College Selection

Some factors to consider

College or University

A college is an undergraduate institution, often with a small student-faculty ratio,where faculty members teach all courses. A university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees; courses may be taught by graduate assistants rather than faculty members, but the institution may offer a wider range of courses.

Two- or four-year

A two-year institution usually grants an associate’s degree; a four-year institution grants a bachelor’s degree. Technical and business schools offer specialized areas of certification.

Public or private

Public institutions vary in size and offer reduced tuition for in-state residents. Private institutions may offer smaller classes with more attention from faculty members depending on the size of the institution.

Cost Tuition, fees, room and board and personal expenses (including transportation).

Financial aid Scholarships, loans, jobs, educational opportunity programs, and work-study. What percentage of students receive financial aid, and what percentage of student needs are met?

Courses What courses are available in your area(s) of interest? You can find courses by browsing the course catalog from the school or online. Does the curriculum match up with your interests? If you know what you want to major in, pay special attention to the department offerings. Review the strength of program and look for any accreditation the program may have.

Ranking The US News and World Report ranking of colleges and universities is only a rough measure, but it has some useful information. Read the details about the colleges you are interested in, including academic reputation, average SAT scores, and percentage of applicants accepted.

Size Small (under 2000 undergraduates), medium (2000-15,000), or large (over 15,000). Colleges tend to be smaller than universities.

Location In-state or out-of-state. If located away from home, how far away? Consider transportation: how accessible is the school by car, bus, train, and plane.

Setting Rural, small town, urban, suburban.

Population Find out the geographic distribution of the student body. Are students mainly from New York State residents? Is the Northeast heavily represented? Are all 50 states represented? Are there international students?

Student ratio Is the college single-sex or coed? What is the ratio of males to females?

Faculty ratio What are the average class sizes? Are courses taught by professors or graduate assistants? How much individual help is available?

Facilities Tour residence halls, the library, science laboratories, language labs, computer center, and recreational facilities.

Tech support How much technical support does the school offer? Does it support your preferred platform? Does the school require you purchase a laptop computer?

Affiliation Non-denominational or church-related? Military academy?

Grading policy Does the school include pass-fail options and/or traditional grades? Is independent study an option at upper levels?

Competition Does the school fit your wish for a competitive or non-competitive atmosphere? Is there a great deal of pressure to achieve?

Admissions Most admissions offices consider rigor of program, overall GPA, extracurricular activities, test scores, recommendations, and essays. Ask what is most important to the school. How selective is it? (i.e., what percentage of applicants are accepted?)

Further Study What percentage of graduates attend graduate and/or professional schools? (This is especially important for students planning to enter a field requiring more than four years of college).

Job Placement Are graduates working? How many? Where? Salaries? How much help will you receive from the college placement office?

ROTC Is this available on campus or at a nearby college? Which branches of the service are represented?

Travel Is study abroad available? If so, is it limited to language majors only, or all interested students?

Activities What activities are offered? Music, athletics (interscholastic and intramural), drama, literary, fraternities, sororities?

Other Services Counseling, provisions for handicapped students, tutoring?

Calendar Traditional semesters, trimesters, quarters, January terms?

Miscellaneous Are there early admissions, early decision, or honors programs? Can you accelerate and graduate in less than two or four years? Will college courses taken at Clinton be accepted?

See the LINKS below - the College Board College Matchmaker will assist you to find the colleges that meets your needs.
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Files Related to College Selection

Choosing the Right Type of College

Choosing the Right College Priorities Worksheet

College Comparison Worksheet

 


Links Related to College Selection