In applying to colleges, it is recommended that one have at least two colleges per category. These categories are organized by the level of intensity of desire that you wish to attend that school. The three are as follows: back-ups, reach, and dream schools. Of course, every student is going to want to go to their dream school. For example, my dream school was the University of Tampa. Unfortunately for me, and for many others, those prospects are just not tangible, whether the reasoning be financially, such as my case, or a change of heart, or really, any other reason.
Figuring out what school is your dream school takes a lot of research and a lot of thinking. Not to mention the time that you spend trying to figure out what your dream school is! You should evaluate for yourself these categories to determine what school is your dream school:
Category One: Distance
Are you a student who wants to stay close to home or get away as far as possible? According to Cappex, in the article entitled, “Going the Distance: How Far Should You Go For College,” eighty-six percent of college students attending a four year university choose to attend school within five hundred miles from their home. Fifty-three percent of college students attending a four year university choose to attend a school within one hundred miles from home.
Category Two: Major
Does the college in question have at least two majors you would be interested in? According to Wikianswers, on average, college students change their major about three times. Because you are young and unsure of your future upon entering college, if you decide to change your major, you will want to have more than one option available to you that you know you would enjoy receiving a degree in.
Category Three: Size
Is the college of your dreams small, large, or average? Are the classrooms consisting of two hundred or four hundred students? Are you prone to get claustrophobic in small classrooms? One has to evaluate themselves on a personal level to decide how the size of the school and its classes will affect them. If something, such as claustrophobia, gets in the way of your focus on education, it is something to take into account.
Category Four: Location
Similar to category three, colleges may be in a small, large, or average location – however, these have different names. Particularly “small” locations will be mainly agricultural, with a lack of traffic. These locations are generally called rural. A “large” location will be full of fast-paced life; if the “hustle and bustle” life is one that you are particularly interested and captivated by, perhaps an urban location is where you should receive your education. An average location, a suburban location, may be good for you if you desire the middle ground; not too much hustle and bustle, not too small of a location.
There are websites with college listings where you will be able to find colleges that apply to what you desire. If you absolutely can not find a college that matches all of your criteria, you may want to decide which categories are flexible. Perhaps instead of worrying about the size of the classroom, one should worry about the majors available more so. Another option that is becoming very popular and widely accepted is to enroll in online classes.