Choosing Your College Checklist

Choosing Your College Checklist

“What college are you going to?”

This is a question I am constantly asked by teachers, students, and family members. Whenever I answer this question, the follow-up question I receive, as expected, is “Why?”

Whenever I was choosing my college, there were several things I researched before I reached a definite conclusion.

Number one: major

I plan to major in nursing, so obviously my college of choice has to have a nursing program. Believe it or not, this one detail ruled out most of colleges flooding my mailbox. Although several schools have nursing programs, most of them are just average. In order to make sure I can get a good job after college, I need to go to a recognized school so hospitals and doctor’s offices are impressed by my education.

Number two: location

Although many students like to travel away from home for college, I wish to stay as close to home as possible. I decided my college absolutely had to be in Texas and less than two hours away from Fort Worth. By making Texas a requirement for my school I was able to greatly narrow down my list.

At this point in my decision-making process, I had narrowed my colleges down to Texas Woman’s University, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, and University of Texas at Arlington.

Number three: admittance requirements

Recently, after I realized how soon the application process would begin, I approached my number three, admittance requirements. Now that I had narrowed down what would help my major, I needed to ensure I was on the right track for admittance. All requirements were reachable (top 25 percent of class, SAT scores above 1300), so I didn’t want to eliminate any. However, if you haven’t figured out your ranking and taken a college admissions test, you should get to it pretty quickly.

Number four: cost

My main concern was scholarships. Some colleges offer many scholarships and some offer very few that are difficult to receive. Most colleges offer scholarships based on grades, SAT scores, and ACT scores. (These are just the admittance scholarships, not those for sports or extra-curriculars) From the scholarship requirements for all of the schools, I narrowed it down to Baylor and UTA.

Number five: my choice

After looking into these two colleges, both meeting all of my requirements, the only thing I had left to do was choose. Whenever I looked further, I learned that UTA had a virtual hospital, which, for the most part won me over. I spoke to some graduates of UTA and all had outstanding reports about their medical programs. I was also familiar with the campus because I attended drum major camp there. With these final details, my decision was fairly simple.

If you find after all these steps you still haven’t narrowed down which college you want to attend, apply to them all. After you apply and receive responses, you may just make your decision.


Step 1: Know your major

Step 2: Know where you want to be. Out of state, close to home, far away, etc.

Step 3: Know the admittance requirements and whether or not they work for you.

Step 4: Examine the costs, scholarships, and financial aid.

Step 5: Make sure you’ve visited the possible places you will attend and know their unique offerings.

Step 6: Choose your college.