What are the main things I should be looking for in schools when I am making my list?Answered
What things should I be looking for in a school? What matters most? What goes to making a college list?
I think the main things you should be looking for are culture, learning style, residential factors, and cost.
(1) By culture, I mean the general ethos and philosophy of the school - read their mission/vision, research their website to find out what they value, you can even cold-email college students from different schools to ask what their school is like.
(2) For learning style, that would mean their academic styles such as - research university vs liberal arts, lecture/reading-based learning vs discussion/inquiry-based learning, as well as student:faculty ratios and average class size.
(3) Because going to a certain college means living there for 4 years of your life, you also want to make sure to consider what kind of community you would want to live in for that long - location, student body size, safety, etc.
(4) One final thing you have to consider is of course cost. Most if not all US colleges have Net Price Calculators on their website, which you can use to calculate the approximate cost of going to college their for you and your family. CollegeVine has a similar feature on the Chancing engine. If you are looking for places where tuition wouldn't be too much of an issue if you couldn't afford it, look for colleges that are "need-blind" and "meet 100% of demonstrated need." That means that as long as you get accepted, they will cover any costs that you can't afford.
For example, my first-choice school would be Grinnell College because:
(1) Their motto, mission, vision, and general principles are perfectly aligned with mine (Ask hard questions, question easy answers; Intellectual diversity; Considering all sides of a conversation; etc.)
(2) They are a liberal arts university, which was one of my criteria since I want to explore many different disciplines in college. They employ inquiry-based learning, which I'm very interested in because I love asking questions and learning through discussion, and have very good student:faculty ratios and super small class sizes, which I really value.
(3) I love the scenery and beautiful campus of Grinnell, and I always really wanted to go to a really small college like Grinnell.
(4) Since I'm an international student, I basically can't afford US college tuition without a full ride or close to it. Grinnell offers 100% of demonstrated need. The only caveat is that they are need-aware for international students, but I'm not sure whether I fall into that category since I'm a US citizen living abroad.
I'm sorry if this was really long, but I hope it was helpful!
Hi. This is a very good question. Here are things I considered when adding schools to my list.
-Rank and Reputation->Is it a well-renowned school, in general, and in a specific field?
-Location->Is it in an urban setting? Is it in a big city (New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, etc) or a small college town? What state is it in?
-Programs offered->Does it offered my preferred major?
-Chance->Do I have a good chance of being admitted to the school?
Here is why I chose MIT as my top choice school:
-It is well-renowned, especially in engineering.
-Boston is one of the best cities to live in and Massachusetts is one of the best states to live in.
-It offers my preferred major (aerospace engineering) and is well-renowned in that.
-I am a very good student; quite involved so I have a chance of getting in.
This is a great question. What you want to look for should depend on you. What do you want in your school. I think that you should look for your course in a school. The schools which will help you achieve your dream. The academic standard, the teacher to student ratio, the requirements of the school. You can also think about the affordability, the location, size, diversity, religious orientation, student life , aesthetic, environment etc. For me its is a bit different I look for schools with my major firstly, then the locations, the affordability, how much aid they give. and the fooooood!
Look at your self, think about what you'd like and ... search.
Good luck ;)