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).
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.
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.
Small (under 2000 undergraduates), medium (2000-15,000), or large (over
15,000). Colleges tend to be smaller than universities.
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?
ratio What are the average class sizes? Are courses taught by
professors or graduate assistants? How much individual help is
Facilities Tour residence halls, the library, science laboratories, language labs, computer center, and recreational facilities.
support How much technical support does the school offer? Does it
support your preferred platform? Does the school require you purchase a
Affiliation Non-denominational or church-related? Military academy?
policy Does the school include pass-fail options and/or traditional
grades? Is independent study an option at upper levels?
Does the school fit your wish for a competitive or non-competitive
atmosphere? Is there a great deal of pressure to achieve?
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?
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?
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.
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