Where Should I Go to College? Tips to Help Students Decide

Three arrows going left, middle and right next to green sneakers.

Your late nights of writing essays and completing applications has resulted in acceptance letters from more than one university.

Now with choices on the table, it’s time to decide what college fits best for you and your goals.

Western Oregon University sophomore Tori Cook recommends prospective students first look at the programs and majors offered by each university. Next, she said to factor in the price. Then, it’s time to schedule tours.

“I would say the best advice I have to give would be to make campus visits and research the colleges’ websites,” Cook said. “And make sure you know the course workload and programs different universities offer.”

Even if you haven’t decided on a major, it’s important to select a university that has a few areas you would be interested in pursuing.

Jessica Zamarron helps students with a math assignment in a bilingual Swegle Elementary School classroom.
Does the university have programs to help you get work experience in your major? Western Oregon University has internships and more to help students get job experience.

Although we would love to have you select Western Oregon University to spend the next four years pursuing your goals, we encourage you to make a choice that matches your plan for your future.

Where you will attend college is a big decision. It’s important you take the time to review your options by knowing what factors are important to you and your family.

Here are tips to aid you in deciding where to go:

Keep in mind

  1. You will need to submit your final high school transcript to complete the university admission process. Keep studying and maintaining the good grades that got you accepted.
  2. Ask your friends, parents, relatives and teachers for their guidance and input on what university would be best for you. Use their valuable advice to help in your decision.
  3. Know the deadlines. While you are deciding, be aware of the deadlines to complete scholarship applications, apply for housing, sign up for summer orientation programs and more.

Start the decision process

  1. Create a list of pros and cons for each college, including academics, social life, the campus food, weather, location and cost. There’s no such thing as the perfect college. Pick the one that feels right. Trust your gut instinct. Many students say they knew what college to pick because it felt the most like home.
  2. If possible, visit each university again. Talk with current students and alumni. Go someplace on campus and think about if you could imagine yourself there for the next four years.
  3. Talk with your family or support group about how much you can afford. Review each college’s financial package and determine what makes the most financial sense for you and your family.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. When I visit the university, do I feel at home? Could I see myself being happy here for the next four years? Do I like the food, the housing options? Does the university have academic programs that interest me? Do I feel like this is a place I can grow and be myself?
  2. What is it going to cost me to attend each college? Do I want to live in a big city, mid-sized city or the suburbs?
  3. How do I feel about the weather? The distance from my home?
  4. What college experiences are important to me,
    Family in Paris.
    When deciding where to attend college, questions to ask include do you want to study abroad? Learn a foreign language?

    and does the college offer it? Going to athletic events? Participating in clubs and organizations? Theater? Music? Study abroad?

  5. What services are available to help me find a job while in college? After college?

Ask questions

Create a list of questions and schedule a time to talk to an admissions counselor.

Questions to ask the college adviser could include:

  • What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
  • How many students return after freshman year? How many students graduate?
  • How many students do you accept into your programs each year?
  • What assistance is available if I am experiencing challenges with a class? Roommate? College life?
  • How do I decide on a major? What help is available?
  • What programs or classes do you have to help freshmen make the transition to college?

RSVP

It’s important to let every college that sent you an acceptance letter know your decision. Make sure to reply with your answer to accept, cancel or defer.

Celebrate

Congrats on making an important decision on your future. Announce where you plan to go by getting a sweatshirt or T-shirt to show your school pride. Make sure to register for housing and summer orientation programs.

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