5 Ways to Narrow Down Your Top College Choices
Written by The LCU Blogging Team on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 in College Wisdom
With the end of high school on the horizon, you probably feel the pressure to carefully consider each of your top college choices. Choosing a university is a big decision, and it will likely affect you beyond the next four years of your life.
Here are several helpful tips you can apply as you work to narrow down your list.
Weigh the Strength of Your Major
One deciding factor between colleges could be the strength of your major at that particular campus. You want to attend classes that will not only push you to get good grades but challenge you and fully prepare you for the first day of your career. Choose a university that offers degree plans with hands-on learning and a low student-to-faculty ratio to learn more in each course.
Look into each school’s student organizations and determine which could support your major, develop your leadership skills, and allow you to volunteer in the community. Students at LCU apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to campus activities, student organizations, and outreach, furthering the strength of their coursework.
Research the College Location
The location of each college probably plays a vital role in your final decision. Many students want to make sure they are close enough to home to visit when they need to but also far enough away to focus on investing in their new school. Either way, it is a good idea for you to research the cost of living, traffic, weather, and travel expenses to & from home. This will help you understand if you truly want to move yourself and your belongings to that location.
Look into what other students do for fun in the area, too. LCU students have several ways to stay occupied in between study breaks.
Whether you want to immerse yourself in a college town or a big city, there are options all across the country. As you go through each option, consider if the the atmosphere of the college location will provide other local opportunities like part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer organizations to build a strong foundation for your career.
Check the College Size
When you weigh your college preferences, size is definitely an important aspect to consider. Do you recognize the unique benefits of attending a smaller university, or do you feel more challenged by the opportunities found at a medium or large school? Once you decide the size of the university you would like to attend, begin to cross the ones that don’t match up off your list.
Next, look at the acceptance rate of each college. There may be some you will be guaranteed to be accepted into. What about the others? If your other college choices have a low acceptance rate, you may want to move your safe choices to the top of your list. It is a good idea to shoot for a university that accepts more students than rejects them.
Understand Your Financial Aid
Your top university choice should be affordable, taking into consideration your savings, your family’s income, and the financial aid you are awarded. Map out the true cost of each university (tuition, fees, room & board, etc.), deducting your total scholarships and financial aid. Get started calculating the total cost of each university using our College Cost Guide.
Develop a budget for when you arrive at school, if you haven’t already. Make sure your financial aid is calculated into this, then use this figure to determine which college options are best suited for you and your family.
Schedule A College Visit
Before you finalize your top college choices, visit each campus. Take time to experience the campus atmosphere and see the student culture for yourself.
Prepare for your visit by knowing which departments you want to speak with, people you want to see, and what questions you have about the university. A personal visit to LCU includes the opportunity to sit in on a lecture, time worshipping in chapel, a campus tour, lunch, time with your LCU Admissions Advisor and much more. Prepare for your LCU tour using our College Visit Prep Kit.
Enjoy a guided experience at Lubbock Christian University during our next Chap Day on Feb. 19! This campus visit day lets you see the university with several other prospective students and get to know several of our students, faculty, and staff. Sign up below!