Picking The Right College


Taylor West, Assistant Editor

One of the biggest questions for students going into their final year of high school is, what next? For many, life after high school means more schooling, only this time in the form of what we call college. A challenge that almost every senior with a plan to go into college faces is choosing what college. Making the decision on where to spend the next 2-8 years of your life is a choice that many students either don’t take seriously- or stress over a greatly. Things like major, location, student life, and job placement are vital to securing your perfect college.


Attending a college that offers your desired major is critical. While this seemingly is a no-brainer students look at when going to college, the academic program of their major is not. For example, if a student interested in nursing applies to a University of Texas at Austin and Texas Woman’s University, which is the better option? In terms of their major, TWU is the best choice. With UTA being a liberal arts centered college, going there for nursing would be far different from attending a college known for their nursing program like TWU. However, not everyone knows what they want to do right out of high school. Picking a college that has lots to offer for students who are still undecided is very important. Finding out how involved and related to your choice of college is to the interested area of study is a major part of the college selection process.


Going to college and rooming with some of your best friends sounds like a good idea in first light. Not having to meet a new roommate with the possibility of disliking them is an appealing option to many. However, attending college solely for the purpose of being in the same location as your friends is a bad idea. The location of where the college is located is everything. The decision on what you prefer- rural, city, or country- is the main factor into how to assess location. A school like Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas is seen as a school that’s quite literally, in the middle of nowhere. Although, some people enjoy the quiet of a small town with not much to do other than to focus on studies. On the other hand, a college like NYU in New York is located in a very populated area with lots to do and life always on the move. You’ll be spending the next 2-10 years of your life there, pick a location that you know you’ll love living in.

Student Life:

Student life on a college campus is more than just the clubs and academic programs offered. Things such as greek life, party scene, student satisfactory, and diversity are all determining factors into how the student life averages out. Greek life is an involvement that most, if not all, colleges have. Whether or not greek life is a big deal on campus can and will determine how your greek life will go. Average student satisfactory is also kind of a big deal. If most students claim to only be at the college for the degree, rather than the experience, you then have to look at yourself and decide what you are expecting out of college. Websites like Collegeboard.com can help significantly with seeing how students perceive the college and its campus.

Job Placement

The percent of job placement is most likely one of the most important things on the college checklist. While it may not seem like it during, you go to college to get a degree and hopefully a job. If a college has low job placement for graduating students, is it really worth attending? Spending the thousands of dollars to go to a college that has a low job placement can be a waste of both time and money. Checking the colleges’ job placement and how many people actually get a job after earning their degree is a very important.

Between local community colleges like TCC and bigger named ones like Tech or A&M, college is stressful for everyone. Things like location, student life, job placement, and majors are just a few of the critical things students should be concerned with. And remember- there isn’t a certain age or grade you must be to start thinking about your future! Some start as early as freshman year, but the earlier the better.