Look at a College’s Special Programs to Help Narrow Your List

Are you struggling to narrow down your college list? Whether you’re still in the application phase or you’ve received acceptance letters, it can be difficult to decide which ones best fit your needs and wants when it comes to your college education. Try this approach to see if you can narrow down your list a bit further.

What’s Important to You?

Things like major, school size, and location should absolutely be a part of your strategy for narrowing down your college list, but that’s not all you should be looking for if your current list is rather long. Applying to all of them can be a monumental task, especially during your senior year of high school. Looking beyond the basics though can help you figure out the bests schools for your wants and needs.

What’s important to you in a school? Are you looking to join extracurriculars or athletic clubs? Do you want a major fitness center with a pool? Do you want to find a job in the local area? Your major program is essential to your college education, but you won’t be doing school 100% of the time. What else are you looking for in this period of your life?

Some Ideas…

Looking at a school’s special programs can help you cut the colleges off the list that don’t actually fit what you’re looking for. These three may be something you’re interested in.

Study Abroad

Many colleges and universities offer study abroad programs! Is that something you’re interested in? You’ll want to see what majors the programs cover and where you can go within that program. One school may offer only New Zealand for English, for example, but another may offer a wider range of possibilities. You’ll also want to look into the programs at those study abroad schools and ensure it’s a good choice for your education.

Work Study

Some financial aid packages come with the opportunity to take part in work study. However, these spots can be extremely limited and go quickly. If this is a must for attending a college for you, you’ll definitely want to compare the work study programs. Investigate the size of the program, how many jobs are available, what positions are at this particular school, and if they work with your intended schedule.

Student Organizations

Whether you want to join a travel club, a history group, or an athletic team, the student organizations can have a big impact on whether or not you attend a school. What clubs do the colleges on your list offer? And, if they don’t offer it just yet, is there a clear path where you can start the club yourself through the school? You may even want to ask current students and alumni about their own experiences in student organizations, what they were like, and what you can expect.

Going beyond the basics in your college search can absolutely help you narrow down your list. You don’t want to forget about the important pieces of the puzzle, but if you’re having trouble deciding which school fits your needs and wants, diving a bit deeper can definitely make the difference.

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