Halstrom Blog Post

Picking a College

Picking a College

Picking a college is an exciting and scary experience. There are many questions going through every student’s head. That is the case with Andrew, who is halfway through his junior year of high school. The college admissions process starts in a year and he still has no idea where he wants to go to college. All he knows is that he lives in Los Angeles and wants to study oceanography.

If Andrew wants to study oceanography, he must find a college that has an oceanography program or something related to it. He first looks for which colleges have a program related to oceanography and creates a list of the ten best colleges:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. University of Miami
  3. University of California-Berkeley
  4. University of California-San Diego
  5. University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  7. United States Naval Academy
  8. University of Connecticut
  9. Florida Institute of Technology
  10. University of California-Santa Cruz

Andrew then looks at the cost of each college. He understands that cost is a necessary part of college and that it is not a reason to eliminate one. However, he does not want to pay an exuberant amount of money for his education and be in debt for the next 100 years. Of the ten colleges, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Miami, and Florida Institute of Technology would cost him over $40,000 per year. Therefore, he takes them off the list:

  1. University of California-Berkeley
  2. University of California-San Diego
  3. University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  5. United States Naval Academy
  6. University of Connecticut
  7. University of California-Santa Cruz

Although academics and costs are important parts of selecting a college, some colleges can provide a special experience or opportunity. The Naval Academy is one of those colleges. If Andrew enrolls there, he would experience the military lifestyle and be given an officer commission upon graduation. However, Andrew is not interested in a military life. Therefore, he takes it off the list:

  1. University of California-Berkeley
  2. University of California-San Diego
  3. University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  5. University of Connecticut
  6. University of California-Santa Cruz

Now, Andrew does want to go to a college away from Los Angeles because he wants to experience the world and try new things. However, he loves California weather and does not want to leave the state. He eliminates the colleges not in California from the list:

  1. University of California-Berkeley
  2. University of California-San Diego
  3. University of California-Santa Cruz

Andrew does want to be far enough away from home so that he can have fun. However, he may want to come home on the weekends. Both Berkeley and Santa Cruz are about six hours away from Los Angeles while San Diego is little less than three hours away. Therefore, Andrew’s choice is very simple. He will go to the University of California-San Diego.

Now, just because you pick a college does not mean that you will get in. However, when picking your college of choice, using the method that Andrew used is very effective. Halstrom Academy can help you navigate the tricky college admissions process and help you successfully apply to the college of your choice. For more information, please contact us.