Should I Stay or Should I Go


Should I stay close to home or should I venture out into the world?  Should you chose to go off to college there are some things to consider.  And as fun as it may be to think of there is a lot ore that goes into that decision than just the proximity of your school to a beach or ski resort.

When it comes to deciding what college you are going to attend, some things to think about are, out of all the ones you have been accepted, which one has the best program for your major. There is no point in choosing a college that will not benefit you the most in regards to what you want to study. Think about which one offers more opportunities for experience before you graduate.

Another factor to think about is class size. A university may have the best program for your major, but if you can’t communicate with your instructors one-on-one to discuss a paper, maybe this university is not the one for you. You should look into which ones have smaller class sizes which will allow you to have long conversations or discussions with professors that will actually remember your name. With smaller class sizes, you will not get lost in the sea of students they see and teach every week. Some people are perfectly okay with having large class sizes. If you are the kind of person that prefers to only rely on yourself and study groups, then this obviously will not be an issue for you. But, if you prefer to have a bit of extra help from your instructors, then definitely look into the student to faculty ratio.

Do you play a sport? If you do, then you most likely applied to colleges with a good athletics program. Same thing as with your major, which one has the better athletics department that is right for you? Do one of the universities you applied to offer help to balance school work with your sport? If you have been offered scholarships to play for certain universities, then this may be a factor to consider before deciding.

Graduation rate is also an important thing. What are the chances that you will graduate in four years? Some schools can be pretty impacted. This means that they accept more students than they have room for which translates into making it harder to get the classes you need in order to graduate on time.

Let’s move on to cost and financial aid. I’m sure all of you know about three types of financial aid: grants, scholarships, and student loans. For a lot of people, the cost of a university is the deciding factor if they will attend or not. It shouldn’t be, though. Schools offer all types of money for students. There are merit-based scholarships, which takes into consideration your grades, and need-based scholarships, which takes into consideration your own and/or family’s income. If that isn’t enough, you can take out a student loan which you won’t have to pay until after you graduate. If loans are the last thing you want to look into, don’t fret. You can always find scholarships that are right for you. Ask your teachers if they know of any, or ask your counselor. If your high school has an AVID program and you’re not in it, ask the AVID teacher. It’s his or her job to help students attend universities. Also, don’t forget to fill out your Fafsa form at fafsa(dot)ed(dot)gov. Make sure it is not a dot com website, because that could be a fraud. If your parents work at a company, find out if they have scholarship opportunities for their employees’ kids.

Now lets go back to location. Maybe after considering all these things, you have made up your mind about which college to attend. Maybe, you’re still not sure. Staying close to home has its merits like less travel expenses. Just because your university of choice is within driving distance of your home doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live at home. Try living on-campus for a year to experience the freedom of being on your own. There are also some downsides. Not venturing out will make it harder to learn to be independent and solve your own problems without relying on your family. It will give you the chance to see and experience new things and develop yourself as a person in a way staying at home won’t. You have to think what is most important to you: being close to your family until you feel ready to be on your own, or pushing yourself to be more self-reliant.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions or comments feel free to shot me an e-mail.



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