Admission News

What Guides Students to a College?

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Today the best students with the best scores and the best grades have such wide choice among colleges. The sky’s the limit. The little known secret is that every student has a wide array of college choices out there. There are so many colleges of so many types that every student should be able to find a college that works for him or her.

But, how does a student go about finding the right college choice?

Here are some of the factors that most students consider:

• The average SAT score of the college’s student body,
• Costs
• Proximity or geography
• The salary of the average alum
• The percentage of applicants admitted
• Where your friends go
• Where your parents went
• A good feel for the campus
• How programs match your major

These are the data-driven reasons along with the influence of advice from those around you that can help you in your college choice. However, recently NYT blogger Frank Bruni suggested some other reasons when considering college alternatives

Mr. Bruni suggests that students should not take the top colleges and Ivies as the automatic best choice and that they should not go with what is familiar and safe. He suggests students consider some other factors,

Consider learning outside the class room. Look at the percentage of foreign students who attend a school. Awareness and openness to others in a globalized world are important. And, he notes Brandeis and Boston University have a higher percentage of foreign students on their campuses than Harvard or Stanford. Another contributor to out-of-class learning is the percentage of students who have the curiosity and a sense of adventure to study abroad, and they bring back their experience with them to campus. Did you know only one Ivy has more than 50% of its student body studying abroad?

Another suggestion is to experiment, to get out of your comfort zone. If you are from a certain background, learn about another. Easterners might go west. City dwellers might go to a rural environment for college. If you are middle class, go to a public school instead of a private to experience economic diversity. And, maybe a liberal arts curriculum is better than a focused program in your prospective area of study. You never know where your life might take you.