College Students

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Where to Apply to College

It’s your Senior Year of high school, and it’s time to apply to college, but where? 

How do you choose the schools in which to apply? What will be the best fit? Where will you be the happiest and excel academically? 

For a few students, these are easy questions- they KNOW where they want to go and have had their eyes set on a particular college since they were in middle school. For most students, however, the choice is not so simple.

The best way to decide where to apply is to ask yourself the questions below and evaluate what is most important to YOU when choosing a college. Ideally, the college you select is where you are going to live for the next four years, so you want to be happy there.

By asking yourself these questions, you can get a good picture of your ideal school. Once you’ve done that, start applying! 


  • Location: Close to home, farther away, or doesn’t matter? In-state or out-of-state?
  • Urban or Rural: In a city or out in the country? If you want to live in a city, what size city?
  • Size of Student Body: Thousands of students or a smaller school with fewer students?
  • Public or Private?
  • Religious or Secular?


School Characteristics

  • Overall Price to Attend: Need in-state tuition or is out-of-state acceptable?
  • Financial Aid: What percentage of students receive financial aid? Are there scholarships in which you are eligible? What is required to qualify for financial assistance?
  • Diversity: How diverse is the student population and the faculty? Who are your fellow students? Remember, these are going to be your friends and the people with whom you spend most of your time.
  • Safety: Does the school have a reputation for being safe? Is Campus Police visible and available? What is security like in the dorms?



  • Intended Major: Does this school offer the major(s) in which you are interested?
  • Academic Reputation: What is the academic reputation of this school? What accreditations does it have? What is the graduation rate? How many freshmen return after the first semester, first year?
  • Who is Teaching Classes: Do professors teach or TAs who are typically graduate students? 
  • Undergraduate Research Program: Can students conduct and present academic research? 
  • Study Abroad: Is there a Study Abroad Program? Who tends to participate in these programs? Where are they held? Is there financial aid available for Study Abroad?
  • Library: How many libraries are on campus? What are the hours, and are they staffed by professionals or mostly student assistants? Do the campus libraries partner with other universities?


Campus Life

  • Housing: Can you live on campus for all four years? Is housing guaranteed only for freshmen? Are freshmen required to live on campus? Can freshmen have cars? Are the dorms new or old? Suite style or hallway bathrooms? Co-ed living spaces?
  • Clubs and Activities: What is available to students outside of the classroom (i.e., Clubs, intramural sports, exercise facilities, etc.)?
  • Athletic Teams: Does the school have athletic teams and, therefore, athletic events to attend where students can show school spirit (i.e., football or basketball games)?
  • Greek Life: Does the school have Greek Life organizations? What are they, and how active are they on campus? Are any of them on probation, and, if so, why?
  • Meal Plans and Dining Options: What are your dining options on campus? How accessible are the places to eat? Is there a coffee shop, a place to get ice cream, or any fast-food restaurants? How close are the dining facilities to the dorms?


Bottom Line

By asking yourself these questions, you should have a good picture of your ideal school. If one school “feels better” than another, choose that school and don’t look back! 

Unraveled Futures can help you choose the right schools in which to apply. Contact us today so we can work together tomorrow!

Susan Ray