There’s a lot going on in the lives of high-school seniors. They’re looking forward to graduation, and to the next stage of their lives: college. 

Now that the fall semester is well underway, college-bound seniors are going to be looking to start applying for colleges in the coming weeks. These are three points that they should keep at the forefront of their mind when deciding which college they want to go to.

#1. What Scholarships Can You Apply For?

First off, the most important thing seniors should be spending their time doing is searching for any and all scholarships they might qualify for. This is actually a huge deal, considering how expensive college has become in the United States.

Scholarships can make all the difference between a seamless and focused collegiate experience and a stressful, hard slog through part-time jobs and late-night cram sessions. To get the most out of university, it’s critical to spend as much of that time as possible immersing oneself in the learning environment. Scholarships make it much easier to do this. 

When it comes to college, in particular, every dollar does indeed count. In fact, it could be the factor that determines whether a student can attend the school of their dreams. 

#2. Which School Suits Your Interests Best?

In another post, we talked about shortlisting the schools you would like to study at. To do this, students choose the top schools they like based on a few different criteria. 

First: where would they like to spend the next four years of their life? For example, if the student grew up in the north, they may want to study somewhere with warm winters and white-sand beaches.

Aside from this, take campus life into consideration. Assuming the student had the opportunity to tour the school before their application, which campuses had the most personal appeal? Which dorms felt the most comfortable or suited to the student’s lifestyle and study program? 

They should think about those preferences, then see how they stack up against their intended field of study. Is there a school in the region that specializes in the student’s interests?

#3. Which Schools Are Good For Your Degree?

It’s’ easy to point to a map and say, “I want to study in California or Florida.” However, reality doesn’t quite work that way. While a student’s feelings about a location and school are important, the point is moot unless that school has a great program in that field of study.

While students are fully encouraged to follow their dreams, it’s critical to tailor their education to suit the practicalities of those dreams. A student may end up facing a difficult choice between studying in a city or region they love, or getting the best education.

It’s a tough decision. In the end, though, it’s probably a wise choice to go with the school that’s more directly suited to the students’ intended course of study.

In other words: students should aim for the stars, but still make sure their feet are firmly planted on the ground first. When facing a tough decision, it’s probably wise to go with the option that will pay the most dividends over the course of one’s life.