How Do I Find the Right School for Me?

Choosing a school that meets your needs requires examining a few attributes, such as academic programs and extracurricular activities, of each college or university you are considering. Read below for more information about finding the right school for you.

Overview of Factors to Consider in Choosing a School

Many considerations go into choosing a college or university. Location, size and cost certainly play large roles, but there are also other factors to examine once you've narrowed your options down to a few schools. Academics, extracurricular activities, and type of school are among additional areas of importance.

Important Facts About Choosing a School

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees available
Prerequisites Varies depending upon intended program of enrollment; associate's and bachelor's degree programs typically require a high school diploma, or equivalent
Class size Private institutions generally have smaller student-teacher ratios than larger public schools
Online Availability Fully


Knowing what you want to study can make choosing the right school a little easier. Many colleges and universities have strong academic programs in specific fields. For instance, a university with a strong music program may not have an equally strong chemistry department. It's important to narrow your search by your academic interests. There are many publications that rank colleges' academic programs, and students should utilize these resources when making their decision. Students should seek schools that have reputations for offering strong academic programs, both in general education and in the fields they wish to pursue.

Activities and Programs

Besides academics, the extracurricular activities and programs offered by schools may help attract students. These activities may include sports teams, social clubs, theater troupes and political groups. One school may be known for its strong athletic programs, while another may be known for having well-organized student organizations. Many schools offer study-abroad programs and other international exchange opportunities. While much of your time is spent in class, your social and extracurricular activities may help shape the overall university experience and should definitely be considered when choosing the right school for you.

Type of School

Students have the choice of a variety of types of schools. A student may attend a liberal arts college, a community college or a vocational school. Each of these offers a different type of educational experience. You should have an idea of the type of education you are seeking before choosing a school. For example, students interested in learning air conditioning repair would not be well-served by a liberal arts college.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

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