Beginning your college search

The process of choosing a college can be daunting. With over 4,000 institutions of higher education in the United States alone, the first question may be “Where do I even start?!” Here are a few things that students should consider as they begin their college search.

  • Major. Many students agonize over what they will study. It is an important decision, but your major does not need to influence your college decision as much as you might think. The reality is that most colleges and universities offer most of the majors you’re considering. Unless you have a highly specialized major, you will be able to study almost anywhere.
  • What do you do for fun? You may love acting, yet not want to major in theatre. Do the schools you’re considering allow you to pursue theatre as a hobby while majoring in business? Make sure the college you choose allows you to pursue your passion as a participant without having to major in it. As another example: If you loved being on student council in high school, you don’t want to attend a college or university that won’t allow you to serve in student government until your junior year.
  • Distance from home. This is an issue for parents, too. How far do you want your kids to be? Or, how fast do you want to be able to get to them if there’s a problem?
  • Size. Again, this may not be as big an issue as you think. Muskingum University can feel big when you realize all the opportunities; a large school can can feel small if you join a special interest club and find a tight-knit group of friends there.
  • Public vs. private. This isn’t a big deal, either – it’s all about how the school is funded.
  • Cost. Although the cost of attending college is an important factor for students and their families, don’t limit yourself by looking only at the cost. Private schools have a higher price tag, but they also have more money to help you pay for your education. It’s worth walking through the entire financial aid process before making your decision.
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