What is your “Perfect College”?

 

When you think about the “Perfect College” what comes to mind?  Bucolic hills, palm trees, or urban energy?  Classes with 12 students or with 120?  Going to a football game, a political debate, an art show – all of the above?  How do you know which college is perfect?  You need to know what is important to YOU. 

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

  1. Academics: If you know your major, that should be a requirement.  But what about special programs such as honors, study abroad, co-ops or 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? 
  2. 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?  Believe it or not, climate can impact your experience. 
  3. 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? 
  4. Location: Think carefully about what type of area are looking for.  Can you live without a movie theater in town?  Do you need open spaces and access to nature?  How about a variety of restaurants?  
  5. 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.) 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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? 
  9. 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? 
  10. Housing:  Where will you live?  What are the dorms like?  How are the bathrooms set up?  Co-ed or single sex dorms?  
      

Take Action

Using the Design a College Survey in GuidedPath will help you identify what is most important to you and your family in a college.  Find the Design a College Survey in GuidedPath Edge: 

  • log into your account 
  • Click on the SURVEYS tab 
  • Select Design A College from the drop-down menu 

Use the College Match Survey along with the Design a College Survey to get the most complete picture of your perfect college.

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