Originally Posted: Jan 6, 2020
Last Updated: Oct 26, 2020
Choosing where to go to college is a big deal, and there are a lot of things to take into consideration when making that big decision. Here's student vlogger Toni’s best advice to keep in mind before you send in your deposit and make your final decision.
Trust your gut (1:36)
If you feel naturally drawn to a college, it’s likely because you belong there. The second you step on campus, you’ll probably feel an immediate reaction such as “I love this place” or “This isn’t for me.” Listen to your instincts! They’re usually right.
Location, location, location (2:42)
Location is super important in your college search. If you want to work in the area after college, you’ll have an easier time getting your foot in the door if you get a few internships in the area as opposed to finding work elsewhere. Climate is also important. There might be a college with a great program for you in the Northeast, but if you hate the cold or don’t want to deal with snow, it’s definitely not the right place for you. Make sure you’ll be in a place that makes you happy.
Be happy with your program (3:52)
Every program will give you different tools to apply to your career. If you know exactly what you want to do after college, a very specified, top-ranking program will be great for you. But if you’re still hoping to explore a bit, a school with diverse studies might be better. Just make sure the program has everything that you want in it!
Get what you want (5:55)
What skills do you want out of your college education? What extracurricular activities do you want to be involved in? Will the school help you with career planning? Make sure you’re getting everything you want from your education—otherwise you’ll be unhappy with it.
College isn’t just classes (6:21)
Sure, you’re at college to learn, and academics are the most important part. However, social life is a huge part of college too. You’re going to make friends and connections you’ll have for a long time while you’re at college. So make sure you find a school with people you’re compatible with who will enhance your college experience.
Name brands aren’t important (10:10)
Just because you have a fancy name on your diploma doesn’t mean you got the best education for what you want to do. Hiring managers care more about what you learned, what experiences you have, and what you bring to the table more than big-name schools. If you don’t think you’ll get the education you want at an Ivy, that’s fine! You should be in a place where you feel comfortable and happy rather than somewhere that just sounds impressive.
Don’t forget the financial aspect (13:13)
College is a huge investment. Don’t forget to consider the financial part of your college education. If you’re caught between two similar schools, choosing the one that will give you the least amount of student debt may be the better option. Money isn’t the most important factor, but it’s still a big one.
Your final decision
The most important thing to remember when making your final college decision—despite how overwhelming it may feel—is that it’s your decision and no one else’s. Follow your heart and your head to find the best college for you, and know that wherever your end up you’re sure to thrive as long as you’re happy and working hard. Congrats on your college journey!
Looking for more advice on how to choose a college? Check out our College Admission section!