Last month I talked about going overseas for college and the pros and cons of doing so. Today I decided to talk to the rest of the readers who are not interested in going overseas to get their college education. How do you pick a college that is right for you?

There are many things you need to think about and this post will walk you through some of the big issues you need to think about in order to make the best decision possible. After all, the better the fit the school is for you, the more you can focus your energy on getting the most out of college. Let’s get started.

Things To Consider When Picking A College

Student Population

It might sound odd to think of the size of the student body, but it is a major factor on your comfort at college. If you come from a small high school, will you be comfortable on a campus of 10,000 or more people?

For me, this was a big deal. I went to a small private school and my graduating class had 53 people in it. I ended up at a small college with 2,500 people. There was no way I was going to survive in a class that had 300 people in it.


While it is important for the colleges you are considering to have the major you are most interested in, make sure they also have a lot of others that interest you as well. The reason for this is because you do a lot of growing up at college and may realize that what you thought you wanted to do with your life isn’t so any more.

This happens more than you might think. In my group of friends, only 3 graduated with the major they entered into college wanting to pursue.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Another factor to consider is what else there is to do besides class. Are you fairly active? If so, does the college have club teams for you to join? What about a creative writing group if you enjoy writing? When you go on your tour, make sure to ask about these things.

Also be sure to visit the facilities like the rec center, gym and student center to get a feel for how modern they are.


Location is a big factor in picking a college. Do you want to be close by so you can easily come home whenever the mood strikes you? Or would you rather go far away and only come home for the holidays?

On top of this, you have to consider rural versus urban versus suburban location. If you grew up in the middle of nowhere, going to an urban college might throw you for a loop. Of course, it could also expand your horizons as well.


Let’s not forget about price. Even if a college has everything you are looking for, the price might not be right. Don’t make the mistake of not considering the price tag. Sure you can get student loans, but ask any recent grad and many would most likely tell you they wished they had taken price into account more seriously.

Know what your budget is and start your search there. There are plenty of colleges out there and you are sure to find a handful that fit into your budget. And of course, be sure to take into account any financial aid, scholarships or grants as well.

Final Thoughts

While this isn’t a complete list, it does give you a lot to think about. Be sure to have these thoughts in your head as you go out to visit colleges and tour the campuses. Take note if the drive is too long or if there just isn’t something right about the college. Listen to your gut as it most likely will lead you in helping you to pick the right college for you.