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LauBas5's avatar

What is the right college for me?

Asked by LauBas5 (16points) January 30th, 2012

I am a senior in high school and I have applied to 9 colleges. I like all of them, but I have no idea which one is going to be the best choice. I am an undecided major, and I based my schools off of distance from home, size, reputation, and sports. I run track at the national qualifying level, and though I am good enough for division one schools, I don’t care what level i end up running in college. I just want to have a better idea of what colleges on my list are better than others in terms of the price and what schools will be the better choices for the long run. The schools i applied to and have already heard from are Stonehill (denied) Assumption, Saint Anselm, Framingham state (accepted) still need to hear from, Providence, Roger Williams, Westfield, Emmanuel, and Fairfield. They’re all pretty different, please help! =/

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Why did you originally choose to apply to this list? What were your criteria? What are you interested in academically? A standard Liberal Arts education? Or something more technical or career-oriented.

Have you visited the campuses? Did you attend any classes? Or spend the night in a dorm? Check out the social life? Frat/sorority school or not? Urban, suburban, rural? Large, small. How far from home?

Curriculum? Required courses or areas of studies?

What the better choice is depends on who you are and what you are looking for and feel prepared for.

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LauBas5's avatar

I decided to apply to this list, because i did research on them using college board and other related sites, and i compared my gpa of a 3.3 to these schools and each one except for my two reaches ( Stonehill and Providence) were schools that i felt i could easily get into, and enjoy as far the college experience goes. I’ve only visited Assumption as far as schools that i applied to goes, but the other schools i visited, like Merrimack and Endicott were either just not right for me, and i couldn’t picture myself there, or didn’t have track. I know two schools on my list also don’t have track, but i would consider them anyways. I have no specific academic interests which is why I’m finding this so hard, i like classes like algebra and physics, but I’m probably the best at English. Im more interested in a standard Liberal Arts education, i just want to go somewhere that i will be most likely to find what i want to do in the future. I haven’t attended any college classes yet, I’ve been invited to a few accepted students days that i am going to attend. I prefer the suburban area but i wouldn’t really mind any of them, I’m trying not to be picky about that, the max amount of time I’m willing to go from home is about 3 hours depending on the school. Im starting to feel like college is a bit of a scam, but i have to go, its pretty much a requirement in my family. I don’t know what else i would do with my life if i didn’t. My parents are also trying to help me with this, but its still not enough to help me with the decision making.

gailcalled's avatar

Wait until you get all your decisions and then do some serious visiting.

If you feel really not ready, you could (with your parents’ approval) send your acceptance in to one of the schools that you like and then defer for a year. You might find it interesting to see what jobs are available for someone just out of high school.

I need to add that you are a clear and tidy writer, unusual for most high school seniors. I hope you take some English composition and expository writing courses.

gailcalled's avatar

One last and quick thought. May I assume that you are a MA. resident? If so, the state school (s) would have a much lower tuition. Is money a issue?

ETpro's avatar

I totally agree with @gailcalled. You don’t have to pick a specific career just yet, But you at least want to know if you need a BA or a BS to get where you want to go in life. Are you geeky, a math and science whiz; or are you more the arts and letters type. There’s always the middle ground of management of finance.

Once you pick from that short list, talk to the high school guidance counselor or find a career counselor outside if the school doesn’t provide one. Also, some of your favorite teachers might be able to help. It’s a good idea to have at least some direction in mind as you start. Whatever the direction you take, if you at least know whether you want an Bachelor of Arts or Science; you can dive into a course load that will position you for any of the final specialties a given college offers. A BA will have one set of core courses that all BA degrees requre in the first 2 years, and a BS will require a slightly different set of core courses in the first two years, but again, they are pretty much the same regardless of the specialty. Once you settle on a career, you can complete the specialized courses for the corresponding degree in the last two years. At worst, you might have to pick up a course or two in summer sessions.

While I disagree strongly with @Rock2‘s suggestion that college is a waste of money. In December of 2011, the US national unemployment rate for people with a high school diploma and no college was 8.7%, but for those with a bachelor’s degree or better, it was 4.1%. Not only that, pay scales for college graduates are far higher than those with no more than a high school education. That said, @Rock2‘s at least right that getting that sheepskin is expensive. And it costs way more if you invest two or three years of study then realize you picked the wrong major, you hate it, and you want to start all over in a different field of study.

auhsojsa's avatar

The thing is, your major plays a huge role in deciding which school you want. It’s funner if you have your major decided as well. Because, you get to take some of your major related courses mixed in with your General Education Breadth. Unless you’re super down to take to take nothing but Science, English, Math for 2 years non stop aka Highschool again, then I would highly recommend going into choosing your career path so you can tackle college head on. Just get your degree and get into the work force don’t over think it. You can always do your hobby on the side and do well with it in the long run.

Go to the colleges of your choice and check out their catalogs. Why not major in, “Kinesiology”? It’s sports related and judging from your post you seem to love sports.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

“distance from home, size, reputation, and sports”
I have taught in a number of colleges and have advised students, and based on your criteria and the fact that you don’t really know what you want to study, I don’t think you’re ready for college yet. College isn’t about “distance from home” nor size, reputation or sports. It’s about Education with a capital E, and what that will enable you to do in your life. When you realize that, and have a burning desire to learn something, then you’re ready to attend college. Kindly get a job, save some money, do some soul searching, and figure this out before you go, and you will save yourself, your parents, your wallet, and your advisors some grief.

LauBas5's avatar

yes i live in MA and no, money isn’t really an issue, my parents can afford it, but i just don’t want to feel like i pick somewhere to go that they’re gonna have to pay all this money for and i didn’t get much out of it. I mean I’m going to try my hardest to do well and everything, but i just don’t want to regret anything. Another problem is that i still feel so young, I’ve never had a job and i have no idea whats its like to handle money that I’ve worked for on my own, i know i may be thinking a little too much about it because many kids like me go through the same thing, but its intimidating for me to think about taking classes on a major I’m going to be really serious about, i really don’t have enough experience or knowledge on how many different majors there are and what will lead me to what. I think i need to do more research. The more i think about all of this the more i lean towards thinking that yes, i love sports and I am a very hard working athlete so maybe i should look into something involving sports, but how am i supposed to know what I’ll be doing when I’m settled and married with kids and what not? i don’t know if I’m just thinking too far ahead or what, but clearly intense serious research needs to be done before i make a decision.

LauBas5's avatar

@JaneraSolomon If all the kids I’ve seen graduate and go to college have gone with out any hesitation, and all my friends plan on going to college too, not going is not an option. Though i may have based my decisions off what you’ve seen, I’ve seen much worse decision making, and taking a break before going to college is just going to set me behind everyone else and make me forget what being in school feels like. I just feel like I’m a hard enough working student, who wants to succeed that i can and should go to college next fall just like everyone else is. Ready or not, i feel like its now or never, and thats how everyone else is making it seem too.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

I’ve advised hundreds of students and have heard that story hundreds of times, and it’s really unfortunate. Those are the students who change majors twice, and they lose credits each time because sociology III doesn’t transfer to the art major, etc. Consequently they often take 5 years to graduate anyway, so if they had taken a year off, they would have graduated at the same time, but spent substantially less.
They also often get depressed late in their first year saying “what the heck am I doing here?” Lack of purpose will do that. Alternatively you can “defer your admission” to the college of choice and set a DEFINITE date to start later than the immediate term, that’s a common thing to do. But enrolling “because everyone else is doing it” is just plain silly. You don’t have to take my word for it, PLEASE speak to your own guidance counselor or PREFERABLY a college counselor (NOT an admissions person since they are paid only to sign you up, not to give you good advise).

JLeslie's avatar

Go to a large college and live in the dorms the first year. I prefer schools that are like real campuses, and not buildings in a large city. I am not familiar with the schools you named, so I am not sure if any of them fit the bill. I recommend visiting the campuses if you haven’t, sometimes once there you can get an idea if you feel like you really can see yourself living there. I never thought I would go to a large university, much less one with a strong reputation as being a party school. I didn’t drink or do any drugs, was not into sports, and I grew up in the northeaat, but I wound up at Michigan State University, in the midwest obviously, a school of 45,000 students, big ten, football and basketball both a big deal, plus other sports, and I absolutely loved it! I bought season tickets for football, tons of fun. 70% of the students live on campus, also lots of fun. Majors I never had even thought of or considered to choose from.

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