What to Look For in a University

Deciding where to continue a higher education can be overwhelming, and with each college boasting about how they are the best fit for you, how can you be sure? Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding and to hopefully help you figure out where you belong.

Academics/Admission rate
This should be, for anyone looking at higher education, the number one priority. And while no college advertises as being easy, every college has a different rank. Thus, looking at admissions rates can help determine how competitive a college is. Remember, being realistic with yourself is important, while challenging yourself is, too. Applying to one university with a 5% acceptance rate is incredibly risky, but applying to universities with high acceptance rate is not challenging. Balance is everything.

Location

Gif from Giphy.com
Gif from Giphy

Prospective students tend to ignore this one, especially students who grew up in a suburb. The “I can’t wait to get out of here!” feeling is something I know all too well. But the truth is that you will get homesick, and when you do, it is important to be able to get home to the comfort of your own bed and home. By no means does this mean that the adventure of going across the country is a poor choice, but be mindful of who you are and how dependent you are on your family.

Cost/Aid

Gif from Giphy
Gif from Giphy

Loans are a pain to pay off, and finding a job right away your freshman year may be unrealistic. Choosing a university that offers financial aid and academic scholarship is a wise financial choice, especially if your parents are the ones paying the bills.

ANYTHING except the dorms
Basing a college choice on where you will live for less than 8 months is crazy! And the truth is that all dorms are small and rather plain at first (it makes decorating all the more fun). So please please do not cross a college off of the maybe list because the dorms are not completely updated or renovated. In the grand scheme of things, it is not important at all.

Rachel

Rachel

Class of 2020
I am studying Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Sciences and Literacy in the College of Education. Although I now reside in Champaign, I am originally from Vernon Hills, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.