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Choosing What College to Commit To: Factors to Consider When Making Your Decision

Evelina Erickson
A pro-and-con chart can assist in deciding what college to commit to.

First it was the anxiety of applying to colleges, then it was the waiting game, now the anxiety is back for some, but not all. If the latter applies to you, congratulations! You have committed to the college of your choice for whatever reasons or research influenced you to make that decision. As for the former, everything is on pause. Buying a prom outfit doesn’t seem so crucial because of the May 1 or May 15 (or even June 1) deadline most colleges have to press the ‘committed’ button. Before deciding which college to attend (if that is the route you are taking), here are a few things to consider:


Location/Campus (Weather/Proximity)

When you originally applied to schools, you most likely narrowed down where you wanted to go for college: stay in California, grab your cowboy hat or your coat, grab your hiking boots or swimsuits, prefer urban or suburban, or travel far, far away. Wherever you think totally depends on your person. Whether your preference has changed or not since the application process, it is still a major part of deciding which college to go to. Besides the weather in that state (or country), proximity to home is definitely at least on your loved ones’ minds. College is typically the first time a child leaves home for an extended period of time away from family and friends, so it is important to consider how well you can handle independence. That being said, wherever you go, always phone and text home frequently!


Cost (Tuition/Fees/Scholarships) 

Financials determine what college to go to for the majority of seniors. From tuition costs to the travel expenses to book and supply fees, a ton of money goes into college and it is something to discuss with your household. Hopefully you have applied to scholarships and/or received money from the schools you applied to. This year there has been a delay with FAFSA which has thrown many people off course in determining what college they are committing to. By now some people have received information from FAFSA which has influenced their decision one way or another. The delay in FAFSA has even pushed the day to commit for some schools, so make sure to double check that!


“Reach out to the individual school and send appeals,” said Ms. Woodard, College & Career counselor regarding receiving more financial aid. Visit the C&CC (B-6) for more information and if you need any assistance.


Size (Class Size)Social Life/School Spirit

Large or small, public or private, 8:1 or 27:1; the undergraduate size, type of college, and student:faculty ratio, also impact which college you want to go to. Along with those, the social life and school spirit at the colleges you are considering are something to think about. Do you want a “party” school? Do you want to be just a “number” on campus? Are you going to rush? Do you want more lecture classes or discussion classes?



You will be living at this school for around four years so the provided meal plans and housing guarantees are factors to consider too. More specially if you have allergies or food restrictions check out the programs different colleges have to accommodate your needs. 



Another determining factor of which college you choose depends on your major. For those undecided, see how easy it is to change your major. (This might be something to consider about schools in general.) As for those who know what they would like to study, research what schools have the best classes, teachers, resources, and opportunities for your major. One of these opportunities available are the internships that a college can connect you with, which are pertinent for your career beyond college. 

“Many companies that you apply to after college look at your job experience as one of the main reasons to hire you so internships are extremely important,” said Ms. Woodard. “The opportunities a school offers you is something to take into high consideration.”

Furthermore, see if you are interested in any special programs offered at a school. Most of these you applied to when you originally submitted your application, but some colleges have programs like an Honor College that you can apply to later as well.


Gut Feeling/Intuition

Gut feeling and intuition is a great thing to consider especially if you are between two or three colleges. Can you see yourself at either of the colleges? It helps if you are able to visit the campuses and surrounding areas, but often you already have a hunch on where you want to go for college. It is helpful to see any virtual tours that the schools offer.



Other factors when choosing what college to go to include researching their: Study Abroad programs, Co-ops, prestige/national ranking/reputation, calendar dates (when is Spring or Winter Break? etc.), alumni programs, and whatever else you are looking for in a college. 


Considering these factors that go into making your college decision, it also matters what you take into higher rank. For example, is it more important for you to have a Greek life? Is it more important for you that you can drive home when you want? Or is it more important that you can stay undecided on your major for two years? Would you rather transfer after two years because that makes the most sense? Whatever the case is, congratulations on where you got into! You should be proud! And it is redundant, but college really is what you make of it. But a final piece of advice is to use pro-and-con charts when you do your research! Rory Gilmore loved them for a reason. 

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About the Contributor
Evelina Erickson
Evelina Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Evelina Erickson is a senior at San Marcos High School. It is currently her fourth year with the King’s Page. For the past two years she has been the news editor and feature editor. This year she is excited to be one of the Editor-in-Chief and the news editor. Evelina enjoys writing about all topics but especially would like to move or inspire the people who read her articles. She is also a part of the Entrepreneurship Academy on campus. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, logic puzzles, playing golf, and hanging out with friends.
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