How to Compare Your List of College Choices

college studentAs the end of high school draws near, students might begin to frantically compile their ideal list of colleges and universities. At the beginning of this process, they might be encouraged to dream big, including each and every institution that might appeal to them on some level. But, at some point, these students will need to choose just one place to attend. These are a few factors these shopping students can use in order to compare all of the institutions that appear on their wish lists.

Course Offerings and Career Choices

Some freshmen simply don’t have a major field of study all picked out and waiting for them. For example, a report in the New York Times suggests that 80 percent of freshman at Penn State are uncertain about the major they’ve chosen. But it’s likely that these students have some inkling about the fields in which they excel. These students may not know if they want to major in biology or chemistry, for example, but they may know that the sciences make them glow with joy.

This sort of natural proclivity for a field of study could be put to good use during a college comparison. Those institutions that offer majors in a field of study the student finds interesting, or those institutions that offer a variety of different courses in the things the student enjoys, might be better options than those facilities that don’t have a focus that meshes with a student’s skills and interests.

Graduation Rates and Employment Rates

While most colleges and universities can clearly state the sorts of courses they offer, it might be slightly harder for these institutions to publish clear-cut statistics about the number of students that walk away from their facilities with a degree. Some students transfer to other schools, while others drop out, while others leave for a short period of time and return. These transient students can skew statistics in one direction or another, and it can make comparisons a little tricky.

But some institutions have simply dismal graduation rates for students. These facilities may not provide adequate academic support for students, or they may not provide an abundance of classes that could allow students to get the credits they’ll need in order to graduate. Seeking out these stats could help students to make good choices.

Schools like this might have higher placement rates for graduates, and that might make the degrees provided by these institutions a little more valuable.

Cost Considerations

The cost of tuition, room and board is another key factor students can use to compare one school to another. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau makes this comparison really easy, as this organization provides an online tool that allows students to compare the cost of two schools in a side-by-side manner.

If you’ve compared all of the factors, and you’ve crunched the numbers, and the school you’d like to attend is still out of your reach, please let us help. Our tools can allow you to find scholarships as well as loans. Please click through our resources to find out more about the tools that can help you attend the school of your dreams.


Choosing Colleges