CHOOSING A COLLEGE

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A COLLEGE
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLLEGE

Choosing a college is about what the best fit is for you, such as the college's location, academics, campus life, and cost to attend. To make it easier to find the right college, start by researching your options and knowing what to look for. Here are some of the most common factors that influence student's decision about if a school is the right fit for them. Below are some of the most common factors that influence students’ college selection decisions and some tips for considering whether a school is the right fit for you.

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THE BIG GUIDE is a free detailed informational guide to start early on planning for college.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLLEGE

Choosing a college is about what the best fit is for you, such as the college's location, academics, campus life, and cost to attend. To make it easier to find the right college, start by researching your options and knowing what to look for. Here are some of the most common factors that influence student's decision about if a school is the right fit for them. Below are some of the most common factors that influence students’ college selection decisions and some tips for considering whether a school is the right fit for you.

LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION?

Download THE BIG GUIDE for Free detailed information to start early on planning for college.

THE COLLEGE PLANNING CENTER

Choosing a College Tips from our College Planning Experts.

The College Planning Center

CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING A COLLEGE
ACADEMICS
ACADEMICS

Arguably the number one reason for attending college, you want to be sure the college you choose offers the area(s) of study you are interested in!  Be sure to see what classes are offered (and even who teaches them). One great way to learn more is to attend a class when you take a college tour.

AMENITIES & SERVICES
AMENITIES & SERVICES

Students have access to many college amenities like: gym, library, tutoring, workshops, museums, student government, and a variety of student discounts. When planning your college visit, check out what special activities or amenities they may offer.

SIZE & STATISTICS
SIZE & STATISTICS

What is the right size for you?  Some colleges are small geographically and for the number of enrolled students while others are quite large.  Whether small, large, or somewhere in the middle, you’ll want to choose a school that’s the right fit for you.

ACADEMIC INTERESTS
ACADEMIC INTERESTS

Hopefully you have given some thought about your area of study. Look for the colleges that specialize  the programs you are looking to get a degree in.

TYPES OF COLLEGE
TYPES OF COLLEGES

Before you can pick a specific school, you need to decide how it will meet your needs and lifestyle.

CAREER PLANNING
CAREER PLANNING

How will the college you chose prepare you for your future career? Consider colleges that focus on career paths and offer resources like alumni networking and internships to get you started on your first job.

COST & FINANCIAL AID
COST & FINANCIAL AID

Sometimes cost and financial aid is the deciding factor of where you will attend college. It is important to review award letters and expenses to keep tution coast low.

LOCATION
LOCATION

Where would you like to live? Some students like to live close to home to save on tuition and others like big changes and attend colleges in the city or  east/west coast.

CAMPUS LIFE & CULTURE
CAMPUS LIFE & CULTURE

Would you like to live on campus or off? Theses are important factors when looking at colleges. Be sure to check out the college campus and talk to students get better idea what campus life and culture offers for the schools you will be applying to.

HOUSING & DINING
HOUSING & DINING

Room and board is essential for college. FInd out what will work best for you. Some students prefer campus life in a dorm with roommates and dining hall and other prefer more indepence of an apartment, commuting to campus.

STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES
STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES

Are you looking to travel or attend a semester globally? If this is an interest to you be sure to see which colleges offers studying abroad and requirements the program may have.

GRADUATION & RETENTION RATES
GRADUATION & RETENTION RATES

How does the college of your choice fair? What are the numbers of students graduating and coming back year after year? These numbers are important when making your final decision.

ACCEPTANCE RATE
ACCEPTANCE RATE

Some colleges are extremely selective with admissions. Give yourself a few options on your college list that may be easier to get into.

STANDARDIZED TESTING
STANDARDIZED TESTING

Make sure you find out what the standardized testing requirements are. This is important to find out early so you can have completed the testing prior to submitting your application.

ATHLETICS
ATHLETICS

If you are serious about athletics, reach out to the Athletics Department and provide them with an athletic resume.Check with the college admission or athletic office to get an idea of what is offered.

ACTIVITIES & ORGANIZATIONS
ACTIVITIES & ORGANIZATIONS

College offer clubs, organizations, fraternities/sororities, or intramural athletics programs. If it’s important to you for your school to have a theater program, orchestra, art club, mock trial program or some other extracurricular activity, then research schools that offer these activities.

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COLLEGE COMPARISON WORKSHEET
FOR STUDENTS & PARENTS
COMPARING COLLEGE

Choosing the right college is complex decisions. 

COLLEGE COMPAISON WORKSHEET is free to help you stay on track and compare important information about each college you have applied too.


Making the Most of College Campus Visits

Once you have narrowed down your college selection it's time to go on admissions tours. Make an appointment to sit in on financial aid sessions, speak with students, staff and faculty. Make sure to bring your list of questions!

Campus Tour

Plan in advance, letting your parents and guidance counselor know exactly what you're thinking and feeling, and contacting the admissions offices of schools that you're really interested in visiting.

Call ahead of time and reserve your spot to take a tour of the campus with a friend or family member.

Drop by the financial aid office to talk with a counselor about your financial needs.

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Attend College Lecture

Attend a class or lecture of a  major that you may want to explore, ask about setting up a meeting with a faculty member in that department and/or arrange to sit in on a class. 

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Plan a Campus Overnight

Some schools have programs that allow you to stay on campus overnight which can give you an even better idea of what it is like to be a student at that college.

Take advantage if you can! If you have the opportunity to roam around campus on your own or stay with an existing student, make sure to capitalize on that! 

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RHODE ISLAND COLLEGES

Find out more about RI colleges

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US but is the home to 11 great options for higher education.

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  • Created with Lunacy
BROWN UNIVERSITY
Brown University
BRYANT UNIVERSITY
Bryant University
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Community College of Rhode Island | CCRI
Johnson & Wales University | JWU
Johnson & Wales University | JWU
New England Institute of Technology | NEIT
New England Institute of Technology | NEIT
Providence College
Providence College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design | RISD
Rhode Island School of Design | RISD
Roger Williams University
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
Salve Regina University
University of Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island

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EMPLOYER REPAY

Employer Student Loan Repayment assistance is a tax-free benefit allowing employers to contribute towards the repayment of employee student loans.  This newest in-demand employee benefit helps reduce financial stress for employees while increasing retention and loyalty to employers.