It is important to research and decide on a college major. The whole purpose of a college education is to prepare you for your future career. Choosing a career will help you narrow down your college choices since every school offers a different choice of majors and course selections. You may even find that some colleges and universities specialize in your particular area of interest.
There are many characteristics of college campuses that may or may not appeal to you. You might prefer to attend a university in an urban, suburban, or rural setting. A decision can also be made on going to a school in state, out of state, or even studying abroad. Some people may want to explore the option of attending a historically black college, single sex school, or a faith-based university.
If you are planning to live on the campus of the school that you will attend, then you need to explore your housing options. Check to see if the dorms are mixed or single sex. Find out if the dorms have private, shared, or community bathrooms. Some schools only have on-campus housing for freshman so you may need to look into the availability of nearby apartments.
You could use the admissions requirements of the colleges and universities that you consider to help further narrow your choices. You should choose a couple of schools in which you more than meet the qualifications and requirements. Also consider schools that you believe could accept you and even a school or two that you feel is beyond your reach because they could say yes to you.
Figure out how you will finance your education and if the tuition cost is feasible. Search out scholarships and education grants. Decide if you could or even should take on a job while going to school. If you need to take out student loans make sure that the amount you borrow is worth the education that you will receive. You don’t want to graduate and have to pay off $100,000 or more in loans with a $25,000 a year career.
You should take a tour of each of your college choices. Try to sit in on a class if possible. If you plan to live on-campus you should stay in (or at least visit) a dorm and eat in the cafeteria. Tour the library, computer labs, student center, bookstore and other campus facilities. Ask if you can talk to a couple of students to get their view on attending the school.
After fully researching all of these criteria you should discuss your choices with a parent, spouse, or someone else whose opinion you trust. You should apply to at least five schools or more to increase the chance that you get into at least one school. There are fees for each application that you submit. If you have financial need then you may qualify for fee waivers though every school does not accept them. These steps do not ensure that you will find the perfect school. They should however aid you in your college search and help you make a more informed decision.