What to Think About When Making your College Choice

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When your teen gets accepted into multiple colleges, it’s time for celebration.  Then, of course, it’s also time for major decision making.  It can be overwhelming to compare colleges to each other.  

Once we had decided which colleges would be affordable to us, then we looked at a number of factors…and that is what I would like to share with you today.

For us, this process all started at the library, where we researched each of my daughter's college options again. First we considered the size of the colleges...

1.  Big School or Small 

The main decision to be made was between a large state college, and a smaller state college, both within commuting distance of our home.  Both had a large choice of majors. 

My teen was enticed by the excitement of the larger college, which had an especially good reputation, and a student size of more than 60,000.  She knew that some of her friends would be going there, and she liked the architecture and the plaza on the gorgeous large campus.

My main concern was choosing a college that best fit her social needs.

My daughter was used to working in small groups, and did well with those, finding her way, as she has in her high school Youth and Government activities. Would that kind of learning occur at the larger state college?

So, together, we researched the two colleges again.  
First, we looked at what each college offered for incoming freshmen...

1.  Freshman Intro Seminars & Social Environment 

 The smaller option offered freshman seminars, where the students would work together in small groups. 

And she has thrived in this kind of environment.  Small groups, that's just like her Youth and Government!  The seminars would last all year, giving them time to build friendships, and learn together.

The larger college did not have freshmen seminars, but did have a first quarter freshman into class, and nice raft trip for incoming freshmen, as a way to get to know each other.  But after that, they could be in some large lecture halls with over 700 students!

Then, we compared the two on the basis of support offered to the students.

 Academic Support


This is what we found.....The larger one did have some tutoring on campus, but was known to have a very competitive academic environment.  The smaller one had way more tutoring options available, with much more access to the professors.  

The larger one had many more students per professor, and the teens would usually be dealing with TA's instead of their professors.  Yet, the class size was ideal at the smaller college, about 30 students in each class, compared to 100-600 per class.  Both colleges had solid reputations.

We talked about these two issues together, and with my husband at dinner.  My teen soon realized that having a smaller, more supportive environment was more important to her than the status of going to the larger college.  Soon a decision was reached.  And I am so happy that she chose the more supportive environment at the smaller college.

So Thursday, we got out the formal papers, and my teen prepared them for mailing.  She accepted the scholarship offer at the smaller college, and sent in her college acceptance papers!

And she was thrilled!

I am so happy for her, excited, relieved to have the decision made, and a little sad at the same time! I decided that, if my daughter was going to college, my family needed a road trip, to celebrate!  So, on Saturday, and we all headed out, of course with our cameras!  Nice, family time was just the ticket, especially for my husband and I.

 Country roads always calm me. 

 ......plus we saw a field of daffodils, still blooming this late in their season!

 Then we saw this sign....it was funny, as it was no where near the daffodils!


 We stopped and bought some strawberry plants,
 where my college student-to-be, decided to pose for a picture in front of the merry-go-round...


Big decisions call for big playground equipment, don't you think?


Have you seen my book on college yet?

Get my best tips on college from a homeschool perspective!  Make your high school planning easier! 

Kindle is $7.17 on Amazon  or read for free on Prime. 
In print on Amazon  for $9.19 

"This book guides the reader step by step through the maze of requirements for college AND gives the gift of comparing requirements for various types of colleges. I am beyond grateful for this book, and highly suggest it to every homeschool family regardless of the stage one is at. Being able to see a long-term educational plan, laid out so effectively, is a gift. 

.......Theresa Harmon, homeschool mom, WA state

What's included in the book?  

Check out the review on The Curriculum Choice.  

Thanks for stopping by,


Betsy is mom to her 20 year old daughter whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote a new e-book on college..   She offers free homeschool help and messages at BJ's Consulting

Want to stay in touch?  

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