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Choosing a College or University

Many experts note four main reasons why students choose a particular college or university: location, academic major, size and cost.

While students can find most of this information on a web site, it may not provide them with a sense of "institutional fit." For this reason, it is essential that students visit schools, talk to professors, see the student body, and get a sense for the school location in person. It is important to note that colleges and universities also want an "institutional fit" as those students who "fit" are more likely to be successful.

[ Source : New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission ]



Choosing a College or University:

Choosing a college or university is stressful for any high school student because there are so many choices. The decision is important because, even if the student changes his/her mind and transfers to another school, it will have an effect on other important life events.

Selecting a school straight out of high school can also mean that the student has to be more organized and start the process earlier. The article below is designed to give information that will be helpful to all students applying to college. It will also highlight areas where the overseas student will need to make an extra effort.


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Colleges are located in big cities, suburbs, and small towns throughout the country. Some enroll tens of thousands of students; others enroll only a few hundred. Some are public; others are private. Some private institutions are affiliated with religious institutions; others are not. Some schools enroll only women, others only men.

The type of institution best suited to your child depends on his or her individual needs and talents. Your child can begin focusing on the choice of a college by considering the following questions:

  • Why do I want to go to college?
  • What do I hope to achieve in college?
  • Do I have some idea of what I want to study or for which job I want to prepare?
  • Do I want to live at home or go away to school?
  • Do I prefer an urban, suburban, or rural environment?
  • Would I be happier in a small college or at a large university?

In order to choose a college, you and your child should ask the following questions about the nature and quality of the schools in which your child has an interest. You may also find answers to these questions in the colleges' catalogs or in reference books on colleges. Ask these questions when you meet staff in the admissions office of the colleges.

[ Source : US Department of Education / US Department of State ]