Finding the College That’s Right For You

Life is full of options. What should I major in? Should I ask that girl out on a date?   Where should I go to college? What kind of sandwich should I make for lunch? Deciding what you want to major in is hard enough alone, but picking a college can be almost as difficult as picking the major itself. There’s just too many choices out there.

It’s obvious that if you’re a computer major, a university like Harvard wouldn’t likely be your first choice, unless of course you’d like to be the only techie amongst a campus full of law students. And it costs too much too. You’ll want to got to a school that not only supports your needs and aspirations, but is also affordable enough to where it won’t leave you broken financially for the rest of your life.

Most universities support just about every major out there, but many of those universities have their own niches where it may be more preferable to major in that particular area than in others. And if there’s a degree that you truly wish to major in, you may already be drawn to that college because of it. For instance, if you aspire to be a nutritionist, the University of Florida should be up there on your list somewhere since this would be the home of the famous Shands Hospital. But if you’re only going there for some good ol’ American football, then FSU would be a better fit for you.

The problem that I ran into when majoring in Information Technology at UCF was that there wasn’t very much support for the degree. In fact, the particular program wasn’t even accredited, which meant that my degree would be useless. Did they cancel the program though? Of course not. They wanted my money and were probably glad for anyone else that chose to continue on with the program. If I had know any of that before hand, I would have dropped the idea of even getting my 4-year degree and kept my money.

The important thing for you is to find the niche that those colleges have. Create a list and do some research. How reliable is their career center? How much does it cost to attend? How long does it take for students to graduate? Some of these questions can be answered by simply paying a visit to College Reality Check, but others would be better handled by taking a trip to the campus yourself and asking your questions up front.

Now if you were to go up to the admissions office and ask what degree program they specialize in, it’s likely you’ll get an answer close to, “We support ALL degree choices!” To get a better answer, you’ll want to get an idea of the culture of the campus. The most important thing for you, as an individual, when finding a college is to find a place where you have a sense of belonging. People will flock to where there are other people who share the same interests. And consequently, colleges will focus more attention on areas that garner the most interest.