12 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing a College

12 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing a College - How to Decide on A College - ew & pt

No one ever said choosing a college would be easy. When making this huge decision, there are a ton of factors to look into. Choosing a college is almost like an equation: The college you choose must somewhat equal your happiness, financial stability and intelligence. Let’s not turn this into math though; there’s plenty of heart involved in the decision, too.

When looking for my perfect college, I changed my mind almost every time I went on a tour. By the end of the process I ended up at a college I had almost ruled out, who knew? So, here are questions to ask yourself when choosing a college, ranging from your head to your heart to your wallet.

1. How far from home am I willing to go?

This really helped me narrow down my college search. I chose only to look at schools that were a maximum of two and a half hours away from my home. If you want to be able to easily or often get home, be sure to limit your distance.

If you’re willing to go very far from home, you have to ask yourself which area of the U.S. you want to be on or which states you really are interested in to narrow down your search.

2. Will I commute or dorm there?

This also has to do with how far you’re willing to go. If you’re dorming at a school, look into the percentage of commuters. If you live in a mostly commuter school, it might be difficult to obtain a full, college experience as most people won’t be on campus during the weekends or nighttime. If you’re commuting you must ask how easy/long would the commute be?

Some commutes might be shorter but others might be a little bit longer with more access to public transportation. Factor in if you have a car or not and also factor in how long it’ll take to travel.

3. Do I want to be close to a big city or college town?

This is a huge factor when choosing colleges. If you’re not sure, try visiting a college in both. They each have their perks. You can also try to find a school close to a city but also close to a college town, which is sort of what my college is.

Be sure to check out the surrounding areas of the college when making your decision.

4. Am I interested in Greek life (sororities or fraternities)?

While most of us may not consider this in our decisions, it can be a huge deal to others. When you visit colleges, ask if Greek life is big on campus. Schools will be honest. My school has Greek life but it’s not very big.

5. Do I plan on studying abroad?

This is only important if you have plans to study abroad or visit another country during your studies. Ensure the school you’re interested in has a program or the opportunity for abroad studies.

6. Am I too smart for this school?

Don’t get too arrogant with this one, but be confident in your capabilities. Don’t choose a school because it seems easy. Choose a school whose academia you believe will challenge you and genuinely help you.

7. How am I paying for this?

Consider student loans and scholarships. Also, talk to your parents. While, for me, I shelved this as a “LMAO! This is a FUTURE me problem! Money!? HA!” and chose a pricey school (which I don’t regret), you should truly consider how you’ll be paying for college now (and when you’re a grad).

8. Does this have my major?

While considering this, also consider if this is the major you really want. Also consider how great the program is and which types of course or hands-on experiences are offered.

Be sure to check out my posts on choosing your majors and knowing if it’s right for you:

How to Choose A Major 

10 Ways to Know You Chose the Right Major

9. Does this have a variety of majors in case I change my mind?

You might think you have your major totally figured out, but having a safety net could never hurt. I can name less than five people I know who went in to college with a major and graduated with that same major. Ensure you have other choices of major to fall back on just in case.

10. Do I want a huge school, a medium school or a small school?

Not all of us are cut out for the thousands of people in a university. Personally, I wanted a small to medium school where I could bump into familiar faces every day. I wanted smaller, more personal classes rather than classes with 100 students in a lecture hall.

If you’re a bit torn, try visiting one school from each category. It really helps you get a feel for the community and environment. Visiting a university helped me to rule them out–the campus didn’t feel homelike and it seemed too big for me.

11. Why am I choosing this college?

If it includes anything about your friends or spouse, you need to sit back and look at the other parts of the college, totally ignoring that fact. A must read is: 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing A College!

12. Could I really see myself going here?

When you step onto that campus, can you picture carrying your books across the quad? Do you envision attending sports games and joining the clubs they told you about? Can you see your favorite posters on those dorm walls? This question definitely comes down to the heart. Sometimes you can just feel it.

What’s important to you when it comes to choosing a college?

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  • When I chose colleges, my number one choice turned out to be the wrong choice last minute. Lucky for me, the school I ended up with is the one for me.

    School size and how much it cost was two of the biggest factors for me! So is your last tip– sometimes a school seems perfect on paper, but it’s not really for you.

    • Same here! My top choice during the whole process ended up being way too expensive and I couldn’t really see myself going there, even though I desperately wanted to. I love that tip, I wish it was something I considered sooner! 🙂

  • These are great questions to be thinking about when choosing a college! I remember choosing a college was such an overwhelming experience that I just couldn’t even figure out where to begin. Asking yourself these questions is the perfect starting point! xx, Hannah


    • Same here! I didn’t even know where to begin. I’m glad you agree 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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