How to Decide Where You Want to Go to College in a Pandemic

Still don’t know where to apply to college? Here’s now to narrow it down.

Deciding where you want to go to college is hard. There is an endless list of options with varying programs, locations, price points, and admission requirements. The college search is only harder nowadays, with a global pandemic preventing students from visiting prospective schools and getting a feel for the campus.

Nonetheless, college application season is upon us, and with most deadlines in January, decisions on where to apply must be made quickly. But don’t worry, you aren’t alone in this. Here are some tips on how to decide where to apply to college:

  • Figure out what you’re interested in studying

This, just as deciding where to apply to college, is an immensely difficult task. Most people don’t know what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they are sixteen or seventeen and are often not ready to commit to studying a major they may end up disliking. Even if you are unsure about what to major in, you can determine your basic interests. Do you want to work in the tech field? Something to do with writing or literature? Are you interested in S.T.E.M or humanities? Once you narrow that down, you can search for and consider applying to colleges with programs that specialize within those interests.

  • Figure out where you want to live

Are you a city person? Do you prefer the suburbs? Do you want a big or small college campus? Do you want a college campus at all? Do you want an in-state or out-of-state college? Do you want to go to college in the U.S.? These are all important questions to ask in considering what college you want to apply to. There are colleges all over the world, and you could go to any of them, but if you narrow down the places you absolutely do want to go and absolutely do not, you can also narrow down where to apply to college.

  • Figure out what activities are important to you

Just like high school, college is full of clubs and extracurricular activities. Some specialize in certain sports, religious activities, fraternities/sororities, debate, Model United Nations, theatre, and more! If there is a specific activity that is important to you, it will be beneficial to include the activity in your college search. This will allow you to, if the activity is very important to you, disregard any colleges that do not have that activity.

  • Figure out what type of community you want

Every college is not only unique in its programming, location, and activities – they are also unique in their communities. It may be difficult to decide if you enjoy the community during this pandemic, but there are some base factors that can help you determine it. Do you want a diverse school? Do you want a school where everyone is the same gender? Do you want a school where everyone is of the same religion? Do you want a school with a large LGBTQIA community? All of these are important factors to consider and will allow you to narrow down the colleges that do and do not have the type of community you want.