How to Identify which College or University is the best Fit for you and your Child

There are a few things to consider when choosing a university. Do you know what you want to study? Do you have a preference between public and private schools? Have you thought about what size school might be best for you? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down what type of school will be best for you, and from there to which specific school might be the best fit. This article is based on my experiences at two very different schools. I attended a large state university for my first degree, and a small private school for my second. There are pros and cons to each.

First, do you know what you want to study? If you don’t, you might want to consider a larger state school. They tend to have a wide variety of degree programs and fields of study. This will enable you to try things that interest you and see if you want to pursue them further. Most large schools don’t make you declare a major right away, allowing you to start by filling your general education requirements as you take classes you think will be interesting.

On the other hand, if you do know what you want to study, you might want to look into a school that focuses on that area. For instance, if you are interested in photography, you could consider an art school offering a B.F.A. in photography rather than a large university offering a general art degree that simply emphasizes photography.

Secondly, do you have a preference between public and private schools? The pros of a public university are that they tend to be larger and accept more students, and they can be less expensive than private schools. One of the cons of this type of school is that they charge more tuition to out-of-state students, unless the states have an agreement between them.

A private school may not be accepting as many students, so you could be up against more competition for fewer spots. It could also be more expensive, but it may also have one price whether you are an in-state student or not.

Thirdly, a large school is more likely to have larger class sizes which can be overwhelming to some students. Personally, I liked the experience of being in a large class on a large campus. I found though, that I came to depend less on face time with a professor and more on time with a tutor. However, this was only one of many services provided by tuition at this university.

If you feel intimidated by these prospects, a small school might be a better fit. The small school I attended had smaller class sizes, and that was also nice. I felt like my professors got to know me better and were there to help me. The down side to the small school was that there wasn’t a strong sense of community. When I attended the large state school, there was a definite sense of being at college. There was a large Greek system, tons of groups, activities and every sport to participate in. The small school had groups to join and sports teams, but it wasn’t nearly on the level of the university I went to.

Hopefully reading about my experiences will give you some insight into choosing the type of college you would like to attend. These are just some things that I hadn’t considered when I was looking at schools. Whatever you decide, I would recommend making as many college visits as you can. Tthat is the best way to get a feel for what your life will be like at that school. Good luck!