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Top 10 Factors to Consider for Your “Perfect” College

academics campus activities climate college college visits factors to consider for college financial aid housing location narrowing college list school spirit size social scene student body

Here are the Top 10 factors to consider for your “Perfect” college:

Academics: How important is this factor to you? If you know your major, that should be a requirement What about special programs such as honors, study abroad, senior projects? Also consider the learning environment. Is the campus on semesters, quarters, or offer a May or January term? How do you learn best?

Climate: Think about what climate you will want to live in for at least three seasons of the year while at college. If you have never lived through winter in New England, think about how you will feel about months of snow, rain and later a very muddy spring. Or visa versa, how will a lot of heat and humidity feel for days on end. Will you melt? Climate can make or break a school.

Size: Think about what size college you would like to attend. Attending a school with 20,000 undergrads is not for everyone! What is your comfort zone?

Location: Think carefully about what type of area are looking for. Can you live without a movie theater in town? How about a variety of restaurants?

Financial Aid: Finances can make or break a decision. Be sure to discuss this with your parents before you fall in love with a specific college. (Take the College Affordability Survey in GuidedPath to see what your family contribution would be.)

Campus Activities:  Does it need a sports team? Or orchestra? Clubs, music, outdoor activities. Think about how you want to spend your time when not in class.

School Spirit: Do you want to attend a school with lots of school spirit? Or does your style lean more toward favoring a school with a school spirit focused on weekend music or club activities?

Social Scene:  What is fun to do with your friends? Go to a big concert in the city, or hang out with friends informally in cafes, sipping lattes? How important is having a greek life (sororities or fraternities) to you? What social life will be most comfortable for you?

Student Body:  When you walk on campus, do you feel you fit in?  Are you seeking diversity in the student body?  Do you want a student body that is conservative, liberal or a mix of everything?

Housing:  Where will you live? What are the dorms like? How are the bathrooms set up? Co-ed or single sex dorms?