How Do I Decide What College Is Right for Me?

by | May 2, 2024

Have you had your heart set on attending an Ivy League university? Are you still undecided about where you want to apply next fall? The Tenney School’s career counselors can help you consider potential career paths that fit you. We can help you understand the steps you should be taking now to get into the best college for you. Here are four things to consider when thinking about what type of campus might best match your preferences!

Meet With Career Counselors

You may not need to make a career decision during the fall of your freshman year. However, that does not mean it is too early to start thinking about what fields might interest you. Many students have some idea of what their favorite courses, hobbies, and other interests are by this point. Our career counselors can inspire potential career paths that align with your strengths. Meeting with our career counselors periodically is an important step in considering options you may not have even known existed. Also, learning about the academic and extracurricular steps you should be taking can make you as attractive as possible to the colleges that may be a good fit for you.

Consider Different Types of Colleges

Many careers do not require a four-year degree. Attending this type of college is not always necessary if you do not have a specific reason for needing or wanting to do so. Interested students in training for a specific technical career in a shorter time frame instead of obtaining a more general education often find success attending a technical college or trade school that allows them to focus only on courses that are directly relevant to their chosen careers.

A community college can also be an excellent starting point if you are undecided. Whether you want to commit to a four-year university, save money during your first year or two of college, or are unsure about whether your current academic achievements will support a successful college experience. Many community colleges offer smooth transfer programs to public four-year colleges.

Evaluate Specific Programs

The best college in the world will not be a good choice for you if it does not offer the major you are most interested in. Considering each school’s approach to the program and future career you are most interested in is an important step in finding one that meets your needs. Lesser-known schools can have renowned programs in specialized areas. Top overall campuses may have some programs that leave a lot to be desired or do not offer more specialized majors at all. Taking a close look at the reputation of the specific department and major you are interested in is more important than evaluating the reputation of the college itself.

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Visit Potential Campuses

Websites and social media pages can give you an idea of what attending a particular college might be like. However, nothing compares to visiting your top choices when it comes to deciding which one feels most like home. In-person visits allow you to take an organized tour of campus. Wander around the student union and academic buildings related to your potential major on your own. Talk with an admissions counselor or advisor in the program you are considering about any questions you have. Talk to current students. Learn about extracurricular activities that allow you to dig even deeper into your current favorites. And also, get a feel for the size, community, and overall vibe of each school you are considering.

At The Tenney School, our one-to-one approach to learning can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in college. We are also here to support you throughout the process; considering potential career options, planning your academic roadmap, and applying to colleges that fit you. Our college preparation tutors can help you boost your academic skills and develop strong test-taking skills that can help you get into college and succeed in your chosen program. Contact us today to learn more about the college prep process or to schedule a meeting with a career advisor!


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