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The Scroll

The Student News Site of Fargo North High School

The Scroll

The Scroll

What you need to know to decide on a college

What+you+need+to+know+to+decide+on+a+college

Senior year is arguably the most important year (not the hardest, that is Junior year) due to all the decisions that are made. One of the hardest decisions to make is deciding on a college, especially when you add in that it’s 17-18 year olds making that decision. On the bright side, starting to consider colleges is easier than it sounds. In this day and age, we have the internet at our fingertips so if you’re interested in a college, you can just Google it.
There are a few steps that can help in the decision-making process. Visit as many college campuses as you can, as you should not commit to a college without touring it, whether that be in person or online incase you are miles away. One of the best things to do is make a pros and cons list and think about if you can picture yourself living there. You should also divide them into categories like cost, location, and academics. Match the colleges up with if they are safeties, matches, or reaches. These categories make up the major parts in deciding on a college.
Cost
Nowadays, going to college costs about an arm and a leg, and it might not be even worth it in the end due to the cost. If you use resources like scholarships, financial aid, and grants to help guide your decision, it will answer some questions. Will these resources help you come out of college with little to no debt or will you still have a heavy burden of debt? You also need to recognize the difference between grants and scholarships, which are free money, and loans, which you will eventually need to repay with interest.
Academics and rankings
Just because a school is “highly-ranked” or “prestigious” does not guarantee that it is the best fit for you. Do not always assume that the difficulty of admission reflects the quality of education you’ll receive. Instead of diving into the rankings of colleges, dive deeper and find out your major’s rank at the schools you’re interested in. Make sure your major at those colleges is what you are looking for academically. Take it one step further by considering which learning style works best for you as well as what type of relationship you want to have with your professors. Think about what will make you succeed academically.
Student and career services
College is a great opportunity to develop expertise in the field of your interest while at the same time discovering and expanding your network. Check out the school’s internships, hands-on experiences, research, and study abroad programs. Furthermore, knowing the school’s placement figures for jobs and postgraduate schools is important to examine because it represents the success and quality of each program. The way a college supports students with academics has a significant impact on the type of education you will receive. Some schools provide little support and strive to establish a self-sufficient environment, but others provide resources such as free tutoring groups and writing assistance.
Location and size
Another aspect to consider is how far from home the college is. Some people thrive away from home but others need that stability from family or want to be closer for financial reasons such as instate being cheaper than out of state. Class size is like an addon from the location aspect as it goes well when you put them together to decide on a college. Class size also has a big impact on learning. Some students need smaller classes and more one-on-one interaction to thrive in a learning environment. There is a difference between having smaller discussion-based classes and big lectures with hundreds of students.
Overall, the most significant aspect of selecting a college is how the school makes you feel. Regardless of the programs, resources, and scholarships available, the school you choose should feel like home, a place where you can grow and develop not only academically but also in other areas of your life.

 

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About the Contributor
Grace Schmidt
Grace Schmidt, Writer
Hi! I'm Grace and this is my second year in journalism! I want to continue in college and in the future! It's been one of the best experiences of my life. I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan and even went to her concert, which was life altering. Currently I am in a fight to get the Spartan Scroll funding.
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