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Choosing the right college for you

Right now you are probably in middle school and are thinking to yourself “College is a long way away.  Why do I need to worry about it right now?”  Now is actually the perfect time to start thinking about it.  It’s a big job to choose what’s right for you- what you want to do when you graduate high school, if you’ll go to college; and where you’d attend if you did.


There are many factors that make this a hard decision, the programs and classes, the location and size of the school, and of course, do you like it?


Programs and Classes

One of the first things to consider is “Does this college offer the degree or classes I want and need to take?”  You’ll need to do some research to find out, because not all colleges offer the same programs.  For instance, only certain schools in the US offer a degree in Mechatronics.  Another point to look at is if the school has a solid program in the field you are interested in.  “Do they have a lot of graduates, do the graduates get jobs more easily out of school, are they well known?” 


Location and Size

Do you want to move to another state?  To another city?  A big city?  A small city?  Do you want to be near family or a support system, like close friends or family friends?  A bigger college?  A smaller college?  It is important to consider these because if you are more comfortable with where you are, you will be more likely to do better in your classes. You may feel that you want to be closer to home so you can come back on the weekends, so you may look at colleges closer to home.  If you want smaller class sizes you probably want to choose a smaller college.  The classes will be smaller making it easier to talk with your professors one on one. A larger school may offer you more activities to do outside of the classroom and generally more research funding and opportunities in which to participate.


Do you like it?

Have you ever gone somewhere, say a new park, or on vacation somewhere, and just not liked the area?  You probably were happy to leave when you did.  The same goes for a college.  It is important to visit the colleges you are interested in and check out the departments you want to get your degree in.  If you go and you feel comfortable, and enjoy the experience, it’s probably a good fit.  If you go and it just doesn’t feel quite right or there’s something about it you don’t like, it may not be the right fit for you.  Don’t forget to take your parents with you when you go, they know a lot and can be a great help in making this big decision.


Useful Links

You may want to check out some of these links for ideas about where to go, what major to choose, and other options you might want to think about as you consider a college!

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