How to Choose a College That’s Right for You: 4 Key Elements for Students to Consider

When trying to decide which college is best for you, many factors are at play. While academic rigor and school rankings are often key elements in the decision process, success in school largely depends on the college environment as well as social and emotional factors. So before scouring through Forbes’ Top Colleges List, let’s go through some ways you can start your search and put you on the path to choosing a college that’s right for you.

Ways to decide which college is right for you

  1. Start the Conversation. Talk to a college counselor at your high school, mentors, friends, older siblings, parents, and/or family friends about finding your best college fit. If they’ve attended college themselves, they can tell you about their personal experiences and can be very valuable resources. This is where good listening skills come in handy!
  2. Do Your Homework. Research college guidebooks and college sites. Follow schools you’re interested in on social media. Subscribe to their online newsletter if they have one. All of these things can help you stay up to date with schools and assist in your decision about what school fits you the best. Complete our The Right Fit Quiz for additional guidance.
  3. Ask Questions. A good way to get a lot of information on a school is to ask questions. Check out this handy pocket guide from Indiana University that offers questions to ask tour guides, admissions officers, faculty and current students.
  4. Network. Ask your high school guidance counselor to introduce you to alumni who are current students at colleges that interest you.

For more information on how to choose a school that’s the right fit, check out our Set to Go resources for families and educators. For additional information on the importance of “right fit” in your college selection process, check out Challenge Success.

Get Help Now

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text HOME to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7. 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, text or call 988.

If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.