Choosing a University or College

How did you decide where to apply?  To how many schools did you submit applications?

Assuming you received more than 1 acceptance letter, how did you choose which school to attend?


    I applied to 5 schools: 4 universities and 1 college.  Of all the schools, 3 were state universities and 1 was a state college.  The state college was my "safety school".  My 1st pick was Columbia University.

    I was accepted early to all 4 state schools.  For Columbia University, however, I made it to the interview-phase of the application process.  I never made it to the interview, though.

    When my mother heard that I had applied to Columbia University—using my own money for the application fees—she flipped out.  She told me that I'd receive none of my parents' money toward Columbia's tuition or boarding.  I could attend a state school on their dime.  Or, I could attend Columbia University on student loans.

    My folks weren't wealthy.  But, their income was too high to get financial aid.  I wasn't an athlete—or at the top of my class.  So, no one offered me a scholarship.

    In the end, I went to a state university.  And even that, my mother sabotaged. smh

    But, that's another story. :-)

  • If possible, do a campus visit for class auditing. that helps you get to know what environment you will study in.

  • Submitted a bunch of applications but I decided based off a career I would enjoy doing and narrowing down to schools that offered courses towards that degree 

  • I choose depending on the types of courses the University offers, Firs I look Locally, then further ahead, and last I look at prices. I try balancing those 3, what is convenient, and best for me.   

  • I just sort-of "defaulted" to a state engineering school. I didn't visit and campuses (though I had been to the big state university a couple of times as a kid) and didn't think to deeply about it, having only applied to that and the state university as a backup. I regretted it for multiple reasons, from campus life to what academics and faculty were really like there. After a series of personal and family crises and pausing school for a total of two years altogether, I took some classes as a guest student and then picked up at a well-regarded liberal arts college that did science and everything that mattered much better than the tech university anyway. I should have been there from the start (though that may not have ultimately addressed other issues and my life course).

    Visit, actually talk to people about both the school and what they want/get out of it, and be open and thorough with your research. In one sense, it doesn't really matter where you go and get your degree, especially these days with so much more info available online and experience counting for a lot, on subject and in life in general. On the other, where you go, the people you meet and the opportunities available and the culture that fosters scholarship and growth matter, a lot. College can be a generic, replaceable stop on your road or an incubator for the future. It's not the end of the world, but try to go somewhere that is right for you, and don't be afraid of taking time/whatever you need to get to where you want to go.

  • none yet, is it really that hard to get them to accept you?! mercy!

  • I applied to 6 schools; 2 reach, 2 likely, 2 safeties. I decided on the college I went to because it was the best of the three I got into; I didn't receive a scholarship but felt that it was worth it at the time. 


    I have no idea how hard it is now.  I dealt with the universities and colleges in 1992 New York.  Very different time and place.

    Back then, the "woke" movement was called "politically correct".  But, that didn't start until 1993 or 1994.  My best friend was Korean-American.  I would have been livid if he (and his younger brother) had a higher bar of entry into Ivy League Schools.

    My friend was accepted to and attended Columbia University.  His younger brother was accepted to and attended Harvard University.

    My friend's younger brother is a super-genius and an athlete.  He would still get into Harvard, today.

    My friend is an athlete and a musician.  Maybe he'd get into Columbia, today?  Maybe not.


    I just sort-of "defaulted" to a state engineering school.

    I did something similar.  But, for very different reasons.

    Visit, actually talk to people about both the school and what they want/get out of it, and be open and thorough with your research.

    I already did that—32 years ago. lol

    No one reads the 1st reply (opens new tab or window), do they?  Not even when that reply is from the topic creator? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • The best choice is the one you feel most at home with.