5 Things High School Students Should Consider When Choosing a College

By Kilah Hemesath, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds Marketing Intern

Laundry, home cooked meals and roommates will all have different meanings after you move into the dorm of your new college town. I won’t forget the day I moved into Maple Hall at Iowa State University. A helpful move-in crew greeted my family and me, and then I was left with a new roommate in a tiny room that resembled the feeling of living in a box. Although the college experience was intimidating at times, it all contributed to finding my adventure at ISU.

Pictured above is 1 of 3 groups I had the opportunity to speak to about college and FFA.

Pictured above is 1 of 3 groups I had the opportunity to speak to about college and FFA.

Last week, I had an opportunity through the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to talk to middle school and high school students about everything from FFA to college and what to expect during transition times. From those conservations, I found a few items high school students should consider when choosing a college.

In addition to using your gut reaction, I highlighted five checkpoints to deliberate before clicking Accept Attendance:

  1. What is the price you are willing to pay for your education?

There’s no doubt college is expensive. College tuition can range from $4,000/year to $40,000/year. In addition to paying tuition, you will need to pay living expenses whether you live in a dorm or an apartment. Secondly, you will need to buy food, either a meal bundle through campus dining services or groceries. In most cases, clubs require a small yearly fee to join and participate in the club trips offered.

  1. What are your interests?

Recognizing your interests can assist tremendously when choosing a college. For example, if you have an interest in agriculture, then Iowa State University, Purdue, Kansas State and Oklahoma State have noteworthy agricultural programs. Even if you are uncertain on which major to choose, starting at a college that fits your interests will provide you with a solid foundation.

  1. How many years will you be in college?

Your years in school will depend on the type of degree and major you plan on attaining. It’s important to know this before choosing a college, as the length of schooling can vary by each college. Laying out a few short-term and long-term goals can help outline your future, factoring in the number of years you will be in school for.

  1. How much are you willing to travel?

    Iowa State's campanile on a nice fall day.

    Iowa State’s campanile on a nice fall day.

It is important to consider the location of different colleges when making your decision. You should note how often you would like to go home and how feasible it is to travel the distance! In some cases, students may want to branch out and travel further away from home.

  1. Does it feel like home?

The college you choose will become your second home for the next few years. You should feel comfortable and confident in the school, campus and the environment. I was greeted with smiling faces from the faculty and tour guides at Iowa State, and I knew it was the place for me!

Choose your college based upon your career goals and aspirations. The opportunity to further your education is irreplaceable, so take advantage of it!