1. Your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend goes there
Moving away from home and joining a new community can be intimidating, so naturally many teens are drawn to colleges where they already know someone. It’s especially tempting when that person raves about their college and says, “I know you, and you would love it here!” Remember though, just because a college is great for someone else, does not mean it’s great for YOU. And just because you know someone at your new college does not mean you’ll be successful there. So do yourself a favor and let your own needs and personality guide your college search, and don’t be afraid to consider colleges that none of your friends are attending

2. You love their sports teams
Sure, it feels great to be part of a crowd all cheering for the same team, but college is about so much more than sports. An ideal college should meet your academic and social needs, not just provide a logo you are excited to wear. While it’s totally fine to be interested in a college because you love their team, be sure to research in-depth before deciding to apply. Just because you’ve been cheering them on for years does not mean that you’ll be happy attending.

3. The bumper sticker will impress your neighbors
With all the fuss over elite colleges and single digit acceptance rates, it’s no wonder parents dream of slapping that Ivy League bumper sticker on the car. But just because it’s a college everyone has heard of does not mean it’s a great fit for every student. So resist the pull of the famous names and don’t worry if people ask “Where is that?” when you tell them the name of your college. In the end, what matters most is not how many people have heard of your college, but whether you are successful and happy there.

So how should you choose a college? Start with this post on 3 Great Reasons to Choose a College, or contact me for personalized guidance in your college search.

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