Getting the right college for your child is not an easy time and there will be much for you and your child to consider. I went through this process 3 years ago with my eldest and we eventually settled on the outstanding Alabama A&M University. There were many reasons why we ended up choosing this University, firstly for its long history, secondly because it offered one of the finest Agriculture courses in the country and finally because of the exceptional community work which the university does, something I was keen for my son to get involved in. I wanted to share with you the considerations which we made during the election process in order to help you out if you have a similar decision to make.
Close or Far
The first thing to think about is how far away does your child want to go in terms of their university. Many students like the idea of being far enough away from home to be independent, but close enough so that they can return home without too much difficulty or expense.
Every college has some kind of speciality and if your child already has their heart set on a particular course material or major, this can really help you to make your decision. For example we chose Alabama because my son has long wanted to get into the agriculture industry and the Agricultural College at the university is one of the best in the country. Getting your child into the very best position to pursue their dreams should be at the top of the list of priorities when electing a university and you need to research which are the best before deciding.
Realism plays a huge role in selecting which university your child should apply to and whilst many of us would love to send our kids to an Ivy League school, we need to be honest with ourselves about their chances. This is not to say that you should discourage your child from going to a particular university, just that you need to be realistic about their chances.
It is not just about the education which your child will receive that is important when it comes to selecting which university they should apply to, you also should look at the student life in general. Some student bodies are excellent when it comes to community, fraternities and sororities and ultimately enjoying student life in the best possible way. There are however other universities which have a poorer reputation on this front and you should weed them out quickly. To give your child the best opportunity to learn, they need to feel happy, safe and comfortable and for this reason you should lay quite a lot of focus on how student life will be in your chosen university.
Make sure that you spend a great deal of time thinking about which university is right for your child and more importantly, involve your child every step of the way.