You’ve gotten accepted to college, and now you have to decide on the perfect school. But before you put down your deposit, there are many factors you should consider when you deciding if a school is the one for you. You might fall in love with the first college you look at, but remember that you have to look for the best fit for you. If you want to make sure you’re ending up at the right school, these five signs a school is right for you will help you make your decision!
1. You feel like you fit in with the student body
One of the most important things when choosing a college is if you’ll fit in with the other students. You’ll find your niche no matter where you go, but some schools will be better fits for you than others. If you discover that a majority of the students have similar values and interests as you, it may make your transition easier.
Georgiana Honrath, a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s University, decided to choose her school because of the people. “Something I noticed when I first met people on campus was that they were really welcoming, and I knew that was the type of school I wanted to go to,” she says.
One way to gain insight into student life is to go to information sessions hosted by the school during accepted students days. You can find out about these panels through the admissions office. They usually feature a diverse group of students who are involved all over campus, so you’ll be able to see all the different interests people have there. If you feel like you could see yourself fitting in with the rest of the students, the school might be right for you!
2. It has extracurriculars you’re interested in
If you were super involved in high school and are looking for similar extracurricular activities to get involved with in college, that’s definitely something to look into when choosing your dream school! If you’re hoping to get involved in a certain club or sport and it isn’t offered at a particular university, it’s better to find that out sooner rather than later.
Ally Quilty, a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s University, chose her school because she was able to join a business fraternity there. “When I went to visit, I met a girl who was in the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and loved it,” she says. “No other schools I looked at had an organization like that, so I knew that Saint Joe’s was the school for me.”
Extracurriculars are a big part of social life on campus, so finding your niche is important for making friends. Having an idea of what you may or may not want to get involved in is a good way to prepare for your upcoming visit.
3. You’ll be able to succeed academically
Another sign that a school is right for you is that you think the school can suit you academically. After all, you want to be challenged in college, but you don’t want to feel like you’re in way over your head! You need to make sure you’re going to succeed in the environment you’re living and learning in.
Naja Griffin, a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s University, chose Saint Joseph’s because she liked the class sizes. “When I was looking for a school, it was important to me that the class sizes were small,” she says. “I went to a small high school where we had 25 to 30 kids in each class, so I wanted to keep it about the same when I got to college to transition easier.”
4. You can have fun in the surrounding environment
Your studies are definitely important in college, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun, too! If the town or city your school is located in is somewhere you could see yourself hanging out in, whether you hit up a nearby hiking trail or a gigantic art gallery in the city, that’s another sign that a school may be right for you! You’ll spend most of your time on campus, but the surrounding area will influence your experience as well.
5. It will guide you toward your dream career
If you love to dream big, you’re going to need a school to help you accomplish that dream. One sign that a school is right for you is that they have the particular program you’re looking for or the major you want. A school that gives you all the best opportunities is the one that’s right for you in the long run.
Courtney Moore, a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s University, chose her school because she knew she would be able to participate in a co-op program. “I knew that a co-op program was something I was looking for in a college,” she says.
You may be just about to start college, but don’t forget to consider what will happen after those four years! Make sure the school has resources to help you land your dream job. Check out the school’s career center on your visit and see what opportunities it offers.
If you’re seeing these five signs on your next campus visit, that school may just be “the one!” Congrats on being that much closer to enjoying the best four years of your life.