A couple of you have been wondering about where to begin when deciding what colleges to look at or apply to. Though I am nowhere near a college admissions connoisseur, here are some things I looked at when choosing colleges:
- Major/Concentration– Does the school offer majors that you are interested in and are likely to major in? In addition, be sure to look at the degree requirements. Not all degrees are created equally. For example, one who receives a BA in creative writing at a liberal arts school may receive a significantly different education than one who receives a BA in creative writing at a school known for STEM fields.
- Minors/Secondary Fields– If you have a lot of interests outside of what you plan on doing for the rest of your life, make sure there are some minors that allow you to explore these interests. Some schools allow students to have more than one minor, while other schools do not allow students of particularly hard majors to minor or double major (because they care about your sanity). Make notes of these things.
- General Education Requirements– (Disclaimer: I don’t think most people do this. I just do because I like knowing what I may get myself into.) Different schools have different general education requirements. Some schools make GE courses about 1/3 of your college course load, while others do not have many. Additionally, some schools have set courses that one needs to take, while others have breadth requirements in certain subjects, giving you a little more freedom.
- Extracurricular Activities– Are there certain clubs, sports, or after school activities that you want to continue pursuing after high school? Are there new things that you’ve been dying to try but never had the time? Look through the list of organizations on campus so you can find your niche.
- Jobs/Internships/Grad School Preparation/Study Abroad Programs– Will the courses you take help you get into graduate/medical school? Are you looking to have an internship or do research while in college? What about jobs? Do you want to study abroad? Check out what the school offers and see if it aligns with your ideal college experience.
- School Culture– Get a feel for the school. Read the student blogs and other snippets of information about the school found on the internet. Follow the school’s social media accounts. If possible, visit and get a vibe of the school. Walk around the campus and talk to some of the students. Go to a school that you can imagine yourself fitting in and enjoying, not one merely for the name.
That’s it for now. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at HSA! Best of luck with your college endeavors!