There are so many choices to make when selecting a college, it is a wonder anyone does it at all. Analysis paralysis can really be a hindrance to moving forward. You are not just looking for a good college, but the perfect college for you. This can be hard for 18 year olds with no life experience to guide them. They really don’t know what they want. When you don’t know what you want, it can be really hard to find. One should also remember that perfect is the enemy of the good. There are plenty of good colleges you might overlook because you are set on finding the perfect. That merry chase is more of a fool’s errand. Perfect doesn’t exist.
What you need is a clear understanding of your needs. Make a list of priorities in the order of importance. There are a lot of things you think you need at first. But later, you realize you can live without them. Give yourself enough time to change your mind a few times. Get input from people who have been to college and can help you know what to look for. Some priorities are obvious. The following items might not have made your first draft:
Access to Charging Stations
If you are thinking about getting an electric car, you are not going to be able to park that thing in your dorm room and charge it from an outlet. You are going to have to make sure there is at least one charging station nearby so you can juice up before heading out. There doesn’t need to be a charging station on campus. It is not like most campuses have their own gas station. But you do need one or two nearby, and in route to places you normally go. Fortunately, the charging station infrastructure is really starting to fill out. So that is much less of an issue than it was 10 years ago.
While you’re at it, check the parking situation. Not all campuses have ample parking spots for students. Some might charge a high fee for parking. The same is true for a lot of cities. One of the biggest downsides to owning a car is parking. Many places are simply not car-friendly. Again, this is just one of those things you need to ask about and not take for granted. If you have a car, or plan to, be sure the infrastructure on and near campus is right for you.
You definitely have to make sure you choose the right college for your major. What you also have to know is if the college has a successful job placement program for the kind of job you want to do. Every college likes to boast about their job placement successes. But general numbers don’t mean a thing if they are not good at placing people in the type of job you want to do.
The best business school from 2015 might not represent the best you can do today. So be sure your recommendations are current. Again, there is a difference between the best business school and the school that is best at getting their graduates into good jobs. That’s a big difference. Don’t get a degree that will not get you hired.
If you are a Mac user and your school only does Windows, you are in trouble. You are going to hate every minute. And the transition is not automatic. You are also probably looking at a school that is technologically regressive if all major platforms aren’t supported. If you Use ecosystems from Microsoft, Apple, or Google and it is not supported, look elsewhere. While you’re at it, be sure that the WiFi is plentiful, fast, ubiquitous, and reliable. Your college career will depend on the internet even if you are taking all of your classes on campus. Bad internet services equals a bad college. Even if everything else is perfect, that school is a big pass. Don’t ignore technological red flags.
While it is not impossible to transfer to a different college, there is a reason it seldom happens. The place you land at first is more than likely the place you will graduate. So be sure to choose wisely. Be sure it has the right infrastructure in place for the car. Be sure the job placement program is right for your major. And check the tech before signing the dotted line.