The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Adding Your Way to College

Location ____/15
Location is a major factor to look into when trying to decide where to go to college. Remember: this is where you will be residing for the next four years of your life, so don’t pick San Francisco State if you despise cities.

Academics ____/25
Professors play a vital role in the quality and success of the school’s academics. Make sure you do not get caught up in just the number of Nobel Laureate professors at the school, but also how the professors rate on relaying knowledge to the students. How accessible are the professors? How many classes are taught by the TAs rather than the professors?

Money ____/20
In these hard economic times, scholarships are few, and many of our parents beckon us to consider cheaper colleges over prestigious private schools. It would be unwise to rely solely on student loans to get you through college. Starting out a life with a mountain of debt to pay off may seem daunting and may pressure you to take a job for the money rather than for the love of it, leading to unhappiness down the road.
College Life ___/10
Let’s face it; a party school would be an awful college for a straightedge, just as a wannabe frat boy at a mormon school isn’t going to fly.    Another factor is the downtown life. What do the students like to do in their free time? Hit the clubs or the mountain trail? Whatever the case may be, remember that college isn’t only for studying. As cliché as this may sound, it is also for finding out who you are and pursuing your interests.

Majors ___/15
This category should rank fairly high for any prospective student. If you haven’t decided exactly what direction you want to take your life in yet and you are going in as undeclared, be sure that your college choice has plenty of options for you to choose from. For those who already have that decided, do your research to see which of your college choices provides the best program for that specific major.

Clubs on Campus ___/5
The easiest way to make and access a friend base with similar interests as you is through clubs. Social and club life comprises nearly half of the college experience, so you want to make sure you are proactive from the start. When applying to internships and jobs later on, many hirers look for club experience.

Security ___/5
Check out the campus, and ask yourself if you would feel secure walking around even at night. The school campus is usually as safe as the neighborhood surrounding it, so if security is high on your list, be sure to check the crime rates of the campus and surrounding city. Make sure the campus has an around-the-clock police force, technological security innovations, and a secure pincard that helps differentiate students from visitors.

Graduate School ___/5
For those students who plan on attending grad school after their initial four years and may want to continue on at the same school as their undergrad, it would be wise to look into that school’s policy. Do they even allow you to apply for graduate school if you have already attended there for undergrad? Or, are the chances that you will get in higher? Also, look to see if your undergraduate college has programs to help you head in the direction of your interest and appeal more to your grad school choice.

Written by Sargun Kaur & Hannah Scobel
Mar 19, 2010 at 01:46 PM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *