What to consider when applying to colleges

Applying to college is an exciting and vital time in a student’s life. There are so many things to consider when searching for a college that is the best fit for you. Before even beginning the application process, here are some important things to consider that will help you narrow down your search.

1. Location

College is an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons and explore unknown areas. Whether you decide to stay in your hometown, move to another state or even another country, location is crucial when searching for the school of your dreams. Many students are excited by the opportunity to leave home and experience a new environment. However, if you absolutely hate cold weather then getting out of bed for an 8 a.m. class in below zero weather is not going to be easy. Apply to colleges in locations that will make you feel at ease and eager to explore.

2. Student body

Pay attention to the student population at the schools that you are interested in applying to. You will make lifelong friends and connections during the years you spend at college, so you want to make sure you are attending one that best suits you. If you have an opportunity to tour the campus or talk to students that are currently enrolled in schools that you are interested in, do so. Get to know the students and faculty and see if they are the kind of people that will help you on your journey to success!

3. Student recourses

Do some research on student services and resources that the colleges you plan on applying to provide. Different students have different priorities and the school that you choose should reflect what is important to you. Most colleges offer similar services, etc. However, you should be applying to schools that focus their energy and resources on the services that are most important to you.

4. Provided majors

Before choosing a college, you want to make sure that they have the degree that you want to major in. Most college freshmen begin their college career with an undeclared major. However, when it comes time to decide on your field of study, you want to make sure that the college you are attending has a program for your intended major. Explore your college’s list of majors and contact students and advisors before applying.

5. Student-to-faculty ratio

Another thing to consider when choosing a college is how much individualized attention you will receive from your professors. Some larger universities have lecture classes with hundreds of students while others will hold classes with as little as ten students. Know which learning environment is best for you and choose a school that will provide you with the appropriate amount of attention for your success. Here at UNF, we boast a 20 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing you to have a closer relationship with your professors.

6. Contact alumni

Reach out to graduates from colleges that you are interested in and get to know them and their stories. Ask them what they loved and didn’t love about their college experience and about their experience after graduation.

Now that you know what to keep in mind when applying to schools, how about considering the University of North Florida? UNF is made up of five colleges with many majors to choose from. Each college has their own faculty members that are committed to your success and learning. The University has a state-of-the-art student wellness complex that has received accolades for architectural excellence, the Thomas G. Carpenter Library with research assistance and the Academic Center for Excellence which provides tutoring as well as other services for students. No wonder it’s so easy to be proud to be an Osprey!


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