Deciding On a College? Read This First

With over 4,700 colleges and universities in the United States-and every one seeming to be vying for your attention-finding the right school can seem like a daunting undertaking. Here are six factors to consider when making your decision.   

  1. Get the least pleasant factor out of the way: Can you afford the school? It's no secret that college is expensive, but how expensive is too expensive? Along with tuition and fees, as well as related expenses such as books, housing and/or transportation, research the average amount of financial aid students receive. Can't find it on the school's website-or want to know more? Try College Navigator.
  2. Location, location, location. Do you crave the excitement of a big city, or are you more interested in a cozy, small-town feel? Maybe a suburban school that's close to the city so you get a bit of both? Do you plan on commuting, or do you look forward to dorm life? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down your options.
  3. Small, intimate classes or a lecture hall of classmates? Not everyone learns the same way. Consider what kind of student you are-and how you learn best-when taking into account average class size.
  4. Remember, your major isn't written in stone. Roughly 80 percent of students change their major at least once. Choosing a college that offers your intended major is important, but it's as important to be pragmatic and consider schools that offer a variety of majors.
  5. Follow your own path. It's not uncommon for alumni to nudge (or push) their family members into attending their alma mater. It's even more common for students to attend the same school as their friend or significant other. The next four years of your life (and your post-graduate future) will be affected by this decision, so make it for the right reasons.
  6. How important is campus life to you? Are you a joiner who is looking for a school with diverse clubs, Greek organizations, campus activities, and sports team pride? While this is certainly not the most vital factor to consider, it can be a deciding one if you'd be unhappy without these opportunities.

Looking for the perfect college for you? Consider Molloy College, which was just ranked the  #1 "Value All-Star" in the nation by Money® Magazine based on more than two dozen measures of educational quality, affordability and student outcomes. With a graduation rate that's 20% higher than the national average and alumni who earn 30% more than those of similar schools, Molloy College "provides opportunities to all kinds of students and does an exemplary job of getting them through to graduation and into good-paying jobs," according to Money. Find out more about Molloy College-and find what you're searching for.