Seven factors to consider when selecting a college


Students walk through the campus of Princeton University in New Jersey. An aesthetic campus is a feature that can make your college education more pleasant. (Geoff Livingston/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Ashley Bu, Science and Technology Editor

After graduating from high school, pursuing higher education is a popular choice that people take to advance their careers. In order to make the most out of it, there are many factors to consider before choosing the right college.


The best location for a college varies from person to person. Some people may choose to stay close to home, while others may want to move abroad. Nonetheless, choosing a suitable location will help make the two to four years of college more comfortable.

Climate and weather are critical factors in determining which colleges to apply to and attend. Before choosing which college to attend, it is important to look up climate information about the town that the university is located in, as you will be attending class from September to May. Some people may not enjoy the immense snowfall and cold temperatures that are prevalent in northern and midwestern universities.


Class size can greatly affect your college experience. Smaller class sizes often give a more personalized college experience by having a larger distribution of resources per person and opportunities to communicate with professors during office hours. In larger public schools, “weed-out” classes are very common. Due to the high demand for help from the professors, students may often turn to each other or other resources for academic support.


According to the Uniform Crime Reporting released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, over 336 crimes occurred on nine different public Pennsylvania university campuses. Although crime can occur across all universities, it is crucial to remain vigilant in universities with more frequent criminal activity.

If you see a crime occurring or end up in danger while on the campus, each college also has a blue light system. Throughout the campus, long pillars labeled “emergency” with a blue light allow distressed students to alert campus authorities and police.

Extracurricular activities

Beyond simply taking classes, extracurricular activities can better prepare students for their future careers and allow students with a common interest to connect with each other.

Each university offers a unique selection of clubs and activities to participate in throughout the year. Clubs also have their own websites or pages on social media where they showcase their work. 

Offered majors

Not all universities offer the same majors, and some universities may only allow students to choose one major, so it is beneficial to research the areas of study at a university contains.

Colleges often list the majors and concentrations that they offer on their websites. They may also define any rules regarding the amount of majors or minors someone can take. For example, most students of liberal arts colleges have a year to explore their interests before deciding their major in their sophomore year.

Proximity to work opportunities

Depending on where the college is located, there may be a lot of places offering internships for undergraduate university students. Certain schools offer a co-op program where students are able to intertwine their college education with work experience related to their field of study. By gaining work experience in your major, obtaining and working in jobs after college graduation will become smoother.


A college degree can bring many benefits, but it is important to pay only reasonable amounts for tuition.

The Education Data Initiative reports that the total student debt in the United States totals $1.635 trillion. Oftentimes, many people are still paying off their college loans decades into adulthood. Comparing the future salary of your desired job to annual college tuition can help you best determine the maximum amount to pay for college.

Each college also has a net price calculator which determines the amount of financial aid you would receive based on factors such as family income. Scholarships can also help finance your college education. People usually begin applying in their senior year, but people can start looking for scholarships as early as freshman year.