high, give you yearly cost estimates, distance to travel there, and reviews of the college. It will notify you about colleges that mark they are interested in you and scholarship opportunities you might want to apply for. Another one is College Navigator.
How to choose a college – what not to do
Sometimes defense is the best offense. Top 15 Mistakes to Avoid in Choosing a College
How to choose a college – your college major
If you know what you want to major in it can help you choose your college or university. Check out my series of articles, You’re majoring in what? – How to choose a college major.
Last step to choosing a college
Don’t miss this important last step in how to choose a college.
Ask yourself, after college, then what?
You might find yourself forced into more school.
Or you might just find yourself in the situation I did, 25 years ago. Sadly, as shown in this recent August, 2017 column on Forbes, things haven’t changed.
How to choose a college – more resources
Sometimes a book is the best option for really digging into an important issue like how to choose a college. I have a post about great books to help you think about choosing a college.