College Life

Academics

More than anything else, you go to college to get an education. The academic atmosphere and variety of courses studied should be considered when choosing a school.

Location

There are many reasons why the location of the college may be important to you. You should consider the expense of travel, the need for independence versus the desire to stay near your family and the effects of living in a particular climate. When considering the location of a college, think about the campus setting.

The physical environment of the college you go to may be important to you. Is the college in a large city, a “college town,” or a rural area?

Atmosphere

Colleges, just like any group of people working and living together, create their own atmosphere. Each college has a particular atmosphere or environment that affects the performance and satisfaction of each student there.

Cost

Obviously, a major factor to be considered is the cost of attending a college. The total cost for a year, as computed by the college financial aid office, includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Total costs range from $2,000 for a community college to $50,000 for a private school. A good plan would be to choose several colleges, including one you can afford and several for which you need aid. Although financial aid may seem uncertain at times, limiting prospective colleges on a cost basis alone may exclude some excellent colleges from your list.

Size

Colleges range in size from 150 to 50,000 students. Small schools offer you more personal involvement, a community atmosphere, and small classes (from 5 to 50 students). Large schools tend to be more impersonal, allow you to be more anonymous, and offer class sizes of anywhere from 20 to 1000+ students. Size does make a difference.

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