5 Steps to Choosing the Right College

by Anne B. Robinson

Whether you’re at the end of your days as a senior in high school and are already counting down to graduation, or you’re a sophomore exploring different options, there’s no time too early or late to plan your future. Getting a college education is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, but choosing the right college is even more important. Now that you’re at this stage, you should start digging and doing everything you can to choose a college that’s the right fit for you.

This might not be easy because there are so many options out there. Also, you’re going into a new stage of your life, so you might be scared of getting things wrong. So, it’s quite a difficult step, but it’s not insurmountable.

There’s more to choosing a college than whatever name is on the diploma. The school you eventually attend will affect different aspects of your life, including your social activities and academic pursuits. So, it’s an important decision you must consider carefully before you take it.

Not many students will have a clear choice, especially if there’s pressure from the family to choose a specific school or if their top choice college doesn’t accept them. However, several resources can help you with your college planning process and make sure you choose the right one. This article discusses a few steps that you can take to do this:

1. Know what you want

You should start by asking yourself what a college must have to consider the best fit for you. Do you want a school that provides tons of opportunities for student involvement? Are you looking to continue your career as an athlete? What are you looking for specifically in a college? The academic program you wish to major in should top your list, but what else? If you don’t know what you want, it’ll be hard to streamline the many colleges around you and make your choice.

So, make a detailed list of those things you want your college to have. Your search for a suitable college begins with this list. It’s easier to narrow down colleges by using your list to determine if they fit or not.

2. Research several schools

Now that you have a list of everything you want in a college, you can start looking for potential schools that fit your requirements. Check your boxes and the colleges that tick them. That’s why you have the internet. You should get used to using the internet to research because you’ll be doing that a lot for your essays and dissertations unless you’re willing to outsource them to dissertation writing services.

You can also use Niche and CollegeBoard platforms for your online college search. With these sites, you can narrow your search down based on location, campus life, and school size (if they’re part of your requirements).

You can also discuss it with your high school counselor. They should know enough and be willing to help you. Talk about what you want and possible options. You can also ask about local college fairs if they’re coming up to help your search.

3. Create your school shortlist

Having listed your requirements and a long list of schools that might fit, now is the time to streamline them. Create a priority for your requirements and use it to determine the best schools. It might help if you have priority points for your requirements and score each school based on whether or not they fit each requirement. The total points would help you determine the best schools for you. Create your shortlist in that order.

4. Visit the campuses

Sometimes, what you do online isn’t enough. The internet might not tell all the story. Your eyes are a better judge than what you read and hear. So, as part of your process, visit the campuses if you have the time and means to do so. Walk around, ask people questions, feel the ambiance, and see things for yourself. You would rate some schools higher and others lower if you visited them. If you can’t picture yourself walking around the school as a student, that’s not the right place for you.

5. Submit applications

Now that you have your shortlist and have visited them by yourself, it’s time to send in applications. This is the most important part of your process because the quality of your application determines whether you get admitted into the school or not.

You’ve scored the colleges, and some didn’t cut. Now it’s time for them to rate you, so it’s up to you to ensure you cut. Go through the school’s website and follow the process for admission. Make sure to put your best foot forward and try to impress the admission boards in the best way possible. It’s not enough for them to make your shortlist. You should make theirs too.


Getting into college is an important phase of life, but you can help by ensuring you attend the right college. This helps you in a lot of ways. This article discusses how you can achieve this.

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