View Full Version : How did you pick your college?

02-27-2005, 04:06 PM
Im a junior in HS, i starting to look for colleges. how Did you pick your college?

02-27-2005, 04:10 PM
I am a second semester freshman at Hollins University. I choose the school by going on visits and just picking the ones that felt right. So my advise to you is to get out there and visit as many schools as you can and choose the one that fells right. :moped:

02-27-2005, 06:44 PM
I sort of did mine in a different way. I was looking at different colleges all over the US when I was thinking I was going to be a theatre major. Then I changed my thinking to be a psychology major with a minor in criminal justice. I sat down and drew a 100 mile radius around my house because there was I wasn't going to go farther than that. I narrowed it down because 25% of that area is Lake Michigan. I had a list of colleges off of collegeboard.com, I think, and I just started crossing things out that I knew I didn't want. Then I went for the schools that had the best location and education for psychology. That is why I am at Loyola University in Chicago!

02-27-2005, 07:30 PM
I started going to my school while I was in high school, doing early entry classes. I was damned and determined to go elsewhere -- I applied to quite a few schools (Texas, Brown, Colorado, Minnesota, Meredith and Agnes Scott), but in the end, it came down to the fact that I really liked OU and didn't want to leave.

I chose some of the other schools I was applying to based on where I saw a lot of people from my town going and being very happy -- mainly, Texas and Colorado. They're close, but not too close, which was a draw for me. My mom went to Minnesota, and I was very interested in the small liberal arts school/all female school environment. Brown was a crapshoot; I had no clue I'd even get in, and while I liked it on my campus visit, I knew I wouldn't be happy there long term.

Had I left OU, it probably would have been Meredith or Agnes Scott -- a completely different experience (large private school vs. VERY small liberal arts schools), but one I still think I would have done well with. Trust your gut, and visit as many schools as you can. Make sure you have time to talk to students who are not official representatives of the university. Sit in on a couple of classes if you can. Talk to your school's guidance counselors -- find out where students from your school have gone and done well. Even if you don't want to go where everyone else has gone, knowing that people with your background have been successful in places you're looking at can be reassuring. See if you can get in touch with alumni of your high school and see what they're happy with and what they wish they had done or known.

02-27-2005, 08:32 PM
I put the names of some schools on a dartboard and threw darts until I actually hit the board ;)

In all seriousness though, I knew (or thought at the time) that I wanted to be in Broadcasting, and that SU had a great broadcast journalism program. I didn't get accepted into that program, but I got my 2nd choice program at SU. I went in thinking I would changing programs, and yes, I ended up changing programs, but not to Broadcast Journalism, I ended up in Information Technology.

02-28-2005, 11:17 AM
Well, I couldn't decide between 2 schools, so my dad told me to make my decision based on whose basketball team went farther in the NCAA tournament, and that's how I picked my school. haha, just kidding. :rolleyes:

I ended up picking Marquette over the University of Wisconsin because I liked the size of Marquette (not too big, yet not too small). As much as I wanted to go to a Big Ten school, I couldn't picture myself at a school with nearly 40,00 students. :earseek: I also got a partial scholarship to Marquette, so that helped in the decision.

02-28-2005, 01:22 PM
hey thank you guys. our input really helps.!!
my parents want to force me with in the tri-state(nj,ny,ct) and pa. but the colleges they want me to go to school is where they went to school. Which is marywood and Scranton( 1and 1/2 hours away from home). Even they don't say they will, but i know they are going to come and visit me often. Plus my grandma is ten mintues down the road. Then i know they will come.

i want to go to somewhere in nyc(my parents hate the city). yet i want to go to a small school. I'm just so undecided.

02-28-2005, 02:52 PM
^ I'm also a junior, and I also would like to go to school in the NYC area. I'm looking for schools in NJ, NY, PA, DE, MD. Have you tried petersons.com yet? There'a college search there that can help you narrow down your list of colleges by asking questions about what you are looking for in a school. Also, have you been getting college mail? I have, and I've been going on to the websites of the schools that I recieve mail from. In their mailings, the colleges usually ask if you would like to recieve more info on that school, and to either reply by mail or online.

03-01-2005, 09:40 AM
The best thing I did was talk to people already at the universities I was looking at. That way I got some honest opinions from people who actually knew what it was like to study there.

Try and find out the bad points about your colleges too, people will be very hesitant to tell you that there's a shortage of lecturers, and the accomodation's scruffy, and it's best to find it out before you get there. :)

03-01-2005, 04:46 PM
I was looking strongly into going to one of the in state schools here for Graphic design before the Art Institute of Colorado got ahold of me. They offered more of what I wanted, web design (I'm going to start in July in the Field of Interactive Media Design for a BA). You just have to decide what you want to do, and even if you don't decide I know some of the schools here let you have 2 years of just taking basic classes and then your Junior year you ahve to decide on a major. :) Good Luck!@


03-01-2005, 08:31 PM
I started looking at some bigger places (ones that I could NEVER afford, but fun to look into nonetheless) like Purdue, Valpo, Marquette, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and the University of North Carolina. But when I decided on a major (I'm in nursing), none of these schools had outstanding nursing programs. I mean, I'm sure they are good, but the UWM's nursing program is ranked 9th out of 400 or so. And it's only 20 minutes from my house.

My decision was based on which school had the best nursing program and money was a pretty big issue too. I did not want my college education to be a huge financial burden for my parents. But with UWM pretty much right in my backyard, why go anywhere else?! :banana:

03-01-2005, 09:13 PM
Well I'm a high school senior, and just barely chose my school, but I chose one, so here goes.
I started, probably sophomore year just doing those searches on collegeboard.com. Junior year I went to a couple of college fairs and those were the biggest asset. At the time I thought I was going to be a bio major, but partway through junior year that thought got changed. I'll be starting at the University of NH next fall as an undeclared student. Try looking for schools that have some majors you're interested in. I narrowed down the ones to visit (spring of junior year and summer after) by the ones that had a few options I might like, and the ones that had the biggest variety. I also looked for schools that I had the best shot at getting merit scholarships from, since even though we're not loaded, I knew it would be tough to get fin aid, and there was a limit to how much my parents were willing to spend (obviously). My dad had his own ideas of where I should go to school but they didn't match mine. He wanted me either at Dartmouth (not a chance at me getting in there) or Penn State (9 hours away). I'll be going to school 40 minutes from home.
After I had visited and decided which schools felt right (and you have to go with your gut on that) I applied. I've heard back from 5 of the 6, and I got into all 5 so far, making the choice more difficult. I went to an open house at UNH tihs weekend. That school has always felt most right to me, and this weekend completely proved that that's the school for me. It's partly a gut thing. And partly the fact that as an undecided kid, it's got the most to offer me. My parents like the fact that it's my cheapest choice, mom likes that I'll be close by, and I like how close it is too. My other top choice was nearly 4 hours away, and in the end I decided that that distance was too much.
You really have to evaluate who you are and what you want before you can start the search.

03-01-2005, 10:45 PM
i picked the most expensive school i could find. i thought that the more money i spent the better the education, i never thought that meant that i'd have tons of homework! i also looked for a school where i could consider myself part of the elite. that's why i decided on the school that i did. i was also looking for a school where i would lose all contact with the real world and not to mention, men. 4 years at an all women's college is enough to drive anyone crazy. never again. no. seriously. princess:

03-02-2005, 03:33 PM
WOW iggbees you sound like my sister, who went to a women's college and paid A ton just to go to a college, and complains every single time when she get a bad mark, and ask her family why you don't you come and visit me anymore, because she lives three hours away.

OH THAT"S BECAUSE YOU ARE!!!! :rotfl2: :rolleyes1

I thought you thought i was wierd for going on this site. :earsboy:

03-02-2005, 04:32 PM
Duh, you probably don't want to hearr my answer.

I followed my boyfriend. :crazy: School didn't have my major? no problem, i just picked another, totally unrelated. EVen though it turned out wello( I ended up with two degrees and a different guy who I'm married to 24yrs) You mihgt want to give it a leetle more thought than i did. :rolleyes:

03-04-2005, 11:13 AM
the best thing to do is try to find schools that you think you would in and what you want. decide if you want-public or private, big or little, etc etc. Also try to figure out how far you want to go from home because that is another huge factor. Try to find schools that have programs you are interested in so you don't end up somewhere where they don't have your major and then you have to transfer or major in something else. Visit college fairs and get as much information as you can.
The best thing that helped me decide was visiting the college. See if you can have an overnight visit with a student b/c it makes a world of difference. There is only so much they tell you on a tour.
Another big thing, find out about the social scene. If you are a social person you don't want to go somewhere where people never go out and meet people.

03-06-2005, 12:54 AM
I began looking at colleges my freshman year, had plans to go across the country and leave my family, wanted to go somewhere on the east coast. I used collegeboard.com's Counselor-O-Matic search tool a lot, changing my answers as I changed through high school. I also read lots of college guides to try and get a feel for what I really wanted. When it came down to actually applying and choosing, I realized I wanted to be somewhere far enough away from home to gain independence but close enough to be within a couple hours drive (not only because of family closeness but also because I had some health issues develop and all my doctors are at home, didn't want to switch them up.) I wanted a school with a lot of diversity and a lot of options (UCLA has everything under the sun) as well as a school that would challenge me (and it definitely has.) In addition, my parents encouraged me to seriously consider UCs since the resident tuition makes it such a good value (and it just worked out that UCLA had everything I was looking for.) But ultimately what helped me make the decision was visiting the campuses after I was accepted...UCLA just fit considering my situation. Now that some situations have changed, I am actually beginning to entertain the thought of transferring, but even if I don't, I will still be really happy where I am.

Happy Dumbo Fan
03-22-2005, 07:48 PM
I have to say that princetonreview.com is a wonderful source of information! They are like a better version of collegeboard.com and I would recommend it more than collegeboard itself.

03-23-2005, 11:38 AM
I closed my eyes and pointed at a list.

Seriously, my father picked my first college because he didn't like the one I picked.

The one I'm in now I picked because it has the major I want and most of my classes are online.

04-16-2005, 04:20 PM
I applied to all FL schools, except for Emory (in Georgia). Emory was my dream school, and I applied Early Decision there. When I visited the campus, I felt like it was the perfect fit for me and I could imagine myself living there. Unfortunately, my application wasn't accepted......but I am very happy at the school I'm at now, even though I didn't give much thought to it when I applied.

Good luck with your college search! :)

MainStreet, USA
04-20-2005, 04:58 PM
If you really have a good idea of what you want to do, look for a school that specializes in that field. That way, as long as you don't go changing your mind on what you want to do, it will be a great career boost for you to have a degree with that school's name on it. that's what i did anyway. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world leader in aviation and aerospace further education. a few bragging rights: we have the #1 aerospace engineering program in the nation, we are the exclusive provider of pilot training to the US Air Force Academy, and we have the largest (and frequently awarded the best) AFROTC program in the nation, (not including the AF Academy itself, of course). Seeing as I always wanted to be a pilot and was seriously considering doign the air force thing, ERAU was a no-brainer.
Now.. if only I can figure out how I'm going to pay it off this millenium! :confused3

PS: I ended up dropping AFROTC after two years, but I'm still flying as a civilian!

04-20-2005, 08:46 PM
I went to prep school and we started looking at colleges freshman year. I chose my school junior year, it was an all girls school, 600 girls in Boston. It was the only school I ended up applying to, got accepted, went and hated it.

I now am a commuter student at UNH and love it. I am now looking in to grad schools though and it's the same thing all over again. A school I said no way to for my undergrad work will probably be where I end up. It's ironic really.

04-20-2005, 10:06 PM
to tell you the truth, i only applied to one college. i went on a visit and i loved it. plus, they accepted me, so i found no reason to reapply to any more colleges. it was my first choice, so i just went for it. just follow what you like, and have fun during the process!!!!

04-21-2005, 09:19 PM
My first choice of a college was not where my parents wanted me to go, So I followed there directions -- state school with in driving distance, well that school is six hours away!!! I didn't even visit the school, but I went, joined a ton of stuff, and graduated from there anyway!!!--- showed them huh???

04-23-2005, 04:57 PM
I'm a sophomore in HS, and I have no idea where I want to go. My parents want me to go to Texas A&M, it's about 6 hours drive from here, but I'm not sure. So far, I'm planning on being a psychology major, but no one is telling me what is THE best psychology school out there, or at least one of the best. When I visited A&M, it was during the summer so the campus was empty, so I might not have felt 'it' because it was totally deserted. My parents want me to stay in the state of TX, but they would let me go else where.

MainStreet, USA
04-24-2005, 05:12 PM
DHSsenior007 - unfortunately, psychology is one of those majors that you can find almost anywhere, making any single one school to stand out for it quite hard to come across. I could be wrong, and I invite anyone to correct me if they've heard of a school that specializes in and has outstanding credentials in the psy field. But I think that in your case, instead of focusing your search on psy alone, try looking at what else is going to make you happy in your school. Will you be able to fit in with the other students? Will you have stuff nearby that you will like to do? Will you be able to keep in close touch with your old HS buddies? Will you appreciate the climate and atmosphere? There is a lot more to picking a college than just the academics. make sure you look at the big picture.

I chose my school based primarily on academics. I don't regret it, because it is so specialized in aviation, and I'm sure it will benefit my career someday. But if it weren't such a well-known name in the industry, I would never have chosen it. It's like 90 bazillion miles from home (actually 1200, but you know what I mean), all my friends are back home in CT or in nearby New England States, my school is like 85% male, and Florida in general is just not for me. I like my mountains and scenery, and my four distinct New England seasons. In Florida, it's all flat. The biggest mountains are all in Disney. And the only seasons we get are summer and next summer. It gets to be real dullsville here for me sometimes. The best part is of course being an hour from WDW. If it weren't for that, I'd be going nuts down here.

Sorry if that was discouraging. But good luck in your search!

04-24-2005, 06:50 PM
Hey MainStreet, USA, do you go to Embry-Riddle? Someone from my dad's work goes there, i know they are a huge aviation school in FL. Its gonna be so hard picking a college, i dunno how im gonna do it :moped: :cool1:

05-03-2005, 10:04 PM
along the lines of minkydog's reply.....I am also an oldster who went to college years ago...my sole criterion was that I be as far away from my parents as possible! How's that for an informed choice! And since they weren't and didn't pay for my college education, my parents pretty much didn't get much say on the matter.

boo's mom
05-03-2005, 10:54 PM
I picked my college, Virginia Commonwealth University, because it was very close to home, I'm receiving financial aid, and I could still stay at home with my grandparents because they didn't want me to leave in the first place and I have a home here until something happens to them, God forbid. I don't have time to work while in college so thats another benefit of staying home. I wouldn't be able to survive if I couldn't stay here. It would have to be work instead of college. Unfortunately, we don't have much money, but I've learned to live with what I have

06-02-2005, 10:52 PM
Seriously look at the debt you will be incurring when picking a school.My daughters choices were a private school in Mass. where she would graduate with 25,000.00 in debt or a well respected branch of our state university where she will graduate with apx. 8,000.00 in debt. We will be able to pay sophomore year in full. A dream school looks great before the reality of paying back student loans set in. Some ofd my friends daughters will be in debt close to 50,000.00 when they graduate. I have learned that many colleges underestimate the apx. 4 year debt. Whatever they tell you automatically add 3-4 thou to the total.

06-06-2005, 10:55 PM
I would say you need to balance out several points.

1. Size
2. Location
3. Programs
4. Financial Aid vs. Costs
5. Type of school

However, the most important factor is how you feel at the school. I went to DePauw (great liberal arts college in Indiana) b/c of scholarship. I couldn't afford the other schools that were "better" rankings wise (national universities), but it turned out much better. I actually got my internship at Disney through a DePauw contact. If you want a specialized program, go larger. If you want preparation for being a professor, manager, etc., I would HIGHLY suggest a liberal arts college. I am actually in law school now (@ Vanderbilt), and my DePauw education prepared me REALLY well for it. Best of luck!

06-30-2005, 11:56 PM
Well, I dunno if you're still looking at this but the way I picked my college was like this:
1. I knew I wanted to commute to school. Sharing a bathroom with people I don't know in a private room or in a community bathroom!?! I think I'll pass. The school had to be within 30 driving minutes of my house.
2. $$$$- the almighty dollar had a lot to do with it. I looked at Fordham in the Bronx which was, as far as I'm concerned, costly, and then I looked at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY (though they do have a city campus, FYI), and Pace was less.
3. Fordham sorta had a childhood education program. Pace had a very strong one that schools in the area were impressed with if you said you graduated from Pace.
4. Scholarship money- Again, the almighty dollar. Fordham offered me $3,500 a year because I commuted. That's it. Pace, on the other hand, said, based on SAT scores, $7,000 a year, plus Honors College came knocking and offered an additional $2,000, a laptop, $1,000 when and if you choose to study abroad in your junior year, and some other stuff I can't remember.

My choice? Pace, hands down. Not only is closer to my house, but hell, will all the money I saved from getting their scholarships, I can get my Jeep Wrangler now!

I hope this helps. And since you're looking for schools in the general vicinity, if you're interested in Pace, you can ask me any questions you want! :)

07-02-2005, 02:44 PM
Because I want to eventually go to med school, I decided to start out with a community college about a quarter of a mile from my high school. I'll have friends there, and I'm getting 18 units for under $500. Not a bad way to start out.

07-03-2005, 12:49 AM
I knew that I wanted to go to NMU when I was a sophomore in high school.
My parents had driven by the campus when we were camping up by Marquette.
I fell in love. Plus I love the UP. It's so pretty!
When it came time to apply to college, I was quick to fill out my application for NMU. My mom had wanted me to apply to 2 other colleges. I ended up applying to Grand Valley, but hated it there when I went on the campus tour. I only applied to Grand Valley to stop my mom from nagging me.
I'm starting my 5th year at Northern in the fall. And I still love it up here! The people are friendly and helpful. My university is great as well. Plus, it gorgeous here in the fall.

07-05-2005, 05:00 PM
Well here in the UK fees are the same wherever you go in the country, and you pay them wherever you go, so that wasnt part of the decision making.

I think a major decision maker was the feel of the place, when I visited it it just felt like somewhere I could live. While other uni's fell like somewhere I could visit, but not be at home there. I think that was a good way to go, where you are can make a huge difference!

I applied to unis all over the UK (although even the furthest one is probably not far to you americans!) but in the end picked one that was about 2-3 hrs drive, 1.5-2 hrs train ride from home. Which is a nice distance, not too far but gives you the break you need.

I picked on the reputation of the Uni equal to, if not above, the reputation of the course. The name of your Uni means something, and while Im not at Oxford or Cambridge (which Im so glad about!) I know my Uni has some kudos in the working world. I ended up changing my course (here in the UK we dont 'major' we just do one course the whole 3 years) so it was good that I picked a good Uni overall, not just for one subject.

My advice would be to visit and see if you can imagine yourself there,consider what your degree will mean when you leave, and what you want it to mean.

Im only a few hours from home, but without being able to drive, and with having to work part time and other commitments I only get home about once a term (3 months). If that would upset you then think carefully, but you mind find that after the first session you get used to more phone calls and less contact with home and are glad you can be independent.

07-10-2005, 03:27 PM
I chose to go to Laurier based on my visit there. At first I was determined to go to UG, but because agriculture is their big thing there, I decided against it.

Laurier (this is in Canada btw) is a small campus, it takes only three minutes to get basically anywhere, and it has tons of spirit. Plus, the area that it's in is minutes away from another university, so the whole town is full of students.

I, like other posters here, chose what felt right, and what would go with my personality, as well as if they had a strong department in my major.

It turned out to be the perfect school for me, and I'm looking forward to going back! It's also only about half an hour away from home, so if I need to get out of there for a weekend to work on a project while my roommates are partying, it can be done!

07-11-2005, 10:57 AM
I had a couple of questions for the people that go to schools in upper michigan ... i live in southern michigan right now and am i senior in high school. I'm thinking about applying to NMU because i've heard alot about their music program and have met a couple of the professors.
This might seem like a weird question but i've heard that the u.p gets like 9 feet of snow in the winter and was just kinda wondering if that was true?

07-11-2005, 11:09 AM
well I was lucky to find mine, my friend wanted to go there so i looked through her catalog and talked to her about it and stuff. it was hard to find schools with my major-i want to go into animation- that were not far away and also didnt only offer computer generated stuff. but i didnt decide on it right away. i have visited there three times now. also, i researched online to see things like what schools did disney prefer to hire from? and they were on this list, along with another school i am considering. id figure out where i want to live first (for example i hav e always wanted to live in NYC plus it is close enough to home to visit and see my 5 and 4 yr old siblings. but you might want to venture out farther) and then think about the job you want, if you know what it is, and research that. also i am going to community college for a year and even though it stinks to be staying home an extra year i totally reccomend it because you will save so much money! especially if your school will accept transfer credits.

and visit! it makes a huge difference.

07-11-2005, 11:27 AM
I go to a Community College because i still don't know what i want to do with my life and I felt that if i could get part of my college education at a cheaper price then i would do that. I also wanted a school that was close to me so that i could stay home and still live with my parents. next year I'm planning on moving away though.

07-11-2005, 08:54 PM
I had a couple of questions for the people that go to schools in upper michigan ... i live in southern michigan right now and am i senior in high school. I'm thinking about applying to NMU because i've heard alot about their music program and have met a couple of the professors.
This might seem like a weird question but i've heard that the u.p gets like 9 feet of snow in the winter and was just kinda wondering if that was true?

They haven't gotten that much snow in awhile. Although when it snows, it isn't unusual to get a foot at a time. The only problem with that is, Marquette is super hilly. So if you need to drive somewhere, you have to be on top of things. ;) But other than that, its an awesome town.

07-19-2005, 11:28 PM
Location.. location... location... and of course how good the schools reputation is... not to mention the programs/majors they offer.