After visiting several colleges, it became clear that large classes and schools were not meant for me. While my friends compared population and campus size, I found myself increasingly discouraged by the large schools I was applying to. Then came the decisive moment.
Sitting in on classes at these larger schools was a decisive moment in my college search. It became clear I would not learn as well in large classes.
Luther College was appealing to me because it had small computer science classes; a major that was highly impacted (to say the least) in other schools. When I visited campus I was able to meet some students in the robotics club on campus, and engaging with them on my initial visit gave me a direct pipeline for questions I had (and friends on my first day of college). This friendly communication made Luther stand out against larger universities, and gave me search criteria to follow.
Small colleges are not for everyone, but it worked well for me. Feeling comfortable with my peers and professors became an important aspect of my college search. But, these criteria might not match your priorities. As you search for schools, I would recommend imagining yourself in the shoes of current students. Ask yourself if that school and those peers would offer a learning environment that works for you.
Use Tools to Eliminate Stress
I would also suggest expanding your search to include schools you may not have heard of!
During my college search, I relied on friends and family recommendations when applying to colleges, but having a tool to expand my search would’ve allowed me to consider different options.
College Raptor helps students do exactly that, and if I were applying for undergrad programs today I would use their resources to be exposed to other possibilities. Even though I am confident I made the right choice with Luther College, having software confirm my match with the school would’ve helped comfort me during the college search process.
Searching for colleges is an exciting (but stressful!) experience. Having a free tool to reduce the stress helps make that search as fun as it should be!