11 Tips for Deciding on a College

11 Tips for Deciding on a College 11 Tips for Deciding on a College

The May 1st decision day is fast approaching, and many students are wondering where they are going to end up for their next four years. Here is everything you need to know for deciding on a college that is best for you!

1. Academics

should always be one of the most important factors when it comes to deciding on a college. Go somewhere that meets your academic abilities and needs. Make sure they have a major that you are interested in. Look into what they offer in terms of tutors, office hours, and study groups.

2. Campus culture

As cheesy as it is, you really do want to be able to envision yourself on a campus. Think about clubs you might want to join, campus activities you are interested in, and how much you value nightlife and going out. If you don't like going out, you will probably have a hard time at bigger schools that are labeled “party schools.”

3. Team culture

You are going to be spending SO much time with your teammates. You need to make sure that they seem like people you would enjoy spending time with and that they like spending time with each other. This is why overnights can be so helpful. Really use that time to see what the vibe is like on the team. Pay attention to whether teammates live with each other in their dorms or apartments. That is an easy way to tell if they like each other.

4. Finances

Finances are another factor that should be super high on your list. As much as you might like a school, nobody wants to graduate with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Look into academic and athletic scholarships, , and other options a school might offer.

5. Class size

You should know ahead of time what type of learner you are in the classroom. If you need to be in a room with a small student-to-faculty ratio to learn, then you should make sure you think about that when it comes to a school.

6. Careers

When , thinking about your future job is probably pretty low on your list. However, your future self will thank you for considering this. Look into what services a school offers in their career center, what their network is like, and how much they assist you when trying to find a summer internship or job. 

7. Location

is a hugely underrated factor when it comes to deciding on a college. You should think about climate (do you like seasons, humidity, or the cold?), culture, how close you would be to home, and what the surrounding town looks like. People often forget how big the U.S. is and how different parts of the country are. 

8. Dining options

is another underrated factor. It may seem silly, but a can really make or break your college experience. As an athlete, you are going to need to be consuming a lot of food and you want to be able to enjoy the food you are eating. Talk to current students about how they feel about their cafeteria; they will always be honest with you about that.

9. Facilities

If a school has nice athletic facilities, then you will know that that school really values athletics and the health of its students. Especially pay attention to the cafeteria, academic buildings, and dorm buildings. Those are the places where you will be spending the most time.

10. Playing ability

It can be hard for athletes when they expect to start right off the bat in their first game. If you don't think you can handle sitting on the bench, don't go somewhere where you will be sitting on the bench. Think about what you value when it comes to your sport.

11. Gut feeling

Trust yourself when you are making your decision! If you have a preference for a school, lean into it! You don't have to worry too much about finding the “perfect fit.” You can always try out school, and if you hate it, transferring schools has never been easier!

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