When your kids are young, the thought of them entering high school and college may seem a long way off, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly that day arrives. Helping your child choose their college is one of the most important things you can do, but with more than 10,000 colleges across the United States, finding the right one can be tougher than you think. Picking the perfect college can give someone a great start in life, so here are three essential things to consider when it’s time to choose.
Decide What You Want To Study
The course or courses that your child wants to study are just as important as the college they’re studied at, and often the first factor will have a large impact on the second. Many schools and colleges across America specialize in one particular subject, which could be anything from agriculture to healthcare, engineering, cooking, education, beauty or the sciences. These colleges often have excellent reputations within their field, and so gaining a diploma or degree from one will help to attract employers who are recruiting for jobs in that sector. The specialist website SchoolChoices.org allows users to search for colleges by subject, making finding one that meets the academic and career interests of your child a whole lot easier and quicker.
Make A Short List, And Visit The Colleges On It
There may be a number of colleges in your chosen area that seem to meet your child’s criteria or that make them an offer, so work through the options with them to create a more manageable shortlist of around four potential colleges. If possible, your child should physically visit the colleges to see if they look as good in real life as they do online. They should take a look at the facilities on offer, and ideally speak to some of the pupils in attendance there to find out what it’s like to study there on a day to day basis. Online reviews can also be helpful, but nothing is as revealing as visiting a college in person.
Location, Location, Location
Location is of vital importance when helping your child choose their college, and there are three factors relating to it to take into consideration. Firstly, will they be living at home and commuting to college? If so, they will need to look for nearby colleges, but whilst this can save significant money, it can also mean they miss out on the full college experience. Secondly, consider whether the college is in a pleasant and welcoming area with lots of the amenities that students love. Finally, consider whether the college location means that it has links to local businesses that regularly employ their graduates. This can be a helpful step towards gaining a first job.
When your child has found the right college, studying will be a joy, not a chore. Happy students work harder and typically achieve better grades, so helping them find the perfect college can make a big difference to their achievements in education and in later life. Your child will look to you for help and advice when making their decision, so remembering these three points can help them find the right choice.