Choosing which college to attend is a big decision. With so many options from which to choose, finding the right fit can feel daunting. Below are a few of the key factors that should guide you in choosing the college that is right for you.
The usefulness of considering a college’s graduation rate is twofold. First, the school’s graduation rate tells you how many students enroll with the intention of getting a degree but are unable to achieve success. Students leave college for various reasons, including financial limitations, family obligations or transferring to another college. No school will have a perfect graduation rate, but if a school’s graduation rate is in the single digits, this may indicate that the school does a poor job of equipping its students for the job market.
Second, researching the graduation rate will allow you to see how long most students take to complete their degrees. Because students enter college with varying levels of experience and knowledge of subject matter, many schools require several prerequisites before allowing students to enroll in the classes that will help them attain their degree. This may add between one and three semesters to your education, which will significantly impact the cost of your degree.
Average Class Size
Consistently large class sizes may indicate overworked faculty, as well as a limited opportunity for one-on-one communication with your professors. Colleges often have larger class sizes for introductory level courses and general education courses, but when you begin taking classes that pertain to your specific area of interest, you want to ensure that your professor is accessible.
While most colleges do not report their average class size, this information can be easily attained. Course catalogs often state how many seats are available for any given class, and an admissions counselor can tell you what to expect from actual course enrollment.
Financial aid allows college to be an option for students who would otherwise be unable to afford it. However, not all schools accept financial aid, and not all schools provide scholarships and grants. When researching a school, consider whether or not the school accepts financial aid, as well as how many loans you will be required to take out.