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How to choose the right college?
by Esteban Correa (Student)

My name is Esteban Correa.  I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL sophomore student from Ecuador and I am writing this article to help people choose the right college (or at least the way I did it, after learning from my mistakes!).  I am willing to help anyone!  My e-mail is enano4500@hotmail.com

The first thing you want to focus is if you have already decided a career you think you want to study (in my case, I was pretty sure Engineering was 'my thing').  If you don't know at all then your career should actually be UNDECIDED.  That's right, many colleges/universities offer this type of 'career' for people who don't know what to study.  They make you take courses of several careers (some business, psychology, general math) so that you can then look into what career you want to study.  You still take what are called 'general education' courses which are usually prerequisites not related to your career so that you come out of college with a well-rounded education.

The second thing you want to look at is how big do you want your future college/university to be?  If you are a student who doesn't like classes of more than 35 students then you would probably want to look for something small.  If you like sitting in an auditorium-style class with many students then a big college/ university should be your choice.

There are also pros and cons of each.  In my case, I picked Roger Williams University, which has around 5,000 students.  The good part is that classes are small and personalized, and professors are usually very reachable and are willing to help if you need them.  The bad side is I saw the same people every time around campus, and things can get monotonous.  If you 'don't care' about school size, my recommendation personally would be to choose a larger school (10,000+ students ) as small schools in my opinion get very monotonous social-wise.

Where to start a search?  Well, in my High School I had a college counselor; but be aware, they ARE NOT the only source of information.  At www.collegeboard.com there is a great comprehensive tool to search for universities.  You can look for colleges/universities according to what you like in categories such as location, distance from home, costs, sports, academics etc.  This tool isn't always accurate, so on what regards to costs and admission rates I don't recommend following.  Use this tool to find the names and basic info.  Of each college, then go to each college website to check on the facts you want to know about.

Searching doesn't cost anything, so there's nothing to lose.  However, you must be organized in your search.  What I did that helped me a lot was to do an excel table with categories for each university such as size, location, cost, if they offer my major; the more you add, the better your choice will be.  Pick around 10-15 universities and add them to your chart.  Then print the chart and star analyzing what you

think about the city, the academics each university offers, the amount of students, etc and how YOU would feel there.  Assign your choices with numbers from 1-15 (or the amount of universities you chose).

Finally, ALWAYS check the university's website out.  It is there where you will find A LOT of information on whatever else you want.  Don't be afraid to contact the admissions office, and if you can, GO VISIT the university!  Once again, it is all free and takes little amount of time.

Remember one thing: the university actually NEEDS YOU!

Author:
Esteban Correa (Student)

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  Submitted Articles
• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

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• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
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