Points to Consider When Choosing Your Post-Secondary School

1.Academic Programs – Does the school offer the program(s) you are interested in?

2.Quality of Program – Is the school known for a particular program? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the program you are interested in?

3.Selectivity – Is the school highly competitive, less competitive, or non-competitive?

4.Chances of Admission – Be realistic. What are your chances of getting in? Is this a “reach” or a “safety” school?

5.Difficulty – Will the work be a challenge for you, too advanced, or too easy?

6.Costs – What is the cost, including tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation and travel to and from campus, and pocket money?

7.  Financial Aid – Does the school offer merit-based aid or is all financial aid based on need?

8.Commuters vs. Residents – Do most students commute from within town or do most students live on campus?

9.Living Conditions – How many years of housing are guaranteed? Are the dorms coed? Are there single sex dorms? Are alternative housing arrangements available?

10.Location – Is the school close to home or far away? Could you easily go home for a weekend? 

11.Campus safety – Are the dorms secure? Does the college offer a security escort service for late at night? Are there police phones on campus?

12. Rural, Suburban, or Urban – Is the school in a large city, college town, or rural setting far from any major city?

13.School size – Is the school small (fewer than 1000 students), medium, or large (more than 15,000 students)?

14.Geographical Diversity – Is the school a regional one attracting students from the same state or region or does the school attract students from all over the US or the world?

15.Other Students – What are the students like? Will you fit in? Will you be able to make friends?

16.Faculty – Are most classes taught by professors or teaching assistants? Which classes?

17.Curriculum – Is there a core curriculum for all students in your program? How much freedom do you have in choosing what courses you must take to meet the academic requirements?

18.Advanced Placement – Does the school accept Advance Placement credits? For what score?

19.Honors Program – Are there honors programs available? Who is eligible?

20.Study Abroad – Does the school offer a study abroad program?

21.Graduation Rates – What percentage of students graduate? How long does it usually take for most students to graduate?

22.Graduate School – What percentage of graduates go on to graduate school immediately upon graduation? What percent are accepted by the medical, law, or business school or their choice?

23.Placement – How many graduates go right into the market place? Is there a Job Placement office that assists? Which firms recruit on campus?

24.Facilities – Are there adequate sports and recreational facilities? A swimming pool? Music practice rooms?

25.Athletic Programs – Does the school offer a wide variety of intercollegiate and intramural sports programs? Are there adequate programs for women?

26.Computers – Are computers required? Are there adequate computer facilities on campus? Can you have a PC in the dorm?

27.Socialization – Does the school offer a full complement of activities? Are there fraternities and sororities? Does that matter to you?

28.Internships – Are there opportunities for hands-on experience while you are in college? Do any of these pay a salary or stipend?

29.Library – How many books are in the library? Is it computerized? If the campus library tied into a larger network?

30.Class Size – Are classes taught in large lecture halls or in classrooms? Which classes?