College Choice Mistakes: Don't Choose a College for These Reasons
How to Not Choose the Best College for You
Attending college is a BIG thing and college-bound students especially high school students should choose a college that best fits YOU. Do not take the decision lightly.
The goal of this article is to showcase some of the bad reasons/criteria that other students have used for choosing a college -- mistakes that you want to avoid when making your college choice.
Don't Choose a College for These Reasons
Wrong Reason for Choosing College #1: Based on Making Someone Else Happy
Do NOT choose a college because your boy/girlfriend is planning to attend or because some of your best friends are attending or because your family wants you to go to a certain college/university.
Instead choose a college or university that has programs faculty location reputation and the like that YOU desire -- that inspires you to want to attend it.
Wrong Reason for Choosing College #2: Based on Recommendations from Others
It's perfectly acceptable -- and fairly normal -- for people from your family to your teachers to suggest some colleges that might be right for you. Just don't choose a college solely on someone else's opinions.
Instead when people offer you a college suggestion ask them about why they are suggesting it to you -- and why they think it's such a great school. Then do your research and draw your own conclusions.
Wrong Reason for Choosing College #3: Based on Ranking/Reputation Alone
Numerous books magazines organizations and Websites provide rankings of colleges and universities but choosing solely on the rank of a school eliminates out many other important criteria.
Instead after investigating the ranking systems -- and/or the rationale for the reputation -- use this reason as just one of several criteria for judging the best college/university for you.
Wrong Reason for Choosing College #4: Based on Costs Alone
There is no doubt that college costs are through the roof rising much higher than inflation the last few decades. And the cost of some colleges are astronomical -- and seem beyond the finances of most.
Instead of looking just at costs dig deeper into what typical students pay -- after scholarships work-study grants and other financial aid. While not all colleges are affordable if you can get past the sticker shock don't use cost as a sole criteria for choosing a college.
Wrong Reason for Choosing College #5: Based on Location Alone
There's no question location is an important criteria for some students -- near to home far from home warmer climate and the like -- just don't make location the sole criteria for choosing college.
Instead start with a geographic region that best suits your interests and then research schools within that region that best fit your other criteria -- all while keeping an open mind to other colleges and universities that may attract your interest that lie outside that area.
Final Thoughts on Choosing a College Best for You
Make no mistake about it -- college choice is a serious and important matter. Don't go choosing where to attend college using the wrong reasons/criteria.
But also do remember this: if you do make the wrong choice in the college to attend you always have the option of re-investigating reapplying... and transferring to the college/university that best fits you.
Key College Planning Resources
See more college planning and college journey articles for college-bound students in our My College Journey: Tools For Choosing a College; Choosing Majors Minors.
And find lots more tips and expert advice for just about every aspect of college planning -- from choosing a college to choosing a college major -- on our sister site. The link will open a new browser window: Quintessential Careers: College Planning Resources.