By: Taylor Lavella –
Picking a college is one of the toughest choices of a student’s life. There are so many factors that affect the choice that has to be made. Some factors include: relativity to home; if the school has a student’s major; the size of the school; the cost of the school; and a student’s overall gut feeling towards the school.
Every student encounters these factors when picking a college. It’s which factor you choose as the most important to you that will influence your overall decision.
To find out what was really most important to students, the Seton-La Salle guidance counselor, Mrs. Judy Caves, seemed like the right person to ask.
Every year Mrs. Caves helps send Seton-La Salle students off to college.
When asked what the single most important factor was in choosing a college, she answered, “I think the most important factor differs from student to student. I always ask the student what criteria is most important to them?”
Seton-La Salle Senior, Hannah Kelly remarked on her most important factor as she is picking her college this year. She replied, “They have to have your major because you need to study your major.”
Fellow Senior, Abby Downey, suggested, “To me it is important to choose a college that fits you personally.”
Each of these factors are important to each student. Picking a college that relates to each student specifically is tricky and is why there is no single answer. Each student has their own needs and it is okay for your needs to differ from your friend’s need.
When asked what she thought was the biggest mistake that student’s make when picking a college, Mrs. Caves said, “The biggest mistake is applying to the college (s) that their friends are applying to.”
It is important when looking for a college that you find a place where you can see yourself being independent and learning to meet new people.
Downey agreed with Mrs. Caves adding, “They go where their friends go. I think it is important to go where you like and not based off of what the people around you are doing because it is your future, not theirs.”
Downey and Mrs. Caves also agreed that it is more important to love a school, rather than to focus exclusively on your major.
“Yes, it is important and if you feel at home at the school and it does not have you major it is most likely a sign that that is not what you were meant to do, so go in undecided,” said Downey.
Kelly wondered, “Why would you go to a school that doesn’t have your major if you are set on your major and know what you would like to do?”
If you have a set major, it has been seen in most students that they want to go to a place with that major, but if a student is unsure, it is more commonly seen to go to a place you love, and to explore your education options there.”
Lastly, if you are starting the college search now or later, Mrs. Caves gave a few questions to ask yourself when looking for a college.
She suggested the questions: “Have I visited?”, “Can I afford it?”, “Am I willing to take on the loans?”, “What is the job placement like?”, “What is campus like on the weekends?”
All of these are very important questions relating both to the social and costly aspects of college. Kelly reported asking a similar question like, “Could I see myself on this campus?”
Answering these questions along with others will hopefully help you in your college search. Picking a school that is the right place for you is very important in the college search. If you are unsure about a college or what you would like to do go in undecided and visit. Seeing a campus can really show you a great deal about the college.
It is one of the biggest decisions of a student’s life, but if you work hard on your choice, it will get you the greatest success in your college life and beyond.