By Mae Castellano

Even after all the research you’ve done, you’re still clueless when choosing which college you want to attend. There are many factors in choosing a college that’s right for you—whether you actually like the campus or if you believe that it’s not what you were looking for.

The most important thing is to have an idea in what career you would like to pursue in the future. Knowing what you’d like to do will make decisions easier. If you’re not sure about what you want to pursue, Naviance is a great tool to use. Naviance allows you to take an interest profiler survey, under the “careers” tab.

“It gives you an idea of different careers that might be good matches for you. From that, you can figure out what major you need to pursue that career and from there, figure out which colleges offer that major,” advises Guidance Counselor Jennifer Cody.

With an occupation in mind and knowing which major to specialize in, in comes the other factors. Going on Naviance and inserting your college-life preferences is just the first step in this lengthy process. Now it’s time to see if the colleges are right for you.

Don’t feel the need to attend a school simply because your parents are pressuring you. You want to attend the college that will give you the proper knowledge to strive in your occupation. However, it’s good to be careful when choosing a college specific to your current major; it’s possible it will change once or twice.

Location is another detail to take into consideration. If your main concern is to stay near home, that’s most likely what you’re going to want to do, especially if you’re going to help out your parents. However, leaving does allow you to be completely independent from your parents and gives you a taste of the adult life.

Another common factor is cost. It’d make sense to choose the school that’s cheaper, but remember that it should have the right programs for you to excel in. Going to an expensive school may put a strain on you financially. However, if you feel the education is adequate, it may be worth it to get the appropriate material needed to excel in the future.

Attending a community college is an alternative and would help save you a significant amount. Going to a community college, you can still acquire the same general education you’d get from a four-year college, and from there you can later transfer to a four-year college to complete your bachelor’s degree.

“Visiting colleges might be the last step,” provides Guidance Counselor Chantu Nguyen. Visiting colleges last ensures that the academic portion of choosing a college is over. Going to a college and liking the school, yet it ends up not having the correct programs, would be a waste of time.

There are lots of different elements to think about when deciding on which school to attend. Having a career in mind and knowing which programs to get there are critical in determining where you’re going to enroll.

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