When it comes to college, the process of finding the right institution can be daunting. You’re hit with emails, pamphlets in the mail, visiting recruiters, taking tours of campuses, and maybe even checking out Virtual College Fairs for the USA when you’re online. It’s a lot, and it takes significant time. That is why students need to do their research before picking a college. Avoid these five mistakes when college searching.
5 mistakes when college searching
Know what you want out of college, what you need to achieve these goals, and how much you can afford in terms of tuition fees and living expenses. Since there is a lot to think about, you won’t want to make any mistakes during the selection process. So, here is everything that you need to know.
1. Choosing a school too far away
One of the most important things about a school is its location. It should be close enough to your home, so you can spend less time traveling back and forth. If you’re commuting to work daily, then you will have to consider this.
Another thing to consider is how far away you want to be from your family. If you live on campus, you must remember that dorms are usually closed during breaks, meaning everyone needs to leave. If you’re going to school in another state or country, that could be an issue.
2. Not carefully checking out financial aid packages
The second mistake students make when applying for financial aid is not carefully checking out financial aid packages before signing anything. That includes verifying that you have received all the promised grants and scholarships and are not being charged any hidden fees or fees not listed on your award letters.
It is also important to ensure that your expected family contribution (EFC) does not exceed the cost of attendance at the school you are applying to. Find out by looking up your EFC on a FAFSA calculator.
3. Not checking out programs or getting to know campus life
This is one of students’ most common mistakes when looking at colleges. Students are often excited to be in college and get to know the new school and friends that they forget about the important things like checking out programs and getting to know campus life. But even before settling on a college, you need to know what the educational institution offers.
That can include study abroad programs, clubs, volunteer work, sports, and anything else of interest. Also, learn about other programs that could help you be better as a student, such as writing assistance or tutoring (great for writing a graduation college speech), medical services, laundry facilities, dining, and more.
4. When college searching, thinking your first choice is your only choice
The first choice is only sometimes the best one. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your first choice is your only choice.
If you make this mistake, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities. Don’t set your sights on just one program or just one college. Instead, give yourself a chance to apply to multiple colleges, so you’ll have multiple opportunities available to pick from.
5. Choosing a school that doesn’t suit your needs
Many universities offer great programs but don’t fit your needs. This is where you need to be careful when choosing a college because it can impact your future negatively if you don’t pick one that suits your needs.
This mistake might happen because students only look at the college name without considering what they want from their educational experience. Transferring can be costly, so try to pick one and stick with it.