Picking the School For You

It is your senior year of high school. You have filled out the Common App and now it is time to start adding the schools you want to apply to. You sit and stare at your blinking cursor in the “College Search” tab, feeling unsure of this decision. It is a huge commitment, and you feel like no matter what, you’re making the wrong one. Pressure is breathing down your neck and you shut your laptop in frustration, saving this life-changing choice for another day. 

How do high school seniors pick the colleges they want to go to? For some, it is a financial decision. Some people want to stay close to home. Some people look at schools that offer their major or sport. And for a few, they base their choices off of their parents. 

According to an article on Higher Ed Dive, high school students use three main factors when they are deciding on a college: academics, job placement potential, and cost. 81 percent of students also use family and friend recommendations as a deciding factor and 75 percent consider the school’s reputation and offered majors. 

“College is such a big step, and I really wanted to find the right college for me,” declared Samantha Biss, a 17-year old senior at Verona High School. She explained that college is a big financial decision for her and her family. By going to a school close to home, she intends to save money by not spending a large sum on dorming. 

Amanda Visone, 17, based her application choices off of college visits. She fell in love with the campus at Ryder, a school she visited because her grandparents went there. For Nina Navarro, 17, she is looking into schools with club swim teams; a passion from high school she intends to carry over into college. Bridget Lonsinger, 17, also based her options off of sports, but in a very different way.

“I didn’t choose a school, I based my decisions off of what schools chose me,” she said. Lonsinger explained that she waited for lacrosse scouts to call her on September 1st, 2021. After she got calls, she visited each campus. She is currently committed to the University of Richmond for their lacrosse team. 

On the other hand, Krystal Costa, 17, tried to find schools she could envision herself at. She used everyone’s favorite resource, Google, to find colleges with good social work programs. Many students base their choices off of which universities offer their majors.

“I was looking for schools with well-developed theater majors and theater companies,” explained Olivia Egan, 17. She wants to stay on the East Coast, but is prioritizing her major over location. 

So next time your friends start talking about college, ask them why they are applying to certain schools. It may not be as random as it seems.