Many DECA members will soon begin starting the college application process. While many factors should influence your decision, here are four key factors you should consider when choosing which college(s) to apply to.
College can be very pricey. So, choosing a school that matches your financial status is crucial. Compare your options; private schools are usually more expensive than public colleges and state universities. However, don't let cost be a dealbreaker. If you love a school but don’t love the price, try to appeal for more scholarships, grants and financial aid. Also, be sure to apply for DECA's scholarship.
2. Culture and Values
You will be spending a lot of time on campus so be sure you will be comfortable living there. Is religion important to you? Some schools have strong religious affiliations while others may not even have easy access to places of worship. Do you enjoy sports? Some institutions have rich athletic traditions, while other schools may only have intramural teams. Is diversity important? Some have more of a diverse student body, so research about PWIs (predominantly white institutions) and HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities). These factors are important to consider, especially since this will be your new home for the next 3-5 years.
3. CAMPUS LIFE
College should be a place where you grow intellectually while also enjoying life. Choose a college where you know you can make the most of your time and find valuable moments to cherish! Before committing, be sure to visit the college and check out the extracurriculars that may interest you, explore the on-campus facilities and amenities, ask about the average class size, and don't forget about getting a sense for the overall community.
Ask yourself if you prefer to reside in a rural, suburban, urban or metropolitan setting. Each setting has pros and cons. While some of us may wish to move far away on a brand new adventure, homesickness is common in college. If you predict you will be homesick, consider how easy it will be to get home (distance, access to a car, access to an airport, etc.) Also consider things like weather/climate, familiarity with the culture and more.