July 21, 2018
School & Youth
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What Goes Into Choosing The Right School?

John Kiser
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December 19, 2017

It’s where you’ll spend another four years of your life, and you get to decide where you want to go — whether it’s across the country or an hour away from home, a lot of factors play into where you attend college.

Some people look for schools that are in their state and have affordable tuition as well as a program that interests them. Those things narrow down the list, leaving out schools that are unnecessary for you to trouble with. Knowing what type of education you want and where you want to get it will help you decide which schools are better for you personally.

Obviously, there are many factors that go into what schools you apply to, and they are different for everyone. Nancy Jackson, school and community liaison for Severna Park High, has insight on reasons seniors are attending certain colleges: location, weather, atmosphere of school, size, programs of study, legacy, reasonable costs, school spirit and having specific majors offered that aren’t at other schools, just to name a few.

Deadlines play a large part in the college decision process and mark how much time you have to get all your tests taken and ducks in a row before you send everything in. Scholarship opportunities additionally come with those deadlines and when you should apply for them. Early action, early decision and regular decision are the different deadlines that are offered.

“I did regular decision because I don’t want to commit myself to one college,” Cullen Figlioli said.

For many seniors, these deadlines can cause anxiety, but the earlier you develop a plan and figure out where and when you want to apply, the more smoothly the process goes.

“I chose to apply early action because it gives me more time to list the pros and cons of each school, gives me the opportunities for scholarships, and relief of finding out early and honestly getting it out of the way so I can enjoy the rest of my year,” said Julia Keefe.

Parents and family members will most likely be the ones who help pay our way through college, so their insight and expertise when it comes to picking out a school is helpful and beneficial, especially since they’ve done this before. “My family influenced my decision somewhat since they’ll be helping me pay for college, and my sisters both are attending college, so they’ve had good advice for me on what to look for,” remarked Jill Parisi.

Another factor that is key when choosing the right school is where you’d possibly want to continue an athletic career. “I picked the schools I was applying to because I wanted a smaller, division three school that I could hopefully play golf at,” stated Matt Verni.

For those individuals who worked hard in their sport and want to see their talent work for them at the collegiate level, finding the best place to do that sometimes depends on coaches’ interests. “I chose the schools I applied to based on how interested they were in me playing football for them,” said John Compere.

Without outside factors weighing in and influencing us in the college decision process, it can make the whole idea of trying to pick a school overwhelming and unbearable. Fortunately for everyone who plans to apply to college, there will always be external aspects that shape your perspective and eventually push you in the direction you want to go.

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