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How to NOT Choose a College

students sitting on a college campus

You’ve done all the hard work of preparing and sending your college applications, rocking the SAT or ACT tests, and getting your teachers and mentors to write awesome letters of recommendation. But when the acceptance letters come rolling in, it seems like the hardest part is still yet to come: making the final enrollment decision. To help you make the first and most important decision you’ve had to make so far in your career, here are a couple of things that shouldn't be the biggest reason you choose to attend one college over another:

Your Best Friend/Boyfriend/Girlfriend Goes There: If your significant other or best friend is attending the same college because you both value the programs offered and campus atmosphere, then great! But don’t choose a school just to be with someone in the future. Relationships can end suddenly and you don’t want to be left wondering why you are there in the first place. Plus, college is a great place for exploration. You don’t want to limit yourself from creating new relationships with people you would never have come into contact with in high school.

They Win Football Championships: Sure, if you’ve got a football scholarship, it might be a good reason. But for everyone else, getting to the Rose Bowl will not be noted on your diploma, so make sure there are lots of other reasons to choose a school than just the strength of their sports teams.

It’s the Only One That You Got Accepted To: If you only got accepted to your backup school, there’s no rule saying you have to accept. Take some time to build your resume and discover yourself. You can always reapply to your preferred schools in the spring. Attending a college that you don’t feel like you belong in will only increase the odds that you’ll want to drop out, so save yourself the tuition bills and just wait until you can get in where you want to go.

The School Colors Match Your Eyes: Or any other one deciding factor. Your college will be your home for the next four years (or longer!), so you want to pick a place that has more to offer you besides that awesome cafeteria or beautiful landscape.

You Feel Like You Have To: Forget the prestigious name, the low price tag, the family legacy, or any other reason you might feel like you have to choose one college over another. If it doesn’t fit your personality and career goals, it’s not worth it. Your college years are the start of your adult life and helps you define who you want to be. Don’t let someone else make that decision for you.

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