When you are looking at schools, there are just so many things to consider. And most of us end up seeing a dozen, even two dozen, schools before all is said and done. That means the schools start blending together, and it’s difficult to keep track of all the details. That’s where taking notes and having a list of important characteristics will help make the selection process easier.
There are several areas, besides academics, that can have an impact on your college experience. Making sure that you know how each of your schools handles these questions is important.
Roommate Selection Process –
Understanding exactly how the roommate selection process works is important. Your roommate is likely to be the first person that you know on campus and a good fit can make the start of college so much easier. It’s also helpful to understand what happens if you don’t have a roommate that you can live with and if it’s possible to change things during the year.
Bathroom Setup –
Not all colleges are equal in this! Some schools allow both sexes to use dorm bathrooms. Some schools have bathrooms in every room or apartment. And some have a combination of different setups. This also may or may not apply to bathrooms throughout the rest of the campus. Depending on what you are comfortable with, this can become important to know in advance.
Dining Options –
It’s important to know what your school offers for dining and meal plans. Some schools offer plans with 3 meals a day, every day of the week. Some schools include only 14 meals a week. You might also want to know if there’s a single dining hall or various options throughout the campus that are part of the meal plan. Also, if you have certain dining requirements like vegetarian or gluten-free, ask questions about what’s available for you. Making sure that you have the best options for you and your needs is important.
Career Counseling –
Might seem a bit premature to consider career counseling when you haven’t even selected a college. However, the career counseling staff and office are going to become critical when considering internships and life after college options. Taking a few minutes to stop in and see what they offer as well as their setup might be worthwhile. Ask questions about career or internship placements as well as how involved their alumni networks are with new graduates.
Sometimes the final decision of which school to choose can come down to the details. Having schools with similar academics and extracurricular opportunities means you have to consider other items to make your final selection. How these four areas rank could have an impact on both your day to day life on campus as well as your future.
For more tips on choosing the right school for you, download Propel's free ebook, 5 Things Every Student Should Know Before Choosing a College.