Boston's new brdige

Choosing where to attend college is an extremely personal and often stressful decision people have to make. To help people make their decision, Dr. Randall S. Hansen gives eight easy steps to choosing a college that is right for you.

Step 1: Determine what you might like to study or major in at college.

Many students go into college as "undecided", but if you have any idea of a career or major you might like to pursue, that information can help in finding a college that specializes in that field.

Step 2: Develop a list of criteria you want to use to evaluate and weed out colleges.

A list of common criteria could include: degrees offered, location, private vs. public, costs, class size, size of student population, etc.

Step 3: Compile a list of possible colleges and universities.

Now that you at least have some idea of criteria that is important to you, begin the gathering phase. You will more than likely receive suggestions from family, friends, high school guidance counselors and teachers. You should also consider attending a college fair and look through books and Web sites to find more helpful information.

Step 4: Gather all your resources and information about each school you're considering.

Step 5: Visit the colleges on your list.

The best way to really get a feel for a college is by visiting the campus, taking a tour, meeting students, attending a class, eating in the cafeteria and staying the night in a dorm. Visiting colleges is so important because you need to feel "at home" in the place you will be spending the next four years of your life.

Step 6: Apply to the schools that made the cut after the first five steps.

Most people generally apply to one or two dream schools, two to four schools where they want to go and are likely to be accepted and at least one "safety" school.

Step 7: Make a final choice among the schools that accepted you.