There are a lot of things to consider when you are looking for the right college. One of the most important ones is making sure that it is the right college for you. Just because a school has a good reputation, or is particularly difficult to get into, doesn’t mean that school will fit your needs. If you are like many high school juniors and seniors, particularly if you are a decent student, you are already getting brochures in the mail from colleges that would like to receive your application. Many of these schools may seem very attractive to you; because of location, prestige, the facilities, or for some other reason. Doubtlessly, your own research has uncovered several schools that look really good for you. Eventually, however, you’ll have to narrow down your long list of schools to a few that you will actually visit. One criterion that should be forefront in your mind is your major, what degree program you are planning on taking.
When it comes to specific programs, some schools are better than others:
When researching a school, do your research in light of your major. There are a lot of really good schools out there, but you should be looking for more than the school’s overall quality. Instead, focus on what they offer regarding your specific major. You’ll find that some schools have a reputation for providing a robust education in a particular field. Some may be known as having great business programs. Others might have a robust set of science-related degrees. Look at the specific offerings and reputation of the particular major you are pursuing at each school that interests you.
Consider that your degree program might change:
Your college years are a time of extreme personal growth. Many students refine or even change their major while in college. In a lot of cases, however, a student will stay within the basic field, and just tweak their major a little bit. Choosing a college that has a lot of options within your chosen field will give you opportunity to change your major and still have a variety of degree programs to choose from. For example, let’s say you were a Business major that decided to instead major in Management or Human Resources. Or a Psychology major who chose a BS in psychology but decided instead on a BA in psychology after taking your organic chemistry class. If you chose a school known for its business programs or its psychology programs respectively, then you are more likely to be able to make that change in major without changing schools.
Work/study or internship opportunities in your chosen field:
Finally, spend some time researching the opportunities in your prospective colleges for work/study or internship programs. Having some actual working experience in your field of study will give you a leg up in finding a job after college. Even when examining entry-level positions, most hiring managers desire some experience. Even if previous experience isn’t required, your starting salary is likely to be higher if you’ve done some work in the field.