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Service Journalism: How to decide on the “right” college

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As March ends, students from all over the world begin to receive their letters of acceptance at universities they applied to. Students will have to decide on a school to attend in the fall by the first of May. For some, it may be an easy decision. For others, it may take quite a bit of thought. Here are some tips to think about when deciding on which university to commit to this fall.

Know what you want in a college:

“Identify several aspects of college life and rank each by importance to you,” says clinical psychologist Jerry Weichman. “You can see how much more it really weighs on their mind.” Consider the size, location, majors offered, student life and other aspects of the university. Match the university to what is most important to you. For example, if you value sports as the number one thing you are looking for in a college, look into the university that has a good sports program.

Check out the financial aid package:

According to the College Board, in 2014-15, about two-thirds of full-time students paid for college with the help of financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships, and in 2015-16, undergraduate and graduate students received $240.9 billion in student aid. Not all schools are the same. One college will offer a different amount of financial aid than another. If money is a big factor in your college decision process, compare the financial aid packages of each school and go towards the one that will cost your family the least amount of money in the long run. Remember that college is a great educational opportunity and will help enhance your skills for the future. College is an investment to your future and can be affordable.

Find out the majors offered:

According to the University of La Verne, 50% – 70% of students change their major at least once, and most students will change their major at minimum of 3 times before graduating. Look into the different majors offered at schools you have been admitted to. Since about six out of 10 students change their major, it might be a good idea to attend a university that has not only a wide variety of majors, but majors that you might be interested in if you do decide to switch.

Look into job connections:

Career counselors are trained to help you clarify your goals using a variety of assessments and approaches, claims the University of La Verne. Get a number of the counselor to student ratio. Schools should be providing resources to students when they attend the school as well as prepare them for when they graduate. The career services center will be able to give information on job fairs and on-campus interviews.

Don’t procrastinate:

The deadline to submit the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) is May 1. Similar to the college application process, use your time wisely. Just because it may be a difficult decision to choose where you will be for the next four years doesn’t mean that you should put it off. It’s an important decision that will impact your future.

Remember that no two colleges are the same. Choose what will be best for you, and where you see yourself attending. Don’t forget to keep up with the other deadlines such as the housing application and other tasks in your to-do list. Congratulations on your acceptance!

 

About the Writer
Eugelyn Lopez, Features Editor

Grade: 12

Most passionate about: The environment, education, and self love.

Teletubby that relates to you most: PO! No wait, I think I'm the sun...

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