How to choose the best college

With so many thousands of institutions of higher learning, how do you choose the right one for you? We have compiled a list of some key considerations to ponder before making your decision.

1. How much can you afford? Be sure to look at more than just tuition. For example, factor in books and fees, the cost of relocating, as well as the cost of living in the city each school is located. Remember, this is a business decision. Ask yourself if your degree you will earn is really paying top dollar and going into debt for. Plus, cost vary wildly from school to school, and you will find that the most expensive do not necessarily offer the best programs for your major.

2. Classroom size. Are you you comfortable being one of 500 students in an auditorium style classroom, or would you prefer small classroom sizes that offer more one on one contact with the instructor. Unfortunately, the over-sized classroom is increasingly common at many top rated schools.

3. Your major field of Study.  As obvious a consideration as this is, many students choose a school based on its general reputation, without taking time to find out about the specific program they intend to enter. If possible, talk with someone enrolled in your field of study, and as the school for employment statistics of recent graduates.

4. College Experience. Are you simply looking for a degree or do you want to experience college life (sports, fraternities, sororities, etc . . .) at its fullest. If you intend to live on campus, this is especially important.

5. Location. Is it close to your home? Are you willing to relocate across the country? many high school graduates can not wait to get away from home, but remember that four years is a long time, so think carefully about where you will be living.

6. Do your Homework. Have you really researched all you options? Don't simply rely on what a few friends and teachers have told you. Invest some time with a book like the Fiske Guide to Colleges and you may be very surprised at all the attractive options you find.