Making The Right College Choice


Erin Holzwarth

Right now, There are roughly five hundred students at Lindenhurst High School. And all of them are thinking about what they want to do after graduation this June. Many are currently applying to College. While it is valid to go into the armed forces or a trade school, choosing the right College to go to is vital, since College is an incredibly expensive investment.
But many students will apply for anywhere between two to ten colleges, maybe even more! So how will they choose which one to go to? Well, it depends on many different factors, and that can be absurdly difficult and overwhelming. Here’s a basic list of factors to consider when choosing a school:
This will be the most commonly discussed factor of going to college. A good rule of thumb is coming up with a number in your head that you’re comfortable with, and that whoever is helping you finance these numbers are comfortable with. When considering which college is right for you, you have to remember that you’re the one who has to deal with these loans at the end of the day!
Remember that everyone’s situations are different, as well. Some have college funds, while others will qualify for a lot of financial aid. Cost is a factor of various importance based on personal circumstances, but it should be something that EVERYONE considers! Various scholarships, merit awards and state financial aid is a factor that plays into financial aid, as well!
Some kids want to go to school seven hours away from home, while others want to stay home and commute to school. Both of these options are totally different experiences, as well as equally as valid. Some students are desperate to live far away, and others want to be able to hop on a train and come right home.
So, it’s important to figure out where you want to be on this spectrum. No option is wrong, just different. If you’re looking to commute, Farmingdale or Suffolk are excellent choices! For medical and nursing students, check out Molloy! For those who want to go away, figure out how far away you’re comfortable going. Find the right school for you at the right distance from home.
So you know what colleges you want to go to– but now it’s important to figure out what kind of opportunities they have on campus. Look around their sports list, their traditions lists, their study abroad programs– any academic opportunities that are important to you are worth researching !Even something as simple as seeing if they have a chess club or an advanced degree in your field might help make the decision as to whether or not you go to a particular college.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide where you would be happiest, and that means finding the right clubs and organizations for you! Many colleges have a list of activities that they offer on their websites, and following their social media can be helpful in seeing what they’re up to. For potential Athletes, reach out to your school about Open House opportunities, and chances to meet coaches. As with most of these categories, research into specific schools and clubs is vital

Finally, there’s the question of vibe. One of the most important things to consider when looking for a school is whether or not you would be happy there! A lot of financial aid and merit is great, but could you really see yourself living there? Could you see yourself going to the local shops and restaurants with your friends, or is it somewhere you wouldn’t be totally happy? Take a stroll through town, have lunch at a local restaurant, check out local small businesses– Anything you feel would help you see yourself living there. Or maybe, it can help you see that you really wouldn’t be happy. And that’s also alright! Even if you’ve applied and been accepted, it’s okay to cross schools off the list.
Each school is different, but so is each person attending the school! The best thing you can do during your college decision is to be selfish. Make a decision for yourself, consider who you are and see if your top choice is really for you. There are no bad decisions when it comes to your choice, but you should make the right choice for you.

This isn’t to say that this is all there is. There are many factors that go into deciding a college, and some things may be more important than others to you. And that is all okay. Consider everything you can when making your decision. For some, the choice may be crazily difficult, and for others, the choice might be extremely easy.
Difficult or easy, the decision is still yours to make. It’s okay to stay home, and it’s okay to go away. Make the best choice for you. Only you know what’s best for you, and what will make you happiest.
Good luck to all our seniors this year, and remember no matter what, Lindenhurst and The Charles Street Times will always be here to welcome you home.