Choosing a College: Factors to Consider

Stuart Miles

Stuart Miles

There are really no right or wrong factors to consider when comparing colleges and making a choice.  For some people, nice dorms and good food is important.  For others, it could be modern facilities or sports.  And let’s not forget about academic programs.  Below is a list of factors to take into consideration when developing a college list.

College Fit

Sometimes issues such as proximity to boyfriend/girlfriend, peer’s opinions, or national championships in sports come into play when choosing a college. But what students need to focus on is not finding the best college, but the right college.  Students should analyze their strengths and understand their weaknesses. They need to take into consideration their learning style. Are lecture halls with hundreds of students going to work? Or are classes with small teacher to student ratios a better fit? The geographic location and size of the school are important factors as well.  What is the level of the academic demand of the school?  What academic programs and extracurricular offerings do they have that are of interest? Consider financial resources as well.  There are a wide range of college options out there that could be the right fit for you.

Visit Different Colleges

It is important to visit different types of schools, public, private, Christian, large, and small, to know what is the best fit.  Take the formal tour but also wander around the campus on your own.  Eat the food, go to the library, check out the dorms.  Where do students hang out on campus?  Are you going to feel safe on campus?  Ask about organizations for Christian students on campus if you are looking at secular schools. Talk to students that attend the college.  Ask to sit in on a class or meet professors that teach in the major you are interested in.  Checking out the campus media can also give you a good indication of the culture of the school.

Keep Your Options Open

Sometimes students have a change of heart.  Suddenly, they do not want to move across the country to get away from their parents and want to attend a school that is closer to home.  Sometimes students put all their eggs in one basket.  They get focused on just one school and miss out on a lot of other great opportunities offered by other colleges.  Admissions can be unpredictable and it is important that students have a balanced list of college options.  This list should include dream schools as well as schools that are slam dunks.  The college list should have the flexibility that will allow you to have options, regardless of the final outcome.

Mrs. Christy Lee serves LCS as the secondary guidance counselor. To reach Christy, you may email her at

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Published on by Christy Lee.