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5 Things People Forget to Consider When Choosing a College

December 09, 2009 By: Category: Best College Tips

Choosing a college can be very stressful. The college’s reputation, cost of tuition, college major options, location – all of these points are important to consider, but what are the important things that people forget to consider? Here is a list of 5 frequently forgotten facts to consider before you make your college choice:

  1. Regional vs. National Accreditation: Most people understand why they should choose an accredited college, but do you know there are different types of accreditation? Most colleges are regionally or nationally accredited and the type of accreditation your college has may affect whether your credits will transfer to another college. There are benefits to both, but make sure you understand whether regional or national accreditation is right for you.
  2. Tuition Increases: My tuition went up almost 50% from the time I started to the time I finished. Make sure to ask what the college’s plans and policies are for tuition increases.
  3. The Cost of Living Off-Campus: While you may know how much it will cost to live in the dorms, but do you plan on living in the dorms all four years? If you are planning to live off campus, make sure you know how much it will cost. My rent in pricey Boulder, Colorado (for a room in an absolutely disgusting house with seven roommates) was more than five times what my brother paid in Albion, Michigan when he attended Albion College. His tuition was nearly 2500 dollars more than mine, but my cost of living was almost five thousand dollars than his. Something to think about.
  4. Career Services: The networking connections you make in college can be more valuable than the quality of education you receive. Prestigious colleges and small, close-knit colleges generally offer the best networking and career service opportunities. Make sure to find out what you can expect from the career services office and what type of organized career networking opportunities will be provided.
  5. Weather: The weather may be beautiful when you visit your college choice in June, but what will it be like in December? If the thought of walking across campus in a hail storm doesn’t appeal to you, then think twice before you make your final decision. Also, consider the campus layout. Some campuses are very spread out which may be fine when it’s 70 degrees, but not in two feet of snow.

Make sure to consider these factors before you make your college choice. Good luck and happy hunting!