This time of year, we know it's easy to feel like the belle of the ball. So many college acceptance letters, so little time! Still can't decide where to enroll by May 1? Ask yourself these five questions to help you narrow your list down to one school.
1. What are the people like? Do they stay on campus? Do they go home on the weekends? Are they competitive or supportive? Where do you see yourself fitting in among those different student bodies? You’re going to be spending the next four years with these people, so choose people you like!
2. Do they have good programs outside of my major? If you know exactly what you want to major in, that’s great. But keep in mind, 75 percent of students change their major before they graduate. So it’s not a bad idea to explore whether the schools you’re looking at have other programs you might be interested in. Undecided? Pick a school with a friendly environment for Explorers like you.
3. How far away do I want to be from home? A school that’s six hours away might feel like liberation on move-in day, but you’ll be making that drive probably three to five times over the course of the school year. Maybe you love long drives and podcast bingeing, or maybe you’re prone to car sickness. Decide what's really right for you: being close to home or miles (or flights) away.
4. What kind of financial aid options do I have? Did you know private school grads have an easier time paying back their loans? And they graduate at higher rates than their public university peers, too. Although it may seem like bigger schools offer more financial aid, you may be surprised at what smaller, private colleges have to offer you. Look carefully at each of your financial aid packages to determine just which school is most economical for you.
5. Is this going to be a good learning environment for me? Big schools and small schools offer two very different experiences when it comes to classes, connections and opportunities. Can you function well in a classroom of 50 or 100 people? Or are you a 12-person-class kind of learner? Do you like to be chummy with your teachers? Or do you prefer anonymity? Pick the place that’s going to help you thrive in your educational career. After all, that’s what you’re there for.
At Siena, we're invested in you, your education and your college experience. Need more convincing? Reach out to us! And if you've answered all of these questions and decided to join us at Siena, we couldn't be happier to have you. See you next semester!