Westface.BLOG.best college.05.18.2012

Finding the Best College for You

Some of the best colleges are like a classic Ferrari roadster. A college education at an Ivy League school, much like having a Ferrari, will never go out of style, it has a great reputation, and although it might be expensive, it seems worth every penny. But is it the best college for you? What are the most important factors for you to consider when selecting your future school?

The fact that driving a sports car makes you immediately appear to belong in the ranks of the rich and famous makes it seem worth it. This is the same motivation some people have for choosing which college to attend. But, there are a lot of other reasons for going to college. There are surely a lot of other benefits besides improving your reputation when you have a college education. Whatever your reasons are for continuing your education, or how you hope to benefit from your achievement, there are still so many choices. How do you know which is the best college for you?

Best Colleges Rank on Educational Outcomes Not Reputation
According to Forbes Best Colleges list of 600 undergraduate institutions, the best colleges are based on educational outcome, not reputation. Although schools like Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, U Penn, Princeton and Yale have stringent admissions criteria and draw some of the smartest minds, and some schools are also famous for their sports programs, such as the University of Texas (Longhorns), Ohio State (Buckeyes), or UCLA (BRUINS), this is reputation, not the quality of the education.

What Factors Contribute to Educational Outcomes?
The educational outcomes at some of the best colleges in the United States are based on a school’s faculty (the quality of the teachers is very high on the list), career prospects for its students, graduation rates, and the expense of tuition. Today, many of the best colleges offer special programs for the military and students who fall into the middle class category (MCAP at UCLA) which can make attending more affordable.

What Additional Factors Should You Consider?
Of course, every student’s situation is different. The best college for you might not be a good fit for one of your classmates. Think about the location of the school and how far you want to be away from home. Consider extracurricular activities available and how you plan to spend your time outside of the classroom. Speaking of classrooms, would you prefer classes of about 30 or giant lecture halls? The size of the student body at the school you select will play a major factor in the amount of in-class attention you receive.

Give Westface College Planning a call today to discuss which might be the best college for you or your children. We can help you wade through the decision process to ensure you feel confident about your choices.

Photo Credit: Bader AL Bassam

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