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Ask Bunky: The Big Decision

Tips on making the big college decision!

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Hi Bunky, I have been accepted into a few colleges, and now I have to decide between them.  Do you have any tips or advice to help me make the decision?

 

While it is hard to decide where you want to spend the next few years of your life, there are some key factors that should weigh in on your decision.  Here are some of the main ideas I think you should consider when deciding where to go to college, before the May 1st deadline.

1. Prioritize what you want in a school

Do you want to go to a school with lots of students or smaller groups?  Do you want to be in a city or in a rural area? Do you want to be in a sorority/fraternity? You should be asking yourself all those questions.  Making sure you are aware of the environment you’d like to be in while in college is important to making sure you’ll be happy there.  Knowing your non-negotiables in a school will knock some off your list and limit your chance of transferring in later years.

2. Compare each college/universities programs to each other

Make sure you are familiar with the majors/minors for your preferred field of study at every school on your list.  Every major and minor comes with a different level of rigor and prestige.  Which degree from each college on your list will be the most appealing to an employer?  Ask an admissions counselor at each college about their success rate in placing students with employers within field of study.  This will ensure you’re going to the right school for your field of study.  

3. Talk to Current Students

Talking to current students can give you an inside look at the social life of the college.  Ask them what they like to do in their free time and what their professors and the general operations of the school are like. Their opinions will broaden your knowledge about some of the unadvertised aspects of the school: good and bad.

Tip: Ask a student who isn’t a tour guide or part of the student government to get a different perspective.  Those students are usually passionate about the school, and will usually encourage you to apply/attend.

4. See where your high school credits will transfer

At Kennebunk High School, there are many opportunities to gain college credits.  If you score high enough on AP or IB exams, you could test out of entry level classes or, with enough credits, enter college as a sophomore.  Some schools do not accept IB credits, but many will convert your score on an IB exam to give you some sort of credit at the college/university.  Being able to convert your high school credits in college will save you money and time.

What Not to Do:

1. Let your Parents decide for you

Choosing a school is a stressful situation, so do not push the decision on your parents because you don’t want to deal with the stress anymore.  Your parents should have some influence choosing schools to apply to, but they should have little weight on choosing where you actually attend.  After all, this is your future.  Choose the college/university that feels right to you.  

2.  Only think about the price tag

If a school is completely out of the ballpark of your college budget, then obviously it might not be the right choice for you.  However, if a certain school is more expensive but a degree from that school will be more appealing to an employer, it is definitely worth working out financial options for that school.  That could be the difference between landing a job and having to schedule another interview.

 

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Ask Bunky: The Big Decision