As a senior starting the last leg of my journey through high school, I have to look at the next big step in a young person’s life: college. And let’s be honest, there are a lot of colleges in the United States, 2,354 to be exact. That’s a lot of choices for a student to look at to see where they want to spend the next four years learning and living. For me, there were three things to look at when narrowing down my choice: location of the school, price of the school and eligibility.
1 – Location, Location, Location
Location is an important part of the process, because if you don’t want to be in Louisiana for another four or more years, it’s important to look at your choices elsewhere. If you don’t already know which region you’re interested in, I’d advise looking at something like weather, and what size school you want to go to. Personally, I knew I wanted to go out West for college, specifically California. I also wanted to go to a medium-sized school (not super large, not super small).
2 – What’s in Your Wallet?
Next, a good thing to look at is the price of the school, what kinds of scholarships are available to you, and if you are going somewhere in Louisiana, what TOPS funds are available to you. There are thousands of scholarships up for grabs from everything from being the child of a veteran to being a descendant of the people on the Mayflower. A great way to find scholarships tailored to you is Festweb.com. For this website, you fill out a long questionnaire, and it presents you a long list of scholarships you are eligible for. These scholarships can give you anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars.
3 – Do You Have What it Takes?
The last and possibly most important factor of your college selection is your eligibility to get in — by this, I mean your GPA/ACT. What grades and scores you need all depends on the school you want to go to, with some schools not even needing specific ACT scores or GPA, while others look at you as a whole student including your public service and your writing skills. Some schools require SAT scores, so do your research.
Let’s Take a Look…
After narrowing down your choices to the couple that fit all your criteria, I highly suggest going to tour the schools. I had four choices that I was looking at, and when I toured the second school, I knew I didn’t have to look at anymore because of how impressed I was with it. Incidentally, this was not the school I thought I would choose, so keep an open mind.
Looking for colleges can be a very overwhelming task, but if you follow these steps, hopefully, finding a college will be a little less stressful.