Also, in evaluating the cost, decide whether or not your teen can afford to live on campus somewhere, or if he or she will have to live at home and commute to a local school.
Student Body Size
If your school district is relatively small, your college freshman might be overwhelmed at a college or university with a large student body. It’s important to look at the particular area of study that your teen wants to pursue, however. Sometimes, the department that your child will be in will be small enough, even though it’s in a huge university! Keep student body size in mind as you start your search.
A teenager who thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the high school chorus might not be happy in a college that doesn’t have a choral group. In the same way, someone with a love of soccer won’t be content to be at a school where lacrosse and football are the only field sports played. If your son or daughter has always been involved in a religious youth group, it’s important that they can continue to practice their faith with other believers on their college campus. Check out the religious groups at each college or university that you’re considering.
Does your teen know what he or she wants to major in? If so, look into the colleges and universities that have strong programs in that field. Often a student will change his or her mind about a major following their freshman year. Make sure that there are multiple possibilities in case this should happen.
Location should be considered when your teenager is going to be living on campus. If he or she prefers urban living, find a college located in the middle of a city. On the other hand, if rural countrysides and wide open spaces motivate your teen to study harder, steer clear of the schools in populated areas. Check out the graduation rates at the schools.
- Do most of the students ever graduate?
- Do they tend to transfer to other schools?
- What percentage of freshmen return for their sophomore year?
A high retention rate indicates a college or university where students are satisfied with the quality of education that they are receiving. The bottom line is that you and your teenager should thoroughly examine your choices before making a decision. A successful education may be riding on it!