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Choosing the Right College

Written by Featured Organization on 30 April 2013.

Choosing the right college can be a hassle and in some cases overwhelming. These are the most crucial four years of your life and it is important that you choose the institution that suits you best. It is never an easy task to choose a college to go to. After all, this will be a new experience for you and many times you go in blindly. There are numerous factors that play in the decision-making. Some of them include family preferences, distance from home, peer pressure, the reputation of the college, costs and what programs they offer, to name a few. But what is really important when choosing a college?

“When I was looking for a college, to go to FAMU was not my first choice,” said Antonio Williams, a graduate of Florida A&M University. “Honestly I just filled out a ton of applications and picked one based on who had the most dance troupes. I guess you can say that wasn’t the best idea but it worked out great. I loved FAMU.”

There are numerous articles that have been written by experts as to what a student should look for when choosing the right college. Although none of them are for sure, there are some factors that remain the same. According to Martha O’Connell, author of Choosing the Right College, the top five factors to consider when choosing the right college are acknowledging who you are and why you’re going, taking into consideration the size of the college, deciding if you want to go to a “name brand college” or not, keeping in mind that you don’t have to choose your major before attending the school, and finally, to not let stories deter your decision. 

“The men in my family all attended Howard University, so the pressure was on me when it was my turn to choose,” said Marcus Brown, a sophomore biology student at FSU. “When I chose to go to FSU they were a tad disappointed, but in the end I know this was the best decision for me.” 

No matter what school you decide, it is important that you are happy with your decision. According to a Harvard study, the top three reasons that students drop out of college are financial stresses, social anxiety and failure to complete coursework. So what does this mean for college hopefuls? 

“Overall, it’s important that you make the decision that suits you,” said Tyia Branker, a senior psychology student at FAMU. “FAMU is the second college that I have attended. I went to South Carolina State for two years because that’s what my friends did but that didn’t work for me. I finally listened to myself and I couldn’t be happier at FAMU.”

Be sure when choosing a college that you take yourself into consideration first. There is nothing that cannot be fixed, including cost and admission. There are plenty of scholarships, grants and loans that you can qualify for. For schools that have stricter admission policies, many times there are Excel programs that allow you to get into the school. If you are having problems with keeping up with your classes, there are tutors and extra courses that you can take. •