Graduating from high school and attending college or university is an important milestone for many students. At this time of year, students are months away from high school graduation and now beginning to receive acceptance letters from colleges or universities. Choosing the school to attend in a timely manner can be an overwhelming, complex decision. How does a student decide on just one school?
Below are some factors for students to consider when selecting the best school to fit their needs.
Tuition is generally the largest college and university expense for students. Tuition costs vary whether it's a public versus private school, the student applying is domestic versus out of region, the specialized programs and resources offered, along with so much more.
Housing is the next highest cost of attending college or university. Rental rates differ depending on whether it's an on-campus or off-campus unit. Other factors include rental housing availability, location, distance to campus, amenities or utilities included, and the cost of living in the city. Before selecting a college or university, it can be helpful to view some rental options in the area on Places4Students.com.
Transportation is an ongoing expense which accumulates over time. Questions to consider include: Is the school close to home or is re-location required? Will the student be moving to another province, state or country? How will they be moving their belongings? Will transportation be required daily to and from campus, along with travel to local amenities and activities? Costs vary between public transit, Uber, taxis, school shuttles, car rentals and other available alternatives.
School Size and Location
It is important to feel comfortable and at home while attending school. Some students thrive within a small community, whereas others prosper in a big city. Students have varying learning styles and may learn more effectively in specific class-sized settings. It can be helpful to check out the student to staff ratio. In contrast, if the quality and availability of resources is important, perhaps a larger school may be ideal.
Academic Majors Available
Colleges and universities vary with their academic offerings. Some students seek a very specific direction with state-of-the-art facilities and accreditations within their field of study. Others may have multiple interests and can switch majors upon experience; therefore, the availability of other programs is ideal.
These are just some of the many factors to consider when choosing the best school. Often the costs are a major determinant when narrowing down school choices. Students are encouraged to apply for available grants, financial aid and seek out scholarships to assist in covering expenses.
Moving out for the first time, or in general, can be intimidating and costly. Places4Students recently wrote a blog outlining some tips for budgeting while attending school.
It’s important for students to do research into the above factors first, before responding to an acceptance letter. Learning to manage new responsibilities and live independently can seem daunting in the beginning; but with the proper preparation can lead to success.
SEE ALSO: A Guide for Transitioning From High School to College or University
The Places4Students.com Team